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The Highways of South Carolina I-85 
< I-77 | Home | I-95>
I-185 | I-385 | I-585
I-85
From: Georgia State Line below Fair Play (Oconee County)
To: North Carolina State Line near Blacksburg (Cherokee County).
Nationally, I-85 runs from I-65/US 82 Montgomery, AL to I-95/US 460 Petersburg, VA.
Total Length: 106.4 miles  
ROUTE LOG
GA STATE LINE: 0 - 0
EXIT 1 - SC 11: 0.5 - 0.5
EXIT 2 - SC 59: 1.8 - 2.3
Anderson-Oconee Line: 1.6 - 3.9
EXIT 4 - S-4-23: 0.1 - 4
EXIT 11 - SC 24, SC 243: 7.1 - 11.1
EXIT 14 - SC 187: 2.5 - 13.6
EXIT 19 - US 76, SC 28: 5.7 - 19.3
EXIT 21 - US 178: 1.2 - 20.5
EXIT 27 - SC 81: 6.5 - 27
EXIT 32 - SC 8: 4.6 - 31.6
EXIT 34 - US 29 SB: 2.5 - 34.1
EXIT 35 - SC 86: 1 - 35.1
EXIT 39 - S-4-143: 3.8 - 38.9
EXIT 40 - SC 153: 1.2 - 40.1
Greenville-Anderson Line: 0.4 - 40.5
EXIT 42 - I-185 (exit 14), US 29 NB: 1.4 - 41.9
EXIT 43 - SC 20: 0.7 - 42.6
EXIT 44 - US 25: 0.4 - 43
EXIT 46A (old exit 45) - S-23-1? (old US 25): 2.1 - 45.1
EXIT 46B - SC 291: 0.3 - 45.4
EXIT 46C (old exit 46) - S-23-107: 0.4 - 45.8
EXIT 48 - US 276: 2.2 - 48
EXIT 50 - SC 146: 2.1 - 50.1
EXIT 51 - I-385 (exit 36): 0.3 - 50.4
EXIT 54 - S-23-492: 3 - 53.4
Spartanburg-Greenville Line: 2.1 - 55.5
EXIT 56 - SC 14: 0.1 - 55.6
EXIT 57 - Greenville-Spartanburg Airport: 0.8 - 56.4
EXIT 60 - SC 101: 3.5 - 59.9
EXIT 63 - SC 290: 3.4 - 63.3
EXIT 66 - US 29: 2.6 - 65.9
EXIT 68 - SC 129: 2.1 - 68
EXIT 69 - I-85 Bus: 1.5 - 69.5
EXIT 70 - I-26 (exit 18): 1.2 - 70.7
EXIT 72 - US 176: 1.8 - 72.5
EXIT 75 - SC 9: 2.7 - 75.2
EXIT 77 - I-85 Bus: 2.4 - 77.6
EXIT 78 - US 221: 0.5 - 78.1
EXIT 80 (old exit 79) - S-42-57: 1.4 - 79.5
EXIT 83 - SC 110: 3.5 - 83
Cherokee-Spartanburg Line: 0.6 - 83.6
EXIT 87 (old exit 86) - S-11-39: 3.1 - 86.7
EXIT 90 - SC 105: 3.2 - 89.9
EXIT 92 - SC 11: 2.4 - 92.3
EXIT 95 - SC 18: 2.6 - 94.9
EXIT 96 - SC 18: 1.3 - 96.2
EXIT 100 (old exit 99) - SC 5: 3.3 - 99.5
EXIT 102 - SC 198: 2.6 - 102.1
EXIT 104 - S-11-99: 2 - 104.1
EXIT 106 (old exit 105) - US 29: 1.8 - 105.9
NC STATE LINE: 0.5 - 106.4
Creation: I-85 first appeared on the 1959 Official Map. It was shown as open from today's SC 129 exit north to the NC State line, which was a multiplex on the same road as US 29, which was built a few years prior. The 1959 map also shows I-85 as under construction from I-185 north to today's SC 129.
