In Georgia, I-520 is known as Bobby Jones Expressway for professional golferBobby Jones; in South Carolina it is known as Palmetto Parkway for the sabal palmetto, the state tree. Exits 2–3 are know as Deputy James D. Paugh Memorial Highway after a Richmond County sheriff's deputy who was killed at Exit 3 when responding to reports of a gunman who was shooting at passing cars. I-520 loses its state route designation in South Carolina, as that state does not co-number its interstates with state highway numbers.
I-520 was constructed in stages, with the first opening in 1980 between I-20 in Augusta and Doug Barnard Parkway (exit 10). The section between Doug Barnard Parkway and Laney-Walker Boulevard (exit 16) opened in July 1998. On June 22, 2004, the section between Laney-Walker Boulevard and US 1/US 78/US 278 (exit 17) opened to traffic, with I-520 entering South Carolina. Phase 2 of the Palmetto Parkway stretching from Exit 17 to I-20 in North Augusta opened on December 17, 2009. With the completion of this final stretch I-520 is a loop that begins and ends at I-20, thus violating the numbering standard for Interstates, as loops technically should begin with even numbers (e.g., I-620).