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Interstate 475

A 15.83-mile-long bypass of Macon, I-475 is the preferred route around the Macon area, with six overall lanes and few exits, for long distance travelers between the Midwest and Florida. Interstate 475 emerged when plans for Interstate 75 between Forsyth and Perry shifted to incorporate a route through Macon. The route opened to traffic in 1967, four years before I-75 through Macon was completed.1,2

Interstate 475 was widened from four to six lanes from fall 1998 to early 2002 at cost of $46-million.3 Construction commencing in 2006 upgraded the single wye interchange at the south end of I-475 in conjunction with the addition of collector/distributor roadways linking both freeways with adjacent Hartley Bridge Road (Exit 155). The new northbound ramp to I-475 opened on July 9, 2009.4

The Interstate 475 designation was originally slated for metropolitan Atlanta along a north-south freeway running from Interstate 75 at Stockbridge to I-285 at Sandy Springs through Atlanta. The southern and northern segments of Interstate 475 were constructed as Interstate 675 and Georgia 400 respectively. The central segment, which later was rescinded into a loop from Downtown to Buckhead as I-485, was never constructed due to community opposition.

Interstate 475 north
Northbound Interstate 475 first meets U.S. 80 & Georgia 22 (Eisenhower Parkway) at Exit 3. U.S. 80 & Georgia 22 overlap 90.5 miles west from Macon to the Alabama state line at Columbus.
U.S. 80 is part of the Meridian, Mississippi to Savannah, Georgia High Priority Corridor 6. Photo taken 12/15/01.
A diamond interchange (Exit 3) joins Interstate 475 with U.S. 80 & Georgia 22 by the campus of Middle Georgia State College. The two highways travel 19 miles westward to U.S. 341 and Roberta. The corridor between Macon and Columbus is vastly rural. Photo taken 12/15/01.
Next in line for Interstate 475 north is the diamond interchange (Exit 5) with Georgia 74 (Thomaston Road). Georgia 74 comprises an L-shaped route 108 miles from Macon west to Woodbury and north to Peachtree City and Fairburn. Photo taken 12/15/01.
Traffic bound for Georgia 74 (Thomaston Road) departs Interstate 475 north. Georgia 74 travels 39 miles west from Exit 5 to the Upson County seat of Thomaston. The state route concludes 4.7 miles to the east at I-75 and Mercer University. Photo taken 12/15/01.
The last interchange within Bibb County connects Interstate 475 with Zebulon Road at Exit 9. Zebulon Road stems west from U.S. 41 & Georgia 19 (Forsyth Road) near Wesleyan College to leave the Macon suburbs for rural Monroe County. Photo taken 12/15/01.
Extending northwest through rural south Monroe County, the final Interstate 475 exit departs in one mile for U.S. 41 & Georgia 19 (Dixie Highway) at Bolingbroke. Photo taken 12/15/01.
Interstate 475 bends northward in preparation for the wye interchange with Interstate 75. U.S. 41 mirrors the Interstate 75 corridor to the west between Exit 15 and Forsyth. Photo taken 12/15/01.

