Interstate 85 in South Carolina
I-85 highlighted in red
|Maintained by SCDOT|
|Length||106.28 mi (171.04 km)|
|South end||I-85 at Georgia state line|
| I-185 near 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|
|Counties||Oconee, Anderson, Greenville, Spartanburg, Cherokee|
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.
Georgia state line to Greenville
Interstate 85 enters South Carolina along the Vandiver Bridge, from Georgia, crossing over Tugaloo River/Lake Hartwell. It is immediately followed by exit 1, where the Welcome Center and the start of the Cherokee Foothills National Scenic Highway (SC 11) are located. 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
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
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). 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. 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.
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).
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).
|Tugaloo River /|
|0.00||0.00||I-85 south (SR 403) – Atlanta||Continuation into Georgia|
|S. Earnest Vandiver Bridge; Georgia–South Carolina state line|
|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|
|Powdersville||38.93||62.65||39||River Road – Piedmont|
|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)|
|45.53||73.27||46B||SC 291 (Pleasantburg Drive)|
|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)|
|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||Eastbound entrance at exit 96|
|||96.10||154.66||96||SC 18 – Shelby|
|||98.04||157.78||98||Frontage Road||Northbound exit only|
|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|
|||106.28||171.04||I-85 north – Charlotte||Continuation into North Carolina|
|1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi|
Auxiliary routes in South Carolina
|Interstate 85 Business||Spartanburg||Business loop||Freeway grade throughout|
|Interstate 185||Greenville||Spur||Enters into Greenville from the southwest, between I-85 and I-385 is toll road|
|Interstate 385||Greenville||Spur||Enters into Greenville from the east, connects I-85 with I-26 towards Columbia|
|Interstate 585||Spartanburg||Spur||Enters into Spartanburg from the northwest, via Interstate 85 Business; it does not connect directly to I-85|
- "Table 1: Main Routes of the Dwight D. Eisenhower National System Of Interstate and Defense Highways". Route Log and Finder List. Federal Highway Administration. October 31, 2002. Retrieved January 22, 2013.
- "STATEWIDE HIGHWAYS 2012". South Carolina Department of Transportation. 2012. Retrieved January 22, 2013.
- "HMdb.org: Vandiver Bridge". Retrieved February 10, 2013.
- "Interstate 85@Interstate-Guide.com". Retrieved February 10, 2013.
- "Gaffney, South Carolina: Graveyard in the I-85 Median". Retrieved February 10, 2013.
- "Google Street View of I-85 from SB Welcome Center to SC/NC Line". Google Maps. Retrieved 4 October 2014.
- "Mapmikey's South Carolina Highways Page: Interstate 85". Retrieved February 10, 2013.[unreliable source]
- Media related to Interstate 85 in South Carolina at Wikimedia Commons
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