The NY 17 freeway across southern New York state is composed of two sections: the Southern Tier Expressway and the Quickway. The Quickway was constructed in the 50s and 60s as a response to traffic congestion along NY 17 to the Catskills. The Southern Tier Expressway began as an extension of the Quickway in the 60s and was completed in the 90s, with the last segments to open being east of Salamenca to US 219 and the western portion of the Corning Bypass.
The freeway is designated as Corridor T of the Appalachian Development Highway System, and in 1998, was designated "High Priority Corridor 36" in the Transpontation Equity Act for the 21st Century (and later amended to include designation as Interstate 86). NY 17 west of the Chemung County line was signed at I-86 in December 1999.
Since 1999, I-86 has expanded a few times, first to NY 14 in 2004. In 2006, the section from I-81 to NY 79 was signed as I-86, creating a gap in the interstate. The western portion of I-86 was extended east to NY 352 in 2008 and again to Tioga County in 2013. The section from NY 17K to I-84 also appears to be ready to be signed as I-86. At this time, Regions 5 and 6 of NYSDOT consider the road to be I-86 alone, with NY 17 signed to ease the traveling public into the new number. Newer signs in these regions (save the recently extended section in eastern Chemung County) only list I-86.
The estimated completion date of the upgrade, originally 2009, has been pushed back several times. Due to lack of economic development along the parts of the corridor signed as I-86 and the current state funding situation, the project has been postponed indefinately, and the funding transferred to other projects; the projects currently underway were in development prior to this decision being made.
The image above was created by the New York State Department of Transportation in 2015.
- Removal of at-grade intersections between exits 49 and 51; construction of exit 50
- "Horseheads Bypass" constructing new elevated mainline through Horseheads with the existing roadway turned into frontage roads accessible via new exit 53
- Reconstruction of former exits 56 and 57 into current exit 56
- Construction of former exit 58 (current exit 57)
- Removal of at-grade intersections between exits 56 and 59 and construction of current exit 58
- Minor interchange improvements (such as lengthening acceleration/deceleration lanes) for exits 62-66
- Reconstruction of the I-81 interchange/Kamikaze Curve (Phase I)
- Reconstruction of the I-81 interchange/Kamikaze Curve (Phase II) and I-81 exit 4
- Removal of at-grade intersections east of I-81 and construction of exit 76
- Interchange improvements to exits 94-97 and 99
- Removal of at-grade intersections nears Parksville and construction of exit 98
- Reconstruction of exit 106
- Reconstruction of the bridge carrying NY 17 over the Neversink River
- Reconstruction of NY 17 between NY 17K and I-84
- Reconstruction of exit 122
- Upgrade east of exit 130A/Reconstruction of exit 131
- Upgrade of deficient features between Tioga County and the Binghamton city line
- Upgrade of deficient features between exits 79 and 84
- Removal of at-grade intersections in Hale Eddy and construction of exits 85 and 86
- Interchange improvements to exits 87-93
- Interchange improvements to exits 100A, 100, and 101
- Interchange improvements to exits 102-104 and 107-108
- Upgrade of deficient features on NY 42 from Monticello through the interchange with NY 17
- Interchange improvements to exits 109-112 and 114-115
- Upgrade of deficient features (possibly major rehabilitation/reconstruction) between exits 122A-126
- Upgrade of deficient features (possibly major rehabilitation/reconstruction) between exits 126-130A
- Upgrade of deficient features (possibly major rehabilitation/reconstruction) at exits 127 and 128
- Upgrade exit 129