Interstate 85 South - Anderson & Oconee Counties

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Interstate 85 & U.S. 29 south
Entering the Exit 40 parclo interchange with South Carolina 153 along Interstate 85 & U.S. 29 south. S.C. 153 winds northwest from Exit 40 to Powderville, serving a hodgepodge of suburbia and assorted retail. The state route originally ended at I-85, but was extended southeast across the Saluda River to I-185, opposite Brown Road, in 1999. Photo taken 07/10/10.
River Road stems south 2.8 miles from South Carolina 81 (Anderson Road) to meet Interstate 85 & U.S. 29 at Exit 39 in one half mile. Photo taken 04/14/12.
Interstate 85 turns more southerly on the approach to the Exit 39 diamond interchange with River Road. Photo taken 07/11/10.
Exit 39 leaves Interstate 85 & U.S. 29 south for River Road to Piedmont. River Road mirrors the Saluda River between South Carolina 81 and 86. Photo taken 08/07/13.
Shields posted for Interstate 85 & U.S. 29 south as the freeway rises onto a hill ahead of Big Brushy Creek. Photo taken 04/14/12.
South Carolina 86 crosses paths with Interstate 85 & U.S. 29 in three miles. Atlanta is still over two hours away. Photo taken 08/07/13.
Interstate 85 & U.S. 29 remain with six lanes as the freeway lowers to cross Brushy Creek in this scene. Photo taken 07/12/05.
A folded-cloverleaf interchange (Exit 35) joins South Carolina 86 with I-85 & U.S. 29 south, three miles west of Piedmont. Photo taken 04/14/12.
Exit 35 parts ways with Interstate 85 & U.S. 29 south for South Carolina 86. South Carolina 86 continues northwest six miles to its end at South Carolina 8 (Pelzer Highway). South Carolina 8 carries motorists northward from there five miles to Easley and U.S. 123. Photo taken 07/11/10.
U.S. 29 follows and splits from Interstate 85 south at the first of five interchanges for Anderson. Photo taken 07/11/10.
Historical look at a button copy diagrammatic sign posted for the forthcoming left side ramp for Exit 34. Old U.S. 29 (Anderson Highway) ties into U.S. 29 (former U.S. 29 Alternate) midway between the freeway and the Anderson city center. Anderson Highway travels eastward into the town of Williamston, where U.S. 29 turned onto Main Street (S.C. 20) for the northward trek to Pelzer. Photo taken 06/23/00.
Shiloh Church Road passes over Interstate 85 & U.S. 29 one half mile north of their split at Exit 34. U.S. 29 continues southwest from Anderson to Hartwell and Athens, Georgia before returning to the Interstate 85 corridor near Lawrenceville, Georgia. Interstate 85 and U.S. 29 will commingle several more times between here and Auburn, Alabama. Photo taken 08/07/13.
A look at the original button copy overheads that were posted at the Interstate 85 & U.S. 29 southbound split (Exit 34). The city of Anderson is served more directly from Interstate 85 by U.S. 178 and U.S. 76 at Exits 21 and 19 respectively. The reflection of those connections was referenced here by use of "South" in front of Anderson for U.S. 29. Photo taken 06/23/00.
Entering the Exit 34 wye interchange with U.S. 29 south. U.S. 29 ventures 14.6 miles south to the east side of Anderson, where the route partitions with a Business Loop (Williamston Road). Photo taken 08/07/13.
Interstate 85 South
Interstate 85 continues solo for the remainder of its journey southward to the Georgia state line. Photo taken 07/11/10.
The town of Pelzer is referenced next along Interstate 85 south for the upcoming diamond interchange with South Carolina 8. Atlanta is 133 miles away. Photo taken 07/11/10.
South Carolina 8 (Easley Highway) meets Interstate 85 just west of White Plains. The 44.6-mile route stretches north to U.S. 276 in the shadow of the Blue Ridge Mountains and south to U.S. 25 at Ware Place. Photo taken 08/07/13.
East from Exit 32, South Carolina 8 (Easley Highway) journeys 3.8 miles east to West Pelzer and 4.7 miles to junction S.C. 20 at Pelzer. Connections with South Carolina 20 south from Pelzer lead motorists another nine miles through Williamston to the city of Belton. Photo taken 08/07/13.
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2 photos
Reassurance shield and mileage sign posted 130 miles northeast of Atlanta. Anderson is again referenced as the southbound destination for the next three intersecting roads. Photos taken 08/07/13.
Interstate 85 rolls over another one of the many hills of northern Anderson County. This dip takes the freeway across Beaverdam Creek and ahead of Cherokee Road. Photo taken 07/12/05.
