Interstate 20

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Traveling 202 miles across the state, Interstate 20 bisects the Atlanta metropolitan area with six overall lanes between Exits 24 (Villa Rica) and 93 (Covington). Outside of Atlanta, its suburbs and Augusta, the freeway carries four lanes with a 70 mile per hour speed limit through hilly swaths of pine forest. Through Atlanta the freeway swells to ten overall lanes with an HOV-2 lane in each direction between Exits 59A and 67. 2007-09 roadwork also expanded Interstate 20 to six lanes between Wheeler Road (Exit 195) and River Watch Parkway (Exit 200) in Augusta.

Interstate 20 through Atlanta underwent expansion and reconstruction as part of the 1976-1994 "Freeing the Freeways" project to modernize 158 miles of Atlanta area freeways. Work along I-20 included the $8-million reconstruction of the interchange with Interstate 285, completed in August 19851, rebuilding of the interchange with the Downtown Connector, and widening from I-75/85 east to I-285 in DeKalb County.

The Capitol Hill Interchange with I-75/85 was rebuilt at a cost of $107.4-million between 1985 and November 1988. The directional interchange was redesigned into a three-level junction to eliminate left side ramps between the two freeways.2,3 Expansion of I-20 east from the Connector was first proposed in 1983.4 Costing $80 million, the nine-mile long project was the final piece of the Freeing the Freeways project. Work on the western half [Phase One], from Boulevard (Exit 59A) to Fayetteville Road (Exit 62), was underway by December 1990 with crews starting on the eastern half [Phase Two] to Columbia Drive in January 1992.5 Opening of a new lane per direction took place on September 13, 1994, with Georgia Transportation Commissioner Wayne Shackelford declaring the "Freeing the Freeways" program complete.6 Work on the carpool lanes however continued until December 1994, which ultimately brought I-20 up to ten overall lanes.7

Interstate 20 Georgia Guides

Interstate 20 scenes
Langhorn Street southbound at Sells Avenue at the West End neighborhood of Atlanta. Sells Avenue leads east two blocks from Langhorn Street to form an eastbound on-ramp to Interstate 20 toward downtown. 06/01/07
Interstate 20 shield assembly that was posted on Georgia 70 (Fulton Industrial Boulevard) north at the eastbound on-ramp at Exit 49. 12/07/99
Junction Interstate 20 Georgia shield assembly posted along Cadley Road northbound ahead of Exit 160. Interstate 20 is designated as the Carl Sanders Highway from the state line of South Carolina westward. Many small placards such as this accompany the shield assemblies at intersecting roads. 08/05/00

  1. "Freeing the freeways." The Atlanta Journal and The Atlanta Constitution (GA), July 19, 1985.
  2. "Freeway Freedom May Be 10 Months Away - Plan to Liberate Jammed Drivers Enters Last Stage." The Atlanta Journal and The Atlanta Constitution (GA), July 10, 1988.
  3. "Rebuilding of Brookwood interchange expected to be finished in October." The Atlanta Journal and The Atlanta Constitution (GA), August 22, 1986.
  4. "I-20 widening is development plum, Dekalb officials say." The Atlanta Journal and The Atlanta Constitution (GA), October 23, 1986.
  5. "Plan to Widen I-20 Brings Mixed Reactions." The Atlanta Journal and The Atlanta Constitution (GA), March 10, 1989.
  6. "I-20 widening will take 2 more years - But DOT insists it isn't slowing traffic." The Atlanta Journal and The Atlanta Constitution (GA), April 22, 1992.
  7. "Atlanta Almanac - Sept. 14, The 257th Day of 1994 - METRO NEWS DIGEST - Work starts on traffic center." The Atlanta Journal and The Atlanta Constitution (GA), September 14, 1994.
  8. "COMMUTING ATLANTA - MONROE DRIVE - HOV lane on I-20 east slow to open." The Atlanta Journal and The Atlanta Constitution (GA), September 14, 1994.

Photo Credits:

12/07/99, 08/05/00, 06/01/07 by AARoads

Connect with:
Interstate 75
Interstate 85
Interstate 285 - Atlanta Perimeter Highway
Interstate 520 - Bobby Jones Expressway

Page Updated 07-23-2013.

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