Interstate 85 in Georgia

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Interstate 85 marker

Interstate 85
I-85 highlighted in red
Route information
Maintained by GDOT
Length179.9 mi[2] (289.5 km)
Existed1960[1]–present
Major junctions
South end I-85 at the Alabama state line
 
North end I-85 at the South Carolina state line
Location
CountiesHarris, Troup, Meriwether, Coweta, Fulton, Clayton, DeKalb, Gwinnett, Barrow, Jackson, Banks, Franklin, Hart
Highway system
  • Georgia State Routes
SR 84SR 85
SR 402SR 403SR 404

Interstate 85 (I-85) is a major Interstate Highway that travels northeast-to-southwest in the U.S. state of Georgia. It enters the state at the Alabama state line near West Point, and Lanett, Alabama, traveling through the Atlanta metropolitan area and to the South Carolina state line, where it crosses the Savannah River near Lake Hartwell. I-85 connects northern Georgia with Montgomery, Alabama, to the southwest, and with South Carolina, North Carolina, and Virginia to the northeast. Within Georgia, I-85 is also designated as the unsigned State Route 403 (SR 403).

I-85 in Georgia usually travels roughly parallel with the route of U.S. Route 29 (US 29). However, from Atlanta northeast to South Carolina, I-85 ventures away from that route, traveling about halfway between US 29 and the combination of US 23 and US 123.

Within the City of Atlanta, I-85 has a concurrency with I-75 known as the "Downtown Connector". After splitting from Downtown Connector, it is known as Northeast Expressway until its junction with I-285 (Atlanta's perimeter).

Route description[edit]

Alabama state line to Interstate 185[edit]

I-85 undergoing repairs near the Alabama state line

I-85 enters the state of Georgia from Alabama via twin bridges over the Chattahoochee River, and then it immediately skirts the town of West Point, with Kia's multibillion-dollar plant located adjacent to the freeway just east of West Point. After leaving West Point, I-85 enters the LaGrange area, the first large town in Georgia on its route to the northeast. Northeast of LaGrange, I-85 has an interchange with the long spur freeway, I-185, to the Columbus, Georgia Metropolitan Area. This is the only connection between Columbus and the Interstate Highway System.

From Interstate 185 through Atlanta[edit]

From LaGrange, I-85 heads northeastward towards Atlanta. Before reaching Atlanta, the highway runs through a recently widened stretch that includes six to eight lanes between exits 35 and 77, passing near the suburbs of Moreland, Newnan, Fairburn, Union City, College Park and East Point as well as intersecting I-285 at its southwest end and providing access to Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. I-85 then runs along the northwestern boundary of the airport, providing access to the domestic terminal. (This airport is bounded on all sides by I-85, I-75, and I-285, all of which provide highway access to the airport.)

At the southwestern edge of Atlanta's city limits, I-85 merges with I-75 to form the Downtown Connector, which is 12 to 14 lanes wide. At the southern edge of downtown Atlanta, this freeway has an interchange with the major east-west Interstate Highway, I-20. The two freeways then skirt the eastern edge of downtown, running due north, passing through the Georgia Tech campus and the Atlantic Station section of Atlanta before the two highways split, with I-75 exits via the right three lanes and then heads northwest while I-85 uses the left three lanes and then heads northeast.

I-75 and I-85 signs near downtown Atlanta

Atlanta to South Carolina state line[edit]

Heading northbound after the Brookwood Interchange with I-75, I-85 is routed along a ten lane wide viaduct from the Buford Highway Connector (exit 86) to State Route 400 (SR 400, exit 87). Continuing northeast of Atlanta, I-85 continues through the northeastern suburbs, bypassing Chamblee and Doraville, where there is another intersection with I-285 (nicknamed Spaghetti Junction). The Interstate then travels through the northeastern suburbs of Atlanta, including Lilburn, Duluth, Lawrenceville. The Interstate has freeway interchanges with SR 316 in Duluth and I-985 in Suwanee, which provides a link to Gainesville. I-85 then leaves the Atlanta area, continuing to travel through rural northeast Georgia. At Lake Hartwell—which was formed by the damming of the Savannah River—I-85 crosses into South Carolina.

