Interstate 85 serves the Upstate cities of Greenville, Spartanburg and Anderson along a 106 mile long course between Lake Hartwell and Grover, North Carolina. A well traveled freight corridor linking Atlanta with Charlotte, Interstate 85 is the main route across the Upstate counties with traffic counts as high as 111,700 per day recorded in Greenville by the South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCDOT) in 2012.

Interstate 85 South Carolina Guides

Portions of Interstate 85 were built as a freeway bypass for U.S. 29, dating as far back as the 1940s.1 Showing its signs of age with a narrow design and just four lanes, projects over the years have expanded the existing roadway, or in one case, replaced it with a new alignment. A $122 million project between 1988 and August 27, 1995 constructed a new six lane freeway to bypass the older freeway through Spartanburg.1 When it opened, I-85 shifted to the new alignment, leaving the older freeway as Business Loop Interstate 85. Major road work undertaken from the mid-1990s to 2002 rebuilt Interstate 85 between Greenville and Spartanburg, expanding the freeway to a minimum of six overall lanes between mileposts 19 and 80.5. Included in the work was the addition of ramps to Interstate 185 north from I-85 south and I-185 south to I-85 north.

The collector distributor roadway linking Interstate 85 with both Aviation Drive to Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport and South Carolina 14 opened to traffic by November 12, 2005.2 This work preceded the opening of a new directional interchange on July 31, 2006 connecting I-85 with Brockman-McClimon Road. Both projects were a part of a $52.9 million "I-85 Access Project" improving access to both the airport and the BMW Spartanburg plant.3 Initial work commenced on January 3, 2004 with the closure of the Exit 57 ramp to Aviation Drive, which allowed for the building of the new c/d roadway and expansion of the airport road to four lanes.4

Interstate 85 scenes
U.S. 25 (White Horse Road) meets Interstate 85 between Gantt and West Gantt at a six-ramp parclo interchange. 06/18/05
A concrete separator allows traffic to join Interstate 85 south without stopping at the traffic light from Exit 44B to White Horse Road. This interchange was upgraded from a diamond interchange in the late 1990s as part of Interstate 85 expansion. The work removed Hillcrest Street and replaced the intersection of U.S. 25 with Jacobs Road. 06/18/05
An Interstate 85 trailblazer directed motorists from Frontage Road west onto Augusta Road south for the nearby freeway on-ramps. Reconstruction of Interstate 85 nearby between 1996 and 1999 expanded the roadway to ten overall through lanes. 12/08/99
Shield and guide sign that were posted at the Pelham Road eastbound on-ramp to I-85 north at Exit 54. Pelham Road continues as a busy industrial arterial, 1.75 miles ahead to Batesville and S.C. 14. 08/29/04
A Single Point Urban Interchange (SPUI) joins S.C. 14 and Interstate 85 near Greenville Spartanburg International Airport (GSP). Pictured here is the approach to the I-85 on-ramps along S.C. 14 south. 08/29/04
S.C. 9 (Boiling Springs Road) swells to six lanes at the diamond interchange (Exit 75) with Interstate 85. Pictured here is the northbound approach to the I-85 south ramp to Greenville. This overhead has since been replaced a new gas station constructed on the northeast corner of the interchange. 06/01/07
Replaced trailblazer for Interstate 85 south at the ramp from Boiling Springs Road north. This stretch of I-85 opened in September 1995. 06/01/07

  1. "New I-85 to open Aug. 27 - $122 million highway bypasses congestion." Herald-Journal (Spartanburg, SC), August 19, 1995.
  2. "Road work changes entrance to airport." Herald-Journal, November 10, 2005.
  3. "Interchange near BMW opens." Herald-Journal, August 1, 2006.
  4. "Airport area roadwork taking off." Herald-Journal, November 18, 2004.

Photo Credits:

  • 12/08/99 by AARoads.
  • 08/29/04 by Carter Buchanan.
  • 06/18/05 by AARoads.
  • 06/01/07 by AARoads.

Connect with:
Interstate 26
Interstate 185
Interstate 385
Interstate 585 / U.S. 176

Page Updated 01-22-2016.

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