One mile north of the South Carolina 81 diamond interchange (Exit 27) on Interstate 85 south. South Carolina 81 travels five miles south from its overlap with South Carolina 8 (Easley Highway) to meet Interstate 85. Photo taken 08/07/13.
Exit 27 leaves Interstate 85 south for South Carolina 81 to Anderson and Anderson University. The state highway ventures 9.5 miles south to merge with U.S. 76 & 178 (Murray Avenue) near the city center. Photo taken 08/07/13.
Interstate 85 stays through generally forested areas on the outskirts of Anderson to eastern reaches of Lake Hartwell. Photo taken 08/07/13.
Clemson succeeds Anderson as the next control city for Interstate 85 mileage signs. The city of 13,905 (per the 2010 census) lies along the Anderson and Pickens County line, northwest of I-85 via U.S. 76. Photo taken 08/07/13.
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2 photos
A southbound side rest area follows between the Dairyimple and Harris Bridge Road overpasses next to Six and Twenty Creek. This is the second to last rest area until Atlanta. Photos taken 08/07/13.
Interstate 85 spans Six and Twenty Creek along a 2002-built bridge. The creek opens into Lake Hartwell just south of here. Photo taken 06/18/05.
The one-mile guide sign for Exit 21 to U.S. 178 (Liberty Highway) appears at the Manse Jolly Road over crossing along Interstate 85 south. U.S. 178 comprises a short two-state route between Rossman, North Carolina and Ridgeville, South Carolina. Photo taken 08/07/13.
Interstate 85 sees a half-cloverleaf interchange with U.S. 178 (Liberty Highway) two miles from the commercialized north side of Anderson. The US route travels 17 miles north from Exit 21 to the city of Liberty. Photo taken 08/07/13.
The six-lane segment of Interstate 85 in South Carolina concludes at the cloverleaf interchange (Exit 19) with U.S. 76 & South Carolina 28 (Clemson Highway). Photo taken 07/11/10.
The six-lane segment of Interstate 85 in South Carolina concludes at the cloverleaf interchange (Exit 19) with U.S. 76 & South Carolina 28 (Clemson Highway). Photo taken 08/07/13.
Forthcoming Exit 19B serves not only Clemson and Clemson University, but also Pendleton (via South Carolina 28 Business) and the Oconee County seat of Seneca (via the overlap with U.S. 123 west). Photo taken 08/07/13.
Exit 19B leaves Interstate 85 southbound for U.S. 76 & South Carolina 28 west to Clemson. The tandem combine from Anderson northwest to Seneca, where they split for separate paths to Rabun County, Georgia.
U.S. 76 crosses the north Georgia mountains to Chattanooga, Tennessee, where the route ends while S.C. 28 continues as a multi-state route to Highlands and Franklin, North Carolina. Photo taken 08/07/13.
U.S. 76 & South Carolina 28 lead south from Exit 19A across Lake Hartwell to become the main commercial strip for Anderson. The pair combine with U.S. 178 along Clemson Boulevard to downtown. There U.S. 76 & 178 turn east to Belton and Honea Path while South Carolina 28 remains southerly to Abbeville and Augusta, Georgia. Photo taken 08/07/13.
Interstate 85 straddles northern reaches of Lake Hartwell Lake west to Masons Crossroads. Photo taken 08/07/13.
Fair Play is the last significant population center along Interstate 85 southbound in South Carolina. The rural community of 687 (2010 census) lies 16 miles ahead while Atlanta is now 118 miles away. Photo taken 07/11/10.
Lowering toward a crossing of Three and Twenty Creek of Lake Hartwell, southbound drivers reach the one mile approach to Exit 14 with South Carolina 187. S.C. 187 lines part of the Savannah River National Scenic Byway from its overlap with S.C. 24 across Lake Hartwell to South Carolina 412, west of Starr. Photo taken 08/07/13.
Entering the Exit 14 diamond interchange with South Carolina 187 on Interstate 85 south. S.C. 187 constitutes a northerly route to the town of Pendleton. The exit is also signed for Clemson Research Park and South Carolina Botanical Gardens. Photo taken 08/07/13.
Southbound Interstate 85 shield assembly posted after Exit 14. Photo taken 08/07/13.
South Carolina 24 continues the Savannah River National Scenic Byway west from S.C. 187 to Townville, Tokeena, Oakway and S.C. 11. A folded-cloverleaf interchange joins the state highway with Interstate 85 at Exit 11 in 1.5 miles. Photo taken 08/07/13.
Crossing the Seneca River arm of Lake Hartwell along Interstate 85 south. Lake Hartwell is a man-made reservoir formed by the building of Hartwell Dam on the Savannah River. The dam was constructed between 1955 and 1959. Photo taken 08/07/13.