Express lanes[edit]

I-85 has the first express lanes in Georgia, located in Gwinnett and DeKalb counties; they were originally HOV lanes. From Chamblee–Tucker Road (exit 94) to Old Peachtree Road (exit 109), travelers that utilize the converted 15.5-mile (24.9 km) lanes will be charged a toll varying from 10 to 90 cents per mile (6.2–55.9 ¢/km), depending on traffic conditions and usage. Though not signed on the freeway, they are HOT lanes, which means registered transport vehicles, carpools with three or more occupants, motorcycles, and buses are exempt from toll charges as long as they are registered as such.[3] Tolls are collected using an electronic toll collection system. All travelers that use the lane must have a Peach Pass sticker to avoid fines.[4][5] Starting in November 2014, SunPass (Florida) and NC Quick Pass (North Carolina) are interoperable with Peach Pass, allowing motorists with those transponders to use the express lanes.

Funds generated from the express lanes will be used to defray the costs of construction, operations and maintenance of the lanes. Long term revenue allocation is being studied and a decision about future excess revenues will be made later in the project process.[6]

Proponents for the express lanes say it is to provide commuters with a more reliable, free-flow commute option; complement the state’s multi-modal approach to managing traffic demand; and establish the vision for a future system of HOT lanes in the region.[4] Detractors point out that existing infrastructure was reused for the express lanes and that commute times on the non-paying travel lanes have doubled since implementation.[7][8]

History[edit]

Interstate 75 co-signed with Interstate 85 in Downtown Atlanta

Originally constructed as a four- to six-lane expressway in the 1950s, the stretch of I-85 between the southern merge with I-75 and North Druid Hills Road was reconstructed as part of the Georgia Department of Transportation's Freeing the Freeways program. This project included rebuilding all overpasses, new HOV-ready ramps (with the system implemented in 1996), and a widening of freeway capacity. Concurrent with this project was the construction of the Civic Center MARTA Station as part of the West Peachtree Street overpass, which opened in December 1981.

The 30-mile (48 km) section between LaGrange and Newnan was incomplete for a much-longer time that the rest of I-85 in Georgia and required a two-lane detour on Hwy 27 & Hwy 29 between those cities. The northern section between Newnan and Grantville was completed first, then the stretch further south to LaGrange was completed in 1977.[9]

The portion of the highway from the Buford Highway Connector to SR 400 was constructed during the early 1980s, and was designed as a replacement for the original four-lane routing of I-85 (now SR 13). In addition, the new viaduct was designed to accommodate connections to the SR 400 tollway (then in planning), HOV lanes, and a bridge carrying the MARTA North Line (then under construction).[10]

Until 2000, the state of Georgia used the sequential interchange numbering system on all of its Interstate Highways. The first exit on each highway would begin with the number 1 and increase numerically with each exit. In 2000, the Georgia Department of Transportation switched to a mileage-based exit system, in which the exit number corresponded to the nearest milepost.[11][12]

On October 1, 2011, GDOT converted the 16.0-mile (25.7 km) HOV lanes in Northern Atlanta into express/HOT lanes.[4]

From Atlanta, I-85 north was originally slated to be built through the city of Athens to provide an easy link between the capital city and the University of Georgia. However, then-Gov. Ernest Vandiver worked to make sure the highway traversed his home county of Franklin, a stretch that now bears his name. At the time, he promised equivalent access for Athens and Gainesville.[13] It was not until the completion of SR 316 in the 1990s that there was finally a relatively quick, multi-lane expressway connecting Athens and Atlanta,[citation needed] (US 78 is also multi-lane between Athens and Atlanta but it is not expressway-grade) although SR 316 still is largely at-grade.

