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Interstate 90 (I-90) is the longest Interstate Highway in the United States at . It is the northernmost coast-to-coast interstate, and parallels U.S. Route 20 for the most part. Its western terminus is in Seattle, Washingtonmarker, at 4th Avenue S. next to Safeco Fieldmarker and Qwest Fieldmarker, and its eastern terminus is in Boston, Massachusettsmarker, at Route 1A near Logan International Airportmarker. It crosses the Continental Divide over Homestake Passmarker just east of Butte, Montanamarker.

East of the Wisconsinmarker-Illinoismarker border, much of I-90 is tolled, along the following toll roads (several of which predate the Interstate system): the Jane Addams Memorial Tollway, Chicago Skywaymarker, Indiana Toll Road, Ohio Turnpike, New York State Thruway, and the Massachusetts Turnpike, including the Ted Williams Tunnelmarker. It is free through downtown Chicagomarker; Greater Cleveland and the rest of northeastern Ohiomarker; Pennsylvaniamarker; western Massachusetts; and through brief sections near Buffalomarker, Albanymarker, and Bostonmarker.

Route description


In 2003, the Seattlemarker terminus was re-engineered to better accommodate traffic from the two nearby sports stadiums.I-90 westbound still ends at its previous location next to Qwest Fieldmarker, but eastbound begins about 1/4 mile (0.4 km) south at Edgar Martínez Drive S. near the roof shed of Safeco Fieldmarker at an interchange with 4th Avenue S.

The tunnelmarker that carries Interstate 90 under the Mount Baker Ridge is on the National Register of Historic Places.The east portal of the tunnel (visible when entering Seattle from the east) is constructed as a bas reliefconcrete sculpture.

I-90 incorporates two of the longest floating bridges in the world, the Lacey V.markerMurrow Memorial Bridgemarker and the Homer M.markerHadley Memorial Bridgemarker, which cross Lake Washingtonmarker from Seattlemarker to Mercer Island, Washingtonmarker.They are the second and fifth longest such bridges, respectively.

Forty miles east of Bellevue I-90 traverses the Cascade Range's Snoqualmie Passmarker, elevation .At mile post 137, it crosses the Columbia River on the Vantage Bridgemarker, and after entering Spokanemarker near mile post 279, enters Idaho later.

Since 1980, I-90 from Seattle to Thorp, WAmarker, was designated the Mountains To Sound Greenway to protect its outstanding scenic and cultural resources.

Washington Law Defining Route

The Washington section of I-90 is defined in the Revised Code of Washington (RCW 47.17.140).


The small town of Wallace, Idahomarker still prides itself on having what was the last stop light on I-90.Its downtown has many historical buildings, which would have been wiped out by the original planned route of the freeway, so in 1976, city leaders had the downtown placed on the National Register of Historic Places. As a result, the federal government was forced, at great expense, to reroute the freeway to the northern edge of downtown and elevate it. That section of I-90 opened in September 1991. A bicycle path is routed beneath part of that segment.


Until 1995 in Montanamarker near the Idaho border, I-90 was not a divided highway for a few stretches, having only a narrow paved median.From 1995 until 1999, the speed limit in Montana was "reasonable and prudent"; it is now 75 mph (120 km/h). On I-90, at Exit 0 (right on the MT/ID border on the summit of Lookout Pass) is the Lookout Pass Ski Area, and one exit east of there is the Hiawatha Trail (rails-to-trails). It passes between the Gallatin & Bridger Mtn. Ranges over Bozeman Pass, which is located between Livingston & Bozeman. It crosses the continental divide just east of Butte where it goes over Homestake Pass.South of Hardin it passes the site of The Battle of the Little Bighornmarker (Custer's Last Stand) at Crow Agency on the Crow Indian Reservation.


At the Montanamarker border I-90 is a four-lane divided highway with a grass median.At Buffalo, Wyomingmarker (if travelling eastward from the north) it diverges from I-25 with a more east-west orientation.

South Dakota

The South Dakota section of I-90 is defined at South Dakota Codified Laws § 31-4-184.

Near Rapid City, South Dakotamarker at the Wyoming border I-90 is a four lane divided highway with a grass median.In the Sioux Fallsmarker area, I-90 intersects I-29 and continues east a short distance to Minnesotamarker.I-90 is the longest east-west thoroughfare in South Dakota.


The Minnesota section of I-90 is defined as Route 391 in Minnesota Statutes § 161.12(3).

