MOST OBSCURE INTERSTATE? Driving along the New York State Thruway (I-87) in the vicinity of EXIT 19 in Kingston, one will find signs for NY 28. However, there are no signs for an Interstate highway, Colonel Chandler Drive, which connects the Thruway with the former capital of New York State.
Interstate 587 was among the 1,500 miles of highway that were added to the National System of Interstate and Defense Highways in 1957. Construction on Colonel Chandler Drive began in December 1958, and was completed 19 months later.
Although the four-lane connector, which is dually signed with NY 28, is constructed to Interstate standards along its entire 1.4-mile length, it does not have any interchanges. At its western terminus, I-587 ends at a traffic circle (just west the Kingston city limit at Esopus Creek), intersecting with the Thruway toll plaza approach to the north, NY 28 to the west, and Washington Avenue Extension to the south. The only overpass on the route is for Ulster CR 31 (Sawkill Road). At its eastern terminus, I-587 ends at a traffic light with NY 32 (Albany Avenue) in downtown Kingston.
More on I-587 in the following e-mail excerpt from C.C. Slater, Hudson Valley contributor to nycroads.com:
With the 1999 rebuild of the traffic circle into the Kingston traffic circle, I-587 now connects directly to the Thruway (EXIT 19), at least westbound. Since 2001, I-587 has had a 20-ton weight limit for its entire length due to the structural deficiency of the railroad bridge near NY 32 The central reservation on the road is unguarded and 16 feet wide at best, and over the Esophus Creek bridge, there is no physical central reservation at all (only painted yellow lines).
According to the NYSDOT, approximately 15,000 vehicles travel the short stretch of Colonel Chandler Drive each day (AADT). In a deviation from NYSDOT convention, the green reference markers along the route are for NY 28, not for I-587.
LEFT: This Terraserver image shows the entire length of Colonel Chandler Drive (I-587 and NY 28), from the northwest at the Thruway traffic circle to the southeast in downtown Kingston. (Terraserver image supplied by Nathan W. Perry.) RIGHT: This map shows the connection between I-587 and NY 28 (Colonel Chandler Drive), I-87 (New York State Thruway) and US 209 (Catskill Expressway). (Map by C.C. Slater.)
I-587 should be extended west to the NY 28 / US 209 interchange, a distance of three-quarters of a mile. In addition, the existing traffic circle should be replaced with a "trumpet" interchange. Finally, I-587 shields should be added to signs along the New York State Thruway mainline.
SOURCES: "Rockefeller Pledges Support for Highway," The New York Times (10/30/1958); New York State Department of Transportation; Marc Fannin; David J. Greenberger; Chris Helms; Ralph Herman; Michael G. Koerner; Mike Moroney; Scott Oglesby; Nathan W. Perry; C.C. Slater; J.P. Wing.
I-587 and NY 28 shields by Ralph Herman. Lightpost by Jeff Saltzman.