Exit 11 serves both South Carolina 24 and the westbound beginning of South Carolina 243. S.C. 243 parallels I-85 west for nine miles to Fair Play. Photo taken 07/11/10.
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2 photos
Interstate 85 southbound reaches the Exit 11 off-ramp for South Carolina 24 and 243. S.C. 24 continues another 18.3 miles by way of Townville to conclude at U.S. 76 & 123 within the city of Westminster. Eastward, the route crosses Lake Hartwell en route to Anderson Regional Airport (AND) and downtown Anderson. Photo taken 07/12/05. Second photo taken 08/07/13.
Leading west from Exit 11, Interstate 85 varies in elevation from 700 to 780 feet across the hills that form Lake Hartwell. Photo taken 07/11/10.
The longest exit less stretch for Interstate 85 in South Carolina tops out at seven miles on the approach to Fair Play. Southbound travelers see another 99 miles from the state line to the capital of Georgia. Photo taken 07/11/10.
Interstate 85 drops to below 680 feet in elevation before increasing nearly 100 feet at the upcoming Ledford Road overpass. 2012 traffic counts along this stretch recorded 38,100 vehicles per day. Counts decrease slightly further as I-85 nears the Georgia state line, matching those near the North Carolina line in the opposite direction. Photo taken 07/12/05.
Road 23 (Old Dobbins Bridge Road east / Whitfield Road west) connects Interstate 85 with parallel South Carolina 243 (Fairplay Boulevard) via a diamond interchange (Exit 4) on the Oconee county line. Photo taken 07/11/10.
Old Dobbins Bridge Road spurs east from Exit 4 back into Anderson County to a dead end at Lake Hartwell. The road was submerged when the lake was formed, cutting it off from its path east to Anderson (another section of Dobbins Bridge Road remains in use east of the lake). Whitfield Road continues the road a short distance to S.C. 243 for its approach and end at Fair Play (junction S.C. 59 and 182). Photo taken 07/11/10.
Interstate 85 formally enters Oconee County just beyond the Road 23 overpass. Photo taken 07/11/10.
South Carolina 59 angles one mile southwest from Fair Play to end at the Exit 2 diamond interchange with Interstate 85 and Lakeshore Drive south. Photo taken 07/11/10.
Traveling 15.6 miles, South Carolina 59 resides wholly within Oconee County from Exit 2 north to U.S. 76-123 & S.C. 28 (Sandifer Boulevard) in the city of Seneca. Photo taken 07/11/10.
South Carolina 11 (Cherokee Foothills Scenic Highway) returns to end at Exit 1 of Interstate 85. The state highway previously met the freeway at Exit 92 near its beginning at Gaffney. Photo taken 08/07/13.
Interstate 85 tops out at 800 feet above sea level before approaching another arm of Lake Hartwell and the parclo interchange with South Carolina 11. Photo taken 07/11/10.
North from Exit 1, South Carolina 11 leads nearly due north 19.5 miles to both the town of West Union and city of Walhalla. There the route sees an interchange with S.C. 28, which travels through downtown Walhalla en route to northeast Georgia and western North Carolina. Photo taken 07/11/10.
Lavonia, Georgia appears as the first Peach State destination of Interstate 85 south in ten miles. Photo taken 07/11/10.
Drivers bound for adjacent Lake Hartwell State Park, South Union and Walhalla depart Interstate 85 south for Exit 1. The roadway of S.C. 11 dead ends just south of the interchange. Northward the Cherokee Foothills Scenic Highway coincides with South Carolina 11 to a number of natural and cultural attractions, including Whitewater Falls and Oconee Station. Photo taken 07/11/10.
The final shield marker for Interstate 85 southbound in South Carolina. Photo taken 07/11/10.
The S. Ernest Vandiver Bridge spans the Tugaloo River at the Georgia state line. Vandiver, who was from Franklin County nearby, was Governor of Georgia between 1959 and 1963. Photo taken 07/11/10.
Interstate 85 nips the northern corner of Hart County, Georgia from Lake Hartwell west to Exit 177. Welcome signs for Georgia still tout the 1996 Olympic Summer Games held in Atlanta. Photo taken 07/11/10.

Photo Credits:

  • 06/23/00 by Carter Buchanan.
  • 06/18/05 by AARoads.
  • 07/12/05 by AARoads.
  • 07/10/10 by AARoads and Carter Buchanan.
  • 07/11/10 by AARoads.
  • 04/14/12 by AARoads.
  • 08/07/13 by AARoads.

Page Updated 09-07-2013.