Interstate 85 in South Carolina

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This article is about the section of Interstate 85 in South Carolina. For the entire length of the highway, see Interstate 85.

Interstate 85 marker

Interstate 85
Route information
Maintained by SCDOT
Length: 106.28 mi[1][2] (171.04 km)
Existed: 1959 – present
Major junctions
South end: I‑85 at Georgia state line
 

I‑185 near Greenville
I‑385 in Greenville

I‑85 Bus. near Spartanburg
I‑26 in Spartanburg
I‑585 / US 176 in Spartanburg
North end: I‑85 at North Carolina state line
Location
Counties: Oconee, Anderson, Greenville, Spartanburg, Cherokee
Highway system
SC 83 SC 86

In the U.S. state of South Carolina, Interstate 85 (I-85) runs northeast-southwest through Upstate South Carolina. Connecting regionally with Atlanta, Georgia and Charlotte, North Carolina, it became the first Interstate highway in South Carolina to have its originally planned mileage completed.

Route description[edit]

Georgia state line to Greenville[edit]

Interstate 85 enters South Carolina along the Vandiver Bridge, from Georgia, crossing over Tugaloo River/Lake Hartwell.[3] It is immediately followed by exit 1, where the Welcome Center and the start of the Cherokee Foothills National Scenic Highway (SC 11). For the next 19 miles (31 km), Interstate 85 continues along the north shores of Lake Hartwell, crossing over some parts of it. At the US 76/SC 28 interchange (exit 19), the highway widens to six-lanes. Continuing northeast, US 29 joins Interstate 85 (exit 34), near Piedmont, as they run concurrently until after they cross the Saluda River.

Greenville to Spartanburg[edit]

Interstate 85 bypasses Greenville to the south, but provides a link into the city via spur routes Interstates 185 and 385. US 29 splits from Interstate 85 and joins Interstate 185 toward downtown Greenville.

Two key Upstate businesses can be seen from this portion of the interstate. One is Michelin Tires's North American headquarters and the other is the BMW plant, located in Greer. Interstate 85 also passes Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport (exit 57), which serves the Greenville-Spartanburg metropolitan area.

Spartanburg to North Carolina state line[edit]

Near Spartanburg, Interstate 85 takes a northern bypass of the city with a higher speed limit of 70 miles per hour (110 km/h), while an older alignment designated as Interstate 85 Business Freeway Loop continues along a more direct path at a lower speed limit of 55 miles per hour (89 km/h).[4] Along the bypass routing, Interstate 85 connects with Interstate 26 (exit 70) and indirectly connects with Interstate 585, via US 176 (exit 72).

At mile marker 79, Interstate 85 narrows back down to four-lanes. The remaining 27 miles (43 km) is the oldest section, which features a few low height bridges such as a 15-foot (4.6 m) high railroad bridge originally used by the Clinchfield Railroad east of Exit 80, and intriguing exit/entrance ramps. At mile marker 91, travelers will not be able to miss the Peachoid, a large water tower with its top shaped like a peach, representing one of the state's most important crops. At mile marker 95, an old plantation cemetery is located on a knoll in the median of Interstate 85; more visible to see on southbound lanes.[5] A 23-foot-6-inch (7.16 m) high decrepit railroad bridge can be found in the vicinity of Blacksburg between Exits 100 and 102. At mile marker 103 is the southbound welcome center. 3.4 miles (5.5 km) later, Interstate 85 enters North Carolina.[6]

History[edit]

Michelin North American headquarters near Greenville at Exit #54 in 2008

Established in 1959, Interstate 85 originally ran along the newly widened four-lane section of US 29, from Fort Prince Boulevard (SC 129, exit 68) to the North Carolina state line. Construction also started around that time extending Interstate 85 from Fort Prince Boulevard to Interstate 185, south of Greenville. In 1961, construction started on another section, from Georgia state line to US 29, near Piedmont. In 1962, US 29 was removed from the entire existing section of Interstate 85 at that time.

By 1964, Interstate 85 was extended south from Fort Prince Boulevard to Interstate 185/US 29. Also, smaller sections were open: from the Georgia state line to Road 23 (exit 4) and from SC 24/SC 243 (exit 11) to US 178 (exit 21). By 1967, Interstate 85 was completed in the state.

In 1995, Interstate 85 was moved onto a new six-lane freeway north of its existing route near Spartanburg, from mile markers 69-77. The old alignment became Interstate 85 Business freeway loop. In 1998, exit 46B was added, connecting to Pleasantburg Drive (SC 291).[7]


Being a four-lane freeway since inception, the first widening to six-lanes (excluding the new freeway near Spartanburg) was completed in 1998, from US 276 to Interstate 385. By end of 2003, Interstate 85 was widened to 6-lanes from US 76/SC 28 (exit 19) north to US 221 (exit 78).