Adjustments: By 1961, I-85 was shown as under construction from the Georgia line north to US 29 SB in Anderson County.
Between 1962-64, I-85 was opened from SC 129 south to the Anderson-Greenville Line, plus also from Georgia to S-4-23, plus open from SC 24-243 north to US 178.
Between 1965-67, I-85 was 100% open in South Carolina.
In 1995, I-85 was placed on new freeway routing north around Spartanburg, from near SC 129 to near US 221. The old freeway closer to Spartanburg became I-85 Bus.
Improvements: 4 lane freeway at inception. IIRC, only a short piece around the US 276 to I-385 area was 6-laned by 1988.
Benjamin Ingram reports that I-85 was 6-laned from US 29 Anderson County north past Spartanburg in Fall 2001, with the last segment worked on being SC 14 to SC 129.
He also reports that around 2003, I-85 was 6-laned from US 29 Anderson County south to US 76-SC 28.
The only exit that has been added to I-85 (not counting the new Spartanburg bypass) is the one for SC 291, which appeared between 1998-2000.
I believe some exits have been eliminated north of Spartanburg, which were accesses to frontage roads.
Comment: I-85, unlike I-95, is very busy in South Carolina, serving Greenville, Spartanburg, and Anderson, as well as larger towns like Gaffney and Greer.
The famous Gaffney Peach Water tower is right along I-85 SB just after SC 11. Legend has it that it is mooning Charlotte.
Although I-85 has been modernized in a number of locations, the stretch from US 221 to the NC State Line contains examples of what early interstates were like. This is partly because the road itself dates back to the early 50s. When I drove this frequently in the late 80's it seemed really ancient (most of the bridges were still original then).
I-85 received its exit numbers in 1976. Some of the exits north of Spartanburg have been renumbered because of the slightly longer length added on the Spartanburg Bypass.
I-85 blows off SC 56 and SC 150, although SC 150 gets mentioned on BGS's at the SC 11 exit (NB) and the SC 18 exit (SB). The exit at SC 20 is a partial interchange, with entry only to I-85 NB and exit only from I-85 SB.
I-85 Bus
From: I-85 near Wellford (Spartanburg County)
To: I-85 near Cherokee Springs (Spartanburg County).
Total Length: 6.9 miles  
ROUTE LOG
I-85 (exit 69): 0 - 0
EXIT 1 (old exit 69) - S-42-41: 0.3 - 0.3
EXIT 2 (old exit 70) - I-26 (exit 19): 0.9 - 1.2
EXIT 2C (old exit 71) - S-42-525: 0.3 - 1.5
EXIT 3 (old exit 72A) - SC 295: 1 - 2.5
EXIT 4 (old exit 72B) - SC 56: 0.9 - 3.4
EXIT 5 (old exit 73) - I-585 (exit 23), US 176: 0.6 - 4
EXIT 6 (old exit 75) - SC 9: 1.1 - 5.1
EXIT 7 (old exit 76) - S-42-191: 1.3 - 6.4
I-85 (exit 77): 0.5 - 6.9
Creation: I-85 Business appeared in 1995 as a renumbering of mainline I-85 which was moved to a new freeway further north of Spartanburg.
Adjustments: None
Improvements: 4 lane freeway at inception. IIRC, there are no 6-lane parts to this.
Comment: I-85 Business is a very narrow, substandard freeway. Several of the exits involve frontage road accesses first - the design en vogue in the early 1950s, when the road was actually built as a US 29 bypass.
This road was proposed by Spartanburg Civic leaders to be I-685 in 2000, but this proposal was turned down.
I-85 Bus is famous for being the endpoint of I-585, although the I-585 NB to I-85 Bus NB movement does not currently exist. That whole intersection is being rebuilt to modern standards.
Another oddity is the interchange at SC 56. The freeway passes directly overtop Hearon Circle which was the previous US 29 Bypass-US 176 jct. with two bridges as it passes over the boundaries of the circle.

Last Update: 30 September 2005

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