0.75 miles of Interstate 475 remains beyond the Exit 15 off-ramp to U.S. 41 (Dixie Highway). Ahead the west Macon bypass returns to Interstate 75 northbound en route to Atlanta. Photo taken 12/15/01.
The northern conclusion of Interstate 475 consists of a left-hand merge onto Interstate 75 north. As Interstate 475 is regarded as the main through route, Interstate 75 in effect merges onto Interstate 475. Photo taken 12/15/01.
Two Interstate 475 end shields reside at the merge onto Interstate 75. Downtown Atlanta is a 72-mile drive north along I-75. Photo taken 12/15/01.
Interstate 475 south
A Begin shield assembly for Interstate 475 lies just beyond the Exit 177 gore point of Interstate 75 south. Photo taken 08/07/13.
U.S. 41 (Dixie Highway), which has stayed west of Interstate 75 since Atlanta, turns east to cross paths with Interstate 475 along side a Norfolk Southern Railroad line at Bolingbroke. Photo taken 08/07/13.
A folded-diamond interchange (Exit 15) facilitates the movements between Interstate 75 and U.S. 41 (Dixie Highway) on the south side of the NS Railroad line. U.S. 41 winds six miles west by a quarry to Smarr while entering the Macon area via Bolingbroke and the northwest suburbs. Photo taken 08/07/13.
Motorists continuing south back to Interstate 75 reach Perry in 35 miles and Valdosta in 156 miles. Estes Road passes over I-475 in the distance. Photo taken 08/07/13.
Traffic cameras line both sides of the freeway throughout the entire route of Interstate 475. 30 of these cameras provide traveler information via the Georgia 511 web site. Photo taken 08/07/13.
Interstate 475 angles southeast into Bibb County west of the railroad siding of Lorane. Photo taken 08/07/13.
The first of three exits for Macon lies one mile ahead with Zebulon Road at the Plantation Centre retail complex. Photo taken 08/07/13.
Zebulon Road branches west from U.S. 41 & Georgia 19 (Forsyth Road) near Wesleyan College to meet Interstate 475 at a commercialized diamond interchange (Exit 9). Photo taken 08/07/13.
Southbound I-475 at the Exit 9 off-ramp to Zebulon Road. Zebulon Road advances westward by a handful of outer suburbs through to rural forest land at Shi Road. Use Exit 9 east to U.S. 41 & GA 19 south for the Macon Museum of Arts and Sciences. Photo taken 08/07/13.
A reassurance marker for Interstate 475 resides at the on-ramp from Zebulon Road. Sound walls line the freeway west side, separating I-475 from parallel Greentree Parkway and the Lake Wildwood area suburbs. Photo taken 05/29/05.
A north side rest area lies south of the Peake Road overpass and north of Rocky Creek. Photo taken 05/29/05.
Georgia 74, a 108-mile route between Fairburn and I-75 in Macon, crosses paths with Interstate 475 at a diamond interchange (Exit 5) in one mile. Photo taken 08/07/13.
Heading east from Exit 5, Georgia 74 winds through an industrial park area to overtake Columbus Road (former U.S. 80) east to Mercer University Drive and Macon Mall. Photo taken 08/07/13.
Beyond the outer suburbs of Macon by Lake Wildwood, Georgia 74 (Thomaston Road) traverses rural environs by Tobesofkee Recreation Area on the 42-mile drive to the Upson County seat of Thomaston. Photo taken 08/07/13.
Interstate 475 reaches the far western limits of Macon at U.S. 80 & Georgia 22 (Eisenhower Parkway) and adjacent Middle Georgia State College. Photo taken 08/07/13.
U.S. 80 & Georgia 22 shifted southward from an alignment along Columbus Road (Mercer University Drive) and Montpelier Avenue to Eisenhower Parkway in 1972. Now a divided commercial arterial, Eisenhower Parkway heads east to Macon Mall, Central Georgia Technical College and Broadway (U.S. 129) south of Downtown. The parkway is proposed to extend eastward to Interstate 16. Photo taken 08/07/13.
Entering the diamond interchange (Exit 3) with U.S. 80 & Georgia 22 (Eisenhower Parkway) along Interstate 475 south. The Exit 3 overhead was missing by 2009 and replaced by 2012.
U.S. 80 joins Macon with Roberta and Columbus to the west as part of a 300-mile cross state route beginning at Tybee Island on the Atlantic Ocean. Photo taken 05/29/05. Second photo taken 08/07/13.
The final shield for Interstate 475 south. The freeway straddles a residential area of southwest Macon to the east and the Tobesofkee Creek swamp area to the west. Photo taken 08/07/13.
Construction between 2006 and 2009 added a distributor roadway from both Interstates 75 and 475 south to Hartley Bridge Road (former Georgia 361). The new ramp departs from I-475 just ahead of its merge onto I-75 south. Photo taken 08/07/13.
Hartley Bridge Road meanders east from rural areas of Crawford County to meet Interstate 75 at a revamped partial-cloverleaf interchange west of Skipperton. Photo taken 08/07/13.
Before reconstruction of the wye interchange with I-75, motorists weaved with mainline Interstate 75 traffic ahead of the Exit 155 off-ramp to Hartley Bridge Road. Now Exit 1 combines with the distributor roadway to separate local and through traffic. Photo taken 05/29/05.
Exit 1 departs Interstate 475 south for Hartley Bridge Road. Hartley Bridge Road was expanded to an arterial above I-75 as commercial development and adjacent I-75 Business Park grow. The east-west road was a part of Georgia 361, from Mt. Pleasant Church Road to U.S. 41 & Georgia 11, until 1982. Photo taken 08/07/13.
Crossing over the Exit 155 distributor roadway, drivers return to Interstate 75 to expand the freeway to five southbound lanes. Photo taken 08/07/13.
End shields line both sides of the Interstate 475 southbound conclusion. Photo taken 08/07/13.
A historical look at the two-lane end of Interstate 475 south. Three lanes now join I-75 here, with traffic to Exit 155 segregated from the mainline by this point. Photo taken 05/29/05.
Scenes Pertaining to Interstate 475
Long since replaced, this shield assembly preceded the diamond interchange along Georgia 74 (Thomaston Road) west at Interstate 475. Photo taken 12/15/01.
Shields that were posted along U.S. 41 & Georgia 19 (Dixie Highway) north at the loop ramp for I-475 north to I-75 north at Bolingbroke. Their replacement omits the trailblazer for I-75. Photo taken 12/15/01.

Sources:

  1. "10 events that shaped our region." Macon Telegraph, September 30, 2012.
  2. "I-475 NOISE CONCERNS RESIDENTS DOT HEARS CONCERNS ABOUT INTERSTATE WIDENING PROJECT." Macon Telegraph, April 15, 1998.
  3. "INTERSTATES OVERHAUL PLANNED FOR MACON." Macon Telegraph, April 15, 1998.
  4. "I-75 exit to I-475 at Hartley Bridge opens." Macon Telegraph, July 10, 2009.
Photo Credits:
  • 2001-12-15 by AARoads.
  • 2005-05-29 by AARoads and Carter Buchanan.
  • 2013-08-07 by AARoads.

Connect with:
Interstate 75

Page Updated 12-13-2013.

 
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