I-90 crosses southern Minnesota from the South Dakota border near Luverne, Minnesotamarker to the Mississippi River near La Crosse, Wisconsinmarker.On most of its length in the state, it is close to the Iowamarker border and fairly parallel with it.In southeast Minnesota, it curves north to Rochestermarker.The wayside rest area near Blue Earth, Minnesotamarker is where the East building I-90 and west building I-90 teams linked up in 1978, thus completing the final mile and joining the 3,099.07 miles of the interstate.A four foot wide gold concert line marks the area across the road.


I-90 crosses Wisconsin from Minnesota to Illinois in a generally southeasterly direction. It joins I-94 in Tomahmarker and I-39 in Portagemarker.I-94 separates from I-90 at Madisonmarker.

I-39/90/94 from just south of Portage to Madison is the longest concurrency of three Interstate Highways in the United States.


In the state of Illinoismarker, Interstate 90 enters Illinois north of Rockfordmarker oriented north-south joined with Interstate 39.It then runs east-southeast directly to the city of Chicagomarker.From Rockford to Interstate 294the road is tolled and called the Jane Addams Memorial Tollway. Prior to 2007 the Jane Addams Memorial Tollwaywas called the Northwest Tollway. In the Chicago metropolitan areamarker, I-90 is known by three names from O'Hare International Airportmarker to the Indianamarker state line.The Kennedy Expressway runs from O'Hare to Interstate 290 and the Chicago Loopmarker.I-90 continues running south of the Loop on part of the Dan Ryan Expressway, and then southeast onto the tolled Chicago Skywaymarker into Indiana.


In the state of Indiana, the entirety of Interstate 90 is concurrent with the Indiana Toll Road. Interstate 90 enters from Illinois at the Chicago Skywaymarker.It then runs to the concurrency of Interstates 80/94east of Interstate 65, where I-80 leaves I-94 and joins with I-90. The combined I-80/90 route runs east across northern Indiana and near the southern border of Michiganmarker to the Ohio state line.

As part of the Toll Road, I-80/90 passes to the north of South Bendmarker and Elkhartmarker.It also passes north of Angolamarker at Interstate 69.


The Indiana Toll Road turns into the Ohio Turnpikeas it crosses the border. I-90 follows the Ohio Turnpikeuntil Lorain (west of Clevelandmarker), where it turns north to follow a route near the shores of Lake Eriemarker.Originally, it was going to be parallel to, and north of, I-80/Ohio Turnpike further west to Toledo. Parts were built with an interim assignment of State Route 2. Later; that plan was abandoned, and the I-90/I-80 exit/connector was built instead; those existing parts retain the Rt. 2 designation.

In Clevelandmarker, Interstate 90 serves as the Innerbelt at the confluence of the northern termini of Interstates 71 and 77.One of the most peculiar and hazardous stretches of Interstate 90 is the section of highway passing through downtown, known locally as Dead Man's Curvemarker.Here, the road takes a nearly 90-degree turn. While there are plenty of large signs, flashing lights, and rumble strips alerting motorists to this turn, there have still been a large number of accidents due to inattentive motorists. There are plans to realign the freeway along a shallower curve within the next decade, as part of a larger project to improve the highway system in Cleveland.

The Innerbelt in Cleveland also utilizes a steel-gusset bridge of the same design as the I-35W bridge that failed in Minneapolis. Since September 30, 2008, two lanes in each direction of the 8-lane bridge were closed to reduce the weight load on the structure. The bridge is currently under close inspection as it has deteriorated greatly over the last few years. On October 8, 2008, the bridge was closed entirely to undergo a stress test. In May and June of 2009, the bridge was closed while engineers lifted it with hydraulic jacks and moved it approximately six inches to realign it. It is largely believed that the bridge will be replaced within the next five years by a new span. Many in the Cleveland area are beginning to question the safety of the bridge, and the Ohio Department of Transportation continues to stress that the bridge is safe and if there was any imminent danger it would be permanently closed.


I-90 goes from the Ohio state line through Erie, Pennsylvaniamarker, and then leaves Pennsylvania for New York.

While not an interstate, a portion of Pennsylvania Route 5in Erie has recently been named Pennsylvania Route 290. The purpose is to encourage travelers to use this stretch of Erie's 12th Street as a loop, connecting Interstate 79and 90 to the Bayfront Connectorand downtown Erie.