On March 30, 2017, a fire started at approximately 6:15 p.m. in a storage area under the highway along Piedmont Road in the Piedmont Heights area of Midtown Atlanta. This caused the collapse of a 100-foot (30 m) section of I-85 northbound. The highway in both directions needed to be demolished and replaced. According to the Georgia Department of Transportation, the work was completed ahead of schedule. Both the north and south bound portions of the interstate were open by May 15, 2017, a month ahead of expectations.[14]

Exit list[edit]

CountyLocationmikmOld exitNew exitDestinationsNotes
Harris0.000.00 I-85 south – Lanett, MontgomeryContinuation into Alabama over the Chattahoochee River
TroupWest Point12 SR 18 – West Point, Pine Mountain
6KIA BoulevardKia Car Plant
213 SR 219 – LaGrangeTo Pegasus Parkway, an industrial and recreational bypass around Downtown LaGrange
LaGrange314 US 27 (SR 1) – LaGrange
418 SR 109 – Greenville, Warm Springs, LaGrange
521 I-185 south (SR 411) – ColumbusTo Fort Benning
Hogansville628 SR 54 / SR 100 – Hogansville, Luthersville
Meriwether
No major junctions
CowetaGrantville735 US 29 (SR 14) – Grantville, Moreland
Newnan841 US 27 Alt. / US 29 – Newnan, Moreland, GreenvilleTo SR 16
44Poplar RoadExpected to be completed February 2019; to Piedmont Newnan Hospital
947 SR 34 – Newnan, Peachtree City, ShenandoahTo business district
1051 SR 154 (McCollum-Sharpsburg Road)
1156Collinsworth Road – Palmetto, Tyrone
FultonFairburn1261 SR 74 – Fairburn, Peachtree City
Union City1364 SR 138 – Union City, Jonesboro
College Park1466Flat Shoals RoadTo Georgia Military College
1568 I-285 (Atlanta Bypass / SR 407) – Birmingham, Chattanooga, International Terminal, MaconNorthbound exit and southbound entrance; split into I-285 north (Birmingham, Chattanooga) and I-285 east (International Terminal, Macon); temporary detour route to I-85 north[15]
16A69A SR 14 Conn. (South Fulton Parkway)
College Park16B69B SR 279 (Old National Highway)
1770 I-285 (Atlanta Bypass / SR 407) – Macon, Birmingham, ChattanoogaSouthbound exit and northbound entrance; to International Terminal
Clayton1871 SR 139 (Riverdale Road) – Domestic
FultonCollege Park18A72 To SR 6 west (Camp Creek Parkway) – Air Cargo, Domestic
East Point1973Virginia Avenue – Air Cargo, College ParkSigned as exits 73A (east) and 73B (west) northbound
2074 Loop Road – InternationalSouthbound exit and northbound entrance
Hapeville2175Sylvan Road / Central Avenue – Hapeville
Atlanta2276Cleveland Avenue – East PointTo Atlanta Technical College
2377 US 19 / US 41 / SR 3 (Metropolitan Parkway)Southbound exit and northbound entrance
2477 SR 166 (Langford Parkway)Northbound exit and southbound entrance
87 I-75 south (SR 401) – International, MaconSouthern end of I-75/SR 295 concurrency along the Downtown Connector; southern terminus of SR 295; freeway uses I-75 mileposts and exit numbers; HOV lanes to and from I-75 to the south (no HOV ramps to or from I-85 to the south).
88243 SR 166 (Langford Parkway) – East Point
89244University Avenue / Pryor Street
90245Abernathy Boulevard / Capitol Avenue – Georgia State StadiumNorthbound exit and southbound entrance
91246Fulton Street / Central Avenue – Georgia State University, Georgia State Stadium
92247 I-20 (Ralph D. Abernathy Freeway / SR 402) – Augusta, Birmingham
Memorial DriveHOV ramps for northbound exit and southbound entrance
93248AML King Jr. Drive – State Capitol, Georgia State StadiumSouthbound exit and northbound entrance
94248BEdgewood Avenue, Auburn Avenue, J.W. Dobbs AvenueNorthbound exit and southbound entrance
96248C SR 10 east (Freedom Parkway) / Andrew Young International Boulevard – Carter CenterWestern terminus of SR 10
95248DJesse Hill Drive, J.W. Dobbs Avenue, Edgewood AvenueSouthbound exit and northbound entrance
