The north–south roadway connecting NY 5 in Amherst to the Lake Ontario shoreline in Olcott via Lockport was originally designated as NY 32 in the mid-1920s. In the 1930 renumbering of state highways in New York, NY 32 became part of NY 78, a new route extending from Gainesville in the south to Olcott in the north, mostly along existing but previously unnumbered roads. However, the portion between NY 362 and NY 19 was in the process of being built. NY 78's early routing was identical to its modern alignment except from East Aurora to Depew. Initially, NY 78 headed north from East Aurora to Lancaster by way of Maple Street, Jamison and Bowen roads, and Clinton (NY 354) and Aurora streets before following NY 35 west to Transit Road in Depew.
NY 78 was realigned c. 1932 to follow US 20 (now US 20A) west from East Aurora to Transit Road, where it turned north onto Transit Road and followed it to Depew. The former routing of NY 78 between East Aurora and Lancaster was redesignated as NY 78A. NY 78 was rerouted one last time c. 1939 to overlap with NY 16 northwest from East Aurora to its junction with Transit Road in West Seneca. The realignment bypassed the southernmost portion of Transit Road, which became NY 187 in the early 1940s.
Read more about this topic: New York State Route 78
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