New York

I-90 metric sign for NY Thruway Exit 35

I-90 as AmVets Highway west of Syracuse

I-90 becomes the New York State Thruwayupon entering New York. It follows the Lake Eriemarker coast until Buffalo, where it joins the old Water Level Route until Albanymarker.There, it takes a short detour before joining the New York State ThruwayBerkshire Connector.

Almost all of the New Yorkmarker portion of the road is a toll road, comprising the east-west portion of the New York State Thruway mainline and part of the Berkshire Connector, operated by the New York State Thruway Authority.It was originally constructed as part of the Thruway project in the middle 1950s and received its current designation as Interstate 90 in 1958. "I-90" (operated by NYSDOTmarker) carries Interstate 90 between the two; however, the Berkshire Section directly connects to the mainline (at Thruway interchange 21A) 6.5 miles (10.5 km) west of the point where I-90 joins it (at Thruway interchange B1).

The mileposts and exit numbers on the New York State Thruway mainline originate at the New York Citymarker line and increase northward along Interstate 87 and westward along Interstate 90.As a result, milepostsand exit numberson the I-90 section of the Thruwaymainline increase from east to west, contrary to modern practices where numbers increase from the west or south. The NYSDOT-maintained portion in between, known to locals as "Freebie 90," does number its mileage and exits in the traditional west-to-east method. (Ironically, "Freebie 90" is oriented geographically north-south for most of its length, so the exit numbers seem to increase from north to south.) Exit and milepost numbering starts over again when the Berkshire Section of the Thruway begins, with exit and mile numbers preceded by the letter B (Exit B1, Exit B2, Mile B1, Mile B2, and so on).

There once were two metric-only signs on the westbound New York State Thruway around Syracusemarker, which is about 100 miles (161 km) from Canadamarker.The NYS Thruway Authority decided to test metric signage, which may have briefly included an 88 km/h speed limit sign, on the Thruway. There was also a sign displaying the distance to the Interstate 81 interchange in kilometers in Dewittmarker.These signs are now displayed in just miles.

I-90 is the only Interstate having a complete set of nine spur routes (190, 290, 390...890, 990) within one state, in New Yorkmarker.In addition, I-990, a short spur route near Buffalo, New Yorkmarker not directly connected to I-90, is the highest number given to an Interstate.

I-790in Utica used to have a completely direct connection with I-90 at Thruway interchange 31. Various road redesign projects over the years have eventually led to this direct connection being partially severed. Traffic exitingthe Thruway must use two different surface streets to reach I-790. However, it is still possible to travel from I-790 directly ontothe Thruway. I-790 has some other oddities: no exit numbers, no reassurance markers, and it runs concurrent with New York State Route 5for its entire length.

The New York section of I-90 west of the Berkshire Sectionof the New York Thruwayis defined as Interstate Route 504 in New York Highway Law § 340-a.

Interstate 90 eastbound approaching Stockbridge and the toll plaza


I-90 in Massachusetts runs along the pre-Interstate era Massachusetts Turnpike, which opened on May 15, 1957, from West Stockbridge at the New York state border to Massachusetts Route 128.

The first section of the Boston Extension opened in September 1964 from the original terminus at Route 128 to the Allston/Brighton Tolls. The entire Boston Extension opened on February 18, 1965 continuing from the Allston/Brighton Tolls to I-93in Downtown Boston. The new extension added to the MassPike's original 123.

I-90 was extended again as part of the Big Digmarker from its terminus at I-93 to Boston's Logan International Airportmarker and a terminus of Route 1A in January 2003 via tunnels under the Fort Point Channel and the Ted Williams Tunnelmarker under Boston Harbor.This extended I-90 by an additional , shifting the eastern terminus to Route 1A.

Turnpike Doublesare permitted to travel between exit 11 and through the New York state border.

Austin, Minnesota Business Loop


I-90 made heavy use of existingroads. The Massachusetts Turnpike, New York State Thruway, Ohio Turnpike, Indiana Toll Road, Chicago Skywaymarker, and Northwest Tollway all predate I-90 and were used for parts of its route.This also means that substantial portions of the route are not precisely to Interstate Highway standards, but they are usually close.

Major intersections

Auxiliary routes

I-90 is the only interstate to have a complete set of auxiliary routes (i.e., all nine possible three-digit route numbers) within a single state, that being New Yorkmarker.


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External links


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