Our Roads

Bruzgul Road, Union Vale, New York

When we think of transportation in our county, it is our roads that come to mind. Whether used to travel by car, bus, bicycle, or foot, roads form the basis of our transportation system. They provide the connections necessary for communities to function, our economies to thrive, and our lives to happen.

See our Map Viewer for a view of our road network.

Types of Roads

We classify our roads in several ways, based on their role within the system and who is responsible for maintaining them.

Functional Class & the National Highway System (NHS)

Functional classification, a national standard for classifying roads, groups roads according to their character and the role they play in a network, whether a low speed local street or high-speed Interstate. For each classification, the road is further categorized as being ‘urban’ or ‘rural’ based on its location.

A few roads at the top of this scale are further designated as part of the National Highway System (NHS). NHS roads are those deemed most important to the nation's economy, defense, and mobility—and are thus the roads to which the federal government dedicates most of its highway dollars. In Dutchess County, there are 250 centerline miles of NHS roads, including I-84 and Routes 9, 9D, 44, 55, 22, and the Taconic State Parkway, plus segments of Routes 52, 9G, and 199.

The Federal Highway Administration provides money each year for roadway maintenance and improvements, but only about 25 percent of our roads are eligible to receive it. Eligibility is based on a road’s functional class and its NHS status: local streets and rural minor collectors are not eligible, while NHS roads receive about 60 percent of ordinary federal highway dollars. All other road funding comes from state and local sources. For more on funding sources, see our discussion under the Invest section and our Financial Plan.

Road Ownership

Public roads in Dutchess County are owned and maintained by the New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT), Dutchess County, and local municipalities. Town highway departments maintain most of our 2,521 miles of public roads.

Road Operations

We collect traffic data for county and some local roads, and receive data from NYSDOT for state highways. This data covers items such as traffic volumes, speeds, and vehicle types, and we use it to inform planning studies, understand travel patterns, and measure changes over time. Highways such as I-84, Route 9, and Route 44/55 carry the highest traffic volumes across Dutchess County. You can explore this traffic data in more detail on our Traffic Data Viewer application.

While our overall road network functions well, we still experience isolated problems with traffic congestion or freight access. We address these topics in more detail under the Barriers to Reliable Access section.

Pavement Conditions

Both NYSDOT and Dutchess County assess the condition of highway pavement regularly. And though each uses different scoring systems, we can divide their scores into three general categories: good, fair, and poor. Our most recent data for NYSDOT highways comes from 2017, while data for county and local roads is from 2018-2019.

We also analyzed pavement conditions based on functional class. As one might expect, most of our lower-rated segments are local roads, which account for about 90 percent of road miles rated “poor."