Interstate 185 (South Carolina)

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Interstate 185 marker

Interstate 185
Southern Connector
Route information
Maintained by SCDOT
Length: 17.70 mi[1] (28.49 km)
Existed: 1955 – present
Major junctions
South end: I‑385 near Mauldin
 

US 276 near Mauldin

I‑85 near Greenville
US 25 near Greenville
US 29 in Greenville
North end: US 29 at Henrydale Drive in Greenville
Location
Counties: Greenville
Highway system
SC 185 SC 186

Interstate 185 (I-185) is a 17.7-mile (28.5 km) highway located entirely in Greenville County, South Carolina. I-185 serves as a spur route of Interstate 85 into the city of Greenville as well as a shortcut route for drivers accessing Interstate 385 from northbound I-85. A portion of this road is tolled and is known as the "Southern Connector".

Route description[edit]

I-185 was planned as part of a continuous route through Greenville on this 1955 map.

Southern Connector[edit]

The Southern Connector was constructed as a public-private partnership between the South Carolina Department of Transportation and Interwest Carolina Transportation Group, LLC, a development team that included a not-for-profit corporation called Connector 2000 Association, Inc. (C2A).[2] Under this agreement, C2A operates the toll road under a fifty year license. They were responsible for financing, designing, constructing, operating and maintaining the road during this period and the toll revenue would be used to pay them for these efforts. To finance the project, C2A sold bonds that were tax-exempt under IRS Rule 63-20, which provides that the bonds sold will be exempt if they finance an activity which is "public in nature."[3][4]

The highway opened in February 2001, nine months ahead of schedule.[5] By 2007, the Connector 2000 Association was having financial difficulties because ridership on the toll road was not meeting original estimates. In the fall of 2007, the association began looking for a concessionaire to take over the operation and financial liability of the toll road.[6] By early 2008, C2A had received a default notice from their bond trustee[7] In January 2010, the bond trustee missed an interest payment,[8] and the C2A was more than $8 million behind in its payments to SCDOT for the maintenance and license fees under their agreement.[9] On June 24, 2010, the Southern Connector filed for bankruptcy.[10]

Tolls[edit]

There are two toll plazas located along the Southern Connector, known as the east and west plazas. Toll booths are located on entrance/exit ramps on Fork Shoals Road (exit 4) and Piedmont Highway (exit 10). The toll plazas has both electronic toll collection (ETC) and cash lanes; toll booths located on ramps accept only ETC or exact change only. Those that do not have exact change or do not pay the toll can fill out a "Pledge Payment Form;" violators have 30 days to remit payment before administrative fees are added to the toll due.[11]

Only the Palmetto Pass is accepted on the Southern Connector.

Toll rates[edit]

Toll rates, as of January 1, 2012.[12][13]

Location Payment 2 axles 3 axles 4 axles 5 axles 6+ axles
East Plaza Cash $1.50 $3.00 $4.00 $5.00 $6.00
Pal Pass $1.35 $2.55 $3.40 $4.25 $5.10
Fork Shoals Road
Northbound entrance/Southbound exit ramps
Cash $0.75
Pal Pass $0.75
SC 20 (Piedmont Highway)
Northbound exit/Southbound entrance ramps
Cash $0.75
Pal Pass $0.75
West Plaza Cash $1.50 $3.00 $4.00 $5.00 $6.00
Pal Pass $1.35 $2.55 $3.40 $4.25 $5.10


History[edit]

The northern portion, which runs from Interstate 85 to the Greenville city limits, was opened in the 1960s and is co-signed with U.S. 29. The southern portion, which connects the I-85/I-185 interchange (exit 42) with the I-385/U.S. 276 interchange (exit 30), was opened as a toll road in 2001.. This extension was dubbed the "Southern Connector" and increased I-185 from three to seventeen miles (27 km) in length.

Exit list[edit]

The entire route is in Greenville County.

Location Mile km Exit Destinations Notes
Mauldin 0.00 0.00 I‑385 north – Greenville, Spartanburg, Mauldin Southern terminus
1B I‑385 south – Columbia Southbound exit and northbound entrance
1A Neely Ferry Road / Standing Springs Road Southbound exit and northbound entrance
  East Toll plaza
  4 Fork Shoals Road
  7 US 25 (Augusta Road) – Ware Place, Greenville Signed as exits 7A (north) and 7B (south) northbound
Golden Grove 10 SC 20 (Piedmont Highway) – Greenville, Piedmont
  West Toll plaza
  12 SC 153 north to US 123 – Easley, Clemson
  14 I‑85 / US 29 south – Spartanburg, Atlanta South end of US 29 overlap; signed as exits 14A (north) and 14B (south)
Greenville 15 US 25 (White Horse Road) – Travelers Rest Northbound exit, southbound entrance
16 US 25 / SC 20 (Grove Road) – Piedmont Southbound exit, northbound entrance
17.70 28.49 US 29 north (Mills Avenue) / Henrydale Avenue – Greenville Northern terminus, at-grade intersection, continuation continues as US 29
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Auxiliary Routes of the Dwight D. Eisenhower National System Of Interstate and Defense Highways as of October 31, 2002". Federal Highway Administration. 
  2. ^ Samuel, Peter (October 26, 2007). "Greenville Southern Connector up for concession offers – not-for-profit ailing". TollRoadsNews. 
  3. ^ "27-in-7 Peak Performance" (PDF). South Carolina Department of Transportation. Archived from the original on February 16, 2013. 
  4. ^ Hedlund, Karen J. (May 1, 2001). "The Use of '63-20' Nonprofit Corporations in Infrastructure Facility Development". Nossaman Infrastructure. 
  5. ^ "Partners unveil Southern Connector" (Press release). Southern Connector Toll Road. February 16, 2001. 
  6. ^ "Request for Toll Road Concessionaire Qualifications" (PDF). Connector 2000 Association. September 27, 2007. 
  7. ^ "Notice of an Event of Default" (PDF). U.S. Bancorp. January 23, 2008. 
  8. ^ "Event Notice No. 2010-1" (PDF). Connector 2000 Association. January 11, 2010. 
  9. ^ "Balance Sheet" (PDF). Connector 2000 Association. September 30, 2009. 
  10. ^ Bathon, Michael; McCarty, Dawn (June 25, 2010). "Connector 2000 Association Files Bankruptcy in South Carolina". Businessweek. 
  11. ^ "Southern Connector FAQ's". South Carolina Department of Transportation. Retrieved April 12, 2014. 
  12. ^ "Southern Connector: Cash Toll Rates". South Carolina Department of Transportation. Retrieved April 12, 2014. 
  13. ^ "Southern Connector: Pal Pass Toll Rates". South Carolina Department of Transportation. Retrieved April 12, 2014. 

External links[edit]

Route map: Google / Bing