My proposal to make this happen.
There are many capital improvements that would have to be made to bring this roadway up to Interstate standards, particularly between Verona and Rome. Due to the costs involved, this could be spread out over a ten to twenty year improvement plan. In the meantime, I agree that the roadway could adequately be attractive as a "I-90 spur" and serve the area as NY 790. In fact, I recommend that the NY 790 designation run from the Thruway Interchange in Verona to the NY 5/8/12 interchange in Utica, where the I-790 designation already exists. Then as capital improvements are made to the roadway, the Interstate 790 designation could move westward, where it would finally meet the Thruway at the Verona Interchangee. This would involve doing the following:
- Renumber the roadway as NY 790 as soon as possible. The area could use the economic benefits and motorist guidance improvements immediately. Use NY 790 as an overlay over existing NY Route 49 and 365.
- Because of the scope of the project and the length of the finished roadway, I would highly recommend numbering the exits based on distance. This would allow the easy addition of exits as growth permits and the numbers would not conflict with the at-grade intersections that would exist while the roadway was being brought up to interstate standards. In addition, exit numbers would make it easier for motorists to find their way to local attractions. It's easier to find Fort Stanwix National Monument by following signs to Exit 10 A then trying to decipher a smaller multi-sign sign installation at a particular exit ramp, especially in areas where there is a close proximity of exits. I believe there is a sign rehabiliation project planned for the signs at the NY 26-49-69 interchange in Rome and the NY 5-8-12 and Thruway interchanges in Utica. The exit numbers should be installed as part of this project, with exit plaques being added to the relatively new signs at the exits between Rome and Utica.
- Similarly, it is much easier to remember that industry is located at Griffiss Park when it is marked "Exit 12" and the Marcy Nano Tech Center and SUNY POLY are located at EXIT 23.