Part of Route 17 designated at Interstate 86

By Conor Mooney

Part of Route 17 designated at Interstate 86

September 16, 2013 Updated Sep 16, 2013 at 1:12 PM EDT

(WBNG Binghamton) Nearly 16 miles of Route 17 in Chemung County has officially become Interstate 86, according to a statement from the New York State Department of Transportation.

The Federal Highway Administration designated a 15.8 mile stretch of the road from exit 56 to the Tioga County line.

More than half of the newly converted road already met interstate standards, but 6.5 miles had to undergo construction.

"This newly improved route answers President Obama's call for economic growth," said Federal Highway Administrator Victor Mendez. "This new designation will strengthen the region's economy by helping freight move more safely and efficiently from the Northeast to markets around the world."

Route 17 spans from the Pennsylvania state line in western New York to Interstate 87 in the Hudson Valley.

As of September, more than half of Route 17 has been designated as Interstate 86.