Exit list[edit]

County Location Mile[2] km Exit Destinations Notes
Tugaloo River /
Lake Hartwell
0.00 0.00 S. Earnest Vandiver Bridge
I‑85 south – Atlanta
Oconee   0.19 0.31 1 SC 11 north (Cherokee Foothills Scenic Highway) – Walhalla
Fair Play 2.29 3.69 2 SC 59 north – Fair Play, Seneca
Anderson 4.03 6.49 4 To SC 243 / Road 23 – Fair Play
  11.17 17.98 11 SC 24 to SC 243 – Anderson, Townville
  13.66 21.98 14 SC 187 – Pendleton, Clemson
  19.42 31.25 19 US 76 / SC 28 – Clemson, Anderson Signed as exits 19A (east) and 19B (west)
  20.64 33.22 21 US 178 – Anderson, Liberty
  27.14 43.68 27 SC 81 – Anderson
  31.78 51.14 32 SC 8 – Pelzer, Belton
  34.17 54.99 34 US 29 south – Williamston, Anderson South end of US 29 overlap; Southbound exit and northbound entrance
Piedmont 35.20 56.65 35 SC 86 – Piedmont, Easley
  38.93 62.65 39 River Road – Easley
  40.19 64.68 40 SC 153 – Easley
Greenville   41.88 67.40 42 I‑185 / US 29 north – Greenville, Columbia North end of US 29 overlap; south I-185 toll road
Greenville 42.75 68.80 44A SC 20 (Piedmont Highway) Southbound exit and northbound entrance
43.21 69.54 44B US 25 (White Horse Road)
45.33 72.95 46A Augusta Road
45.53 73.27 46B SC 291 (Pleasantburg Drive)
46.01 74.05 46C Mauldin Road
48.17 77.52 48 US 276 – Mauldin, Greenville Signed as exits 48A (east) and 48B (west)
50.37 81.06 51A SC 146 (Woodruff Road)
50.80 81.75 51 I‑385 – Columbia, Greenville Signed as exits 51B (south) and 51C (north)
  53.68 86.39 54 Pelham Road
Spartanburg Greer 55.96 90.06 56 SC 14 – Greer, Pelham Southbound exit combined with exit 57
56.83 91.46 57  Aviation Drive – GSP International Airport
57.24 92.12 58 Brockman McClimon Road
59.92 96.43 60 SC 101 – Woodruff, Greer
  63.32 101.90 63 SC 290 – Moore, Duncan
  65.89 106.04 66 US 29 – Spartanburg, Wellford, Lyman
  67.89 109.26 68 SC 129 west – Lyman
  68.71 110.58 69 I‑85 Bus. north – Spartanburg
  70.62 113.65 70 I‑26 – Columbia, Asheville
  72.48 116.65 72 US 176 to I‑585 – Spartanburg, Inman
Boiling Springs 74.87 120.49 75 SC 9 – Spartanburg, Boiling Springs
  77.35 124.48 77 I‑85 Bus. south – Spartanburg
  78.46 126.27 78 US 221 – Chesnee, Spartanburg
  79.80 128.43 80 Road 57, Gossett Road
  82.11 132.14 82 Frontage Road Northbound exit only
  83.38 134.19 83 SC 110 – Cowpens, Chesnee
Cherokee   86.58 139.34 87 Road 39, Green River Road
Gaffney 89.76 144.45 90 SC 105 south – Gaffney
92.18 148.35 92 SC 11 (Cherokee Foothills Scenic Highway) to SC 150 – Gaffney, Chesnee
94.75 152.49 95 SC 18 to SC 150 / Pleasant School Road – Gaffney, Boiling Springs
  96.10 154.66 96 SC 18 – Shelby
  98.04 157.78 98 Frontage Road Northbound exit only
  99.33 159.86 100 Blacksburg Highway
Blacksburg 101.97 164.10 102 SC 5 south / SC 198 east – Blacksburg, Rock Hill
  103.95 167.29 104 Road 99, Tribal Road
  105.67 170.06 106 US 29 – Blacksburg, Grover
State line 106.28 171.04 I‑85 north – Charlotte
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

Auxiliary routes in South Carolina[edit]

Interstate City Type Notes
Business Loop 85.svg Interstate 85 Business Spartanburg Business loop Freeway grade throughout
I-185.svg Interstate 185 Greenville Spur Enters into Greenville from the southwest, between I-85 and I-385 is toll road
I-385.svg Interstate 385 Greenville Spur Enters into Greenville from the east, connects I-85 with I-26 towards Columbia
I-585.svg Interstate 585 Spartanburg Spur Enters into Spartanburg from the northwest, via Interstate 85 Business; it does not connect directly to I-85

See also[edit]


References[edit]

External links[edit]

Route map: Google / Bing


Interstate 85
Previous state:
Georgia
South Carolina Next state:
North Carolina