PiedmontHOV ramps for northbound exit and southbound entrance
97249ACourtland Street – Georgia State UniversitySouthbound exit only
98249BPine Street, Peachtree Street – Civic CenterNorthbound exit only
99249CWilliams Street – World Congress Center, Mercedes-Benz Stadium, AquariumNo northbound exit; additional HOV ramps for southbound exit and northbound entrance
100249D US 19 / US 29 (Spring Street / West Peachtree Street)Northbound exit and southbound entrance
100249D US 29 / US 78 / US 278 / SR 8 (North Avenue) – Georgia TechSouthbound exit and northbound entrance
10125010th Street, 14th Street – Georgia TechNorthbound exit and southbound entrance
251A17th Street – MidtownNorthbound exit only
268417th Street, 14th Street, 10th StreetSouthbound exit only, to Georgia Tech
2785 I-75 north (SR 401) – Marietta, ChattanoogaNorthern end of I-75/SR 295 concurrency along the Downtown Connector; southern terminus of SR 295
2886 SR 13 north (Buford Hwy)Northbound exit and southbound entrance; southern terminus of SR 13
Lindbergh DriveHOV-only ramps; southbound exit and northbound entrance
2987 SR 400 north – Buckhead, CummingNorthbound exit and southbound entrance; southern terminus of SR 400
2886 SR 400 north / SR 13 south – Buckhead, Cumming, to Peachtree StreetSouthbound exit and northbound entrance; southern terminus of SR 400
3088Cheshire Bridge Road / Lenox RoadSouthbound exit and northbound entrance
DeKalbNorth Atlanta3189 SR 42 (North Druid Hills Road)To Oglethorpe University
3291 US 23 / SR 155 (Clairmont Road)To DeKalb-Peachtree Airport and Emory University
Doraville3393Shallowford Road – DoravilleTo Briarcliff Road
Chamblee3494Chamblee–Tucker Road, Mercer University
3595 I-285 (Atlanta Bypass / SR 407) – Augusta, Macon, Chattanooga, BirminghamSigned as exits 95A (east, Macon, Augusta) and 95B (west, Chattanooga, Birmingham) southbound
3696Northcrest Road / Pleasantdale Road
GwinnettNorcross3799 SR 140 west (Jimmy Carter Boulevard)Eastern terminus of SR 140
38101Indian Trail–Lilburn Road
Lilburn39102 SR 378 (Beaver Ruin Road) – Lilburn
39A103Steve Reynolds BoulevardNorthbound exit and southbound entrance
40104Pleasant Hill RoadGwinnett Place Mall
Lawrenceville42105 SR 120 – Duluth, LawrencevilleNorthbound exit only
Lawrenceville41106 SR 316 east – Lawrenceville, AthensNo southbound exit; additional northbound exit and southbound entrance ramps for direct HOT/express lane access; western terminus of SR 316
Lawrenceville42107 SR 120 to SR 316 east / Boggs Road – Duluth, LawrencevilleSouthbound exit only
108Sugarloaf ParkwaySouthbound exit is combined with exit 109.
43109Old Peachtree Road
44111 SR 317 north – SuwaneeSouthern terminus of SR 317
Buford45113 I-985 north (SR 365 north / SR 419 north)Northbound exit and southbound entrance, to Buford Dam and Lake Lanier Islands; left exit northbound; southern terminus of I-985/SR 365/SR 419
Lawrenceville46115 SR 20 – Lawrenceville, BufordTo Mall of Georgia
47120Hamilton Mill Road / Hamilton Mill Parkway
BarrowBraselton48126 SR 211 – Winder
Jackson49129 SR 53 – Braselton, Hoschton, WinderTo Michelin Raceway
Jefferson50137 US 129 / SR 11 – Gainesville, Jefferson
51140 SR 82 (Dry Pond Road / Holly Springs Road)
Commerce52147 SR 98 – Commerce, Maysville
BanksCommerce53149 US 441 – Commerce, Homer, Banks CrossingTo Atlanta Dragway
Commerce54154 SR 63 (Martin Bridge Road) – Toccoa
Franklin55160 SR 51 – Homer, Franklin Springs, Royston, Elberton
56164 SR 320 – Carnesville
57166 SR 106 / SR 145 – Carnesville, Toccoa
Lavonia58173 SR 17 – Lavonia, Toccoa, Elberton
HartLake Hartwell59177 SR 77 south – Hartwell, Lake HartwellNorthern terminus of SR 77
179.15288.31 I-85 north – Greenville, CharlotteContinuation into South Carolina over the Tugaloo River and Lake Hartwell
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

