Interstate 81 History

The following is from the brochure handed out at the official opening of Interstate 81.

Drive safely...

To adequately serve its 18 million citizens and its countless visitors, New York State has been carrying out an unprecedented highway program.

During the past decade, we have completed or initiated projects providing many thousands of miles of new or improved highways.

We now have more than 2,100 miles of multi-lane, divided highway, including more than 600 miles of toll-free routes on the Interstate System, such as the North-South Expressway.

We have given high priority to the up-grading of other types of roads under State jurisdiction.

We have provided record State financial help to encourage the improvement of roads which are the responsibility of other jurisdictions within our borders.

Our primary objective has been to enhance the safety of all our highway users, while improving their mobility. At the same time, we have remained aware of the value in planning these improvements to best stimulate the economic growth of the Empire State.

To the end  that these objectives may be realized to the fullest degree, I urge you to drive safely and courteously.

Nelson A. Rockefeller


Because Expressway Driving is Different, the following practices are recommended for your observance:

These practices, and the exercise of the good driving habits which are necessary everywhere, will make your trip on an expressway much safer and more enjoyable.