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New York State DOT to switch to mile-based exit numbering

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The New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) has started the transition to mile-based numbering for exits along several roadways in the central part of the state.

On June 14, NYSDOT announced that work has begun to renumber exits on I-81, I-690 and SR 481 in Cortland, Oswego, and Onondaga Counties.

The agency says that the move to mileage-based exit numbers will improve highway safety and help drivers make “more informed travel decisions.”

Officials will swap out the current sequentially numbered exit signs with new signage that delineates the exit by the mileage location.

The new mileage-based exit numbering will be added to the upper panel on the existing signs, but the the old sequential exit number (example: OLD EXIT 9) will be added to the bottom of the first approaching existing exit sign in order to reduce driver confusion.

“The new exit numbers along I-81 are based on the distance in miles moving from south to north from the Pennsylvania border to the Canadian border; the redesigned exit numbers along I-690 are also based on the distance in miles, moving from west to east beginning at the New York State Thruway. Updated exit numbers for State Route 481 are based on the distance in miles moving south to north, starting at I-481 (future I-81),” NYSDOT said.

Work on the current exit signage project is expected to be completed by the end of 2024.

NYSDOT says that plans are in place to eventually renumber all exit signage along I-81 from the border with Pennsylvania to the border with Canada.

“The safety and convenience of the traveling public are always top priorities for the New York State Department of Transportation and these new exit numbers will allow drivers to make safer and better-informed travel decisions as they journey along some of Central New York’s busiest highways,” NYSDOT Commissioner Dominguez said. “With mile-based exit signs, drivers will be able to easily determine where they are and how far they need to go to reach their destinations, enabling more efficient travel planning and enhanced safety for all who use our highways.”

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