Auxiliary routes[edit]

There are three auxiliary Interstate Highways of I-85 within Georgia and a fourth that was proposed, and then cancelled. I-185 is a spur from Lagrange to Columbus. It mainly provides a freeway between the Columbus and Atlanta metropolitan areas. I-285 is a heavily traveled beltway around Atlanta, which helps I-75 and I-85 drivers to bypass the city. I-485 was a short freeway in Atlanta (now Freedom Parkway) that was incomplete for many years and then decommissioned due to local opposition. Also, I-985 is a spur from I-85 to Gainesville.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ State Highway Department of Georgia (1960). State Highway System and Other Principal Connection Roads (PDF) (Map) (1960–1961 ed.). Scale not given. Atlanta: State Highway Department of Georgia. OCLC 5673161. Retrieved July 12, 2016. (Corrected to June 1, 1960.)
  2. ^ Adderly, Kevin (January 27, 2016). "Table 1: Main Routes of the Dwight D. Eisenhower National System of Interstate and Defense Highways as of December 31, 2015". Route Log and Finder List. Federal Highway Administration. Retrieved May 5, 2016.
  3. ^ Georgia Department of Public Safety. "I-85 Express Lanes (HOT Lanes)". Georgia Department of Public Safety. Retrieved February 26, 2017.
  4. ^ a b c Georgia Department of Transportation. "I-85 Express Lanes". Georgia Department of Transportation. Archived from the original on September 22, 2011. Retrieved November 19, 2011.
  5. ^ "100,000th Peach Pass Issued for Controversial HOT Lanes". The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Archived from the original on November 4, 2011. Retrieved November 19, 2011.
  6. ^ Georgia Department of Transportation. "I-85 Express Lanes: FAQ". Georgia Department of Transportation. Archived from the original on October 14, 2011. Retrieved November 19, 2011.
  7. ^ McKee, Don. "Commuters getting hot about HOT lanes in metro Atlanta". The Marietta Daily Journal. Archived from the original on July 12, 2012. Retrieved November 19, 2011.
  8. ^ "HOT Lane Unhappiness: Some Drivers Say Congestion Worse". The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Archived from the original on October 30, 2011. Retrieved November 19, 2011.
  9. ^ "I-85 completed between LaGrange & Grantville".[full citation needed]
  10. ^ "State Route 13 Page". Peach State Roads. Archived from the original on May 23, 2007. Retrieved May 27, 2007.[self-published source]
  11. ^ Georgia Department of Transportation. "Georgia's Interstate Exit Numbers". Georgia Department of Transportation. Archived from the original on March 29, 2002. Retrieved April 30, 2007.
  12. ^ Georgia Department of Transportation. "Interstate 20 Exit Renumbering Page". Georgia Department of Transportation. Archived from the original on June 5, 2002. Retrieved April 30, 2007.
  13. ^ Lavender, Rick. "Interstate 85 Through Hall? It Very Nearly Was Gov. Ernest Vandiver Redirected Highway Plans in 1950s". The Times. Gainesville, GA. Retrieved May 5, 2016.
  14. ^ Georgia Department of Transportation (April 4, 2017). "Georgia DOT Aims to Reopen I-85 by June 15" (Press release). Georgia Department of Transportation. Retrieved April 6, 2017.
  15. ^ "I-85 Bridge Collapse in Atlanta: What We Know, How to Detour Around Damages". USA Today. October 20, 2016. Retrieved March 31, 2017.

External links[edit]

Route map:

KML is from Wikidata


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