Redesignate the Utica-Rome Expressway as
Update as of June 2006: NYSDOT Region 2 has been working with the FHWA to determine what would be needed to redesignate the Utica-Rome Expressway as Interstate 790. There are several concerns, including grade and geometry issues, an at-grade railroad crossing in Rome and other considerations. These issues must be addressed before the roadway can be approved for an interstate designation and will probably be part of a long-term upgrade. In the meantime, I have suggested truncating NY 49 near New London at NY 46 and renumbering the Utica-Rome Expressway as NY 790, continuing to the New York tradition of "extending" interstate routes by way of a same numbered state route (for example, I-390/NY 390, I-481/NY 481, I-787/NY 787, etc.)
In speaking with representatives from Region 2, I found out that the NY 790 designation has already been reserved for this roadway, with the intent on running it from Rome to Oneida along existing NY 365. NY 365 is a busy expressway that provides Thruway access for the residents of Rome. While it is a four-lane facility to Rome, it has several at-grade intersections between NY 26 and I-90. West of the Thruway, NY 365 becomes a two-lane roadway with residential access along it's route, however, the northern side of the route has a right-of-way in place for an extension of the four lane facility.
During my conversation with Region 2, I suggested that perhaps the entire roadway should become NY 790 as soon as practical for the economic benefits of having a x90 designation and having one cohesive route number from Thruway Exit 33 (Verona) to Thruway Exit 31 (Utica). While it doesn't carry the brand recognition of an Interstate designation, it certainly is an improvement over the current numbering system. The NY 790 designation could be an "overlay" of NY Route 49 and 365.