Business Loop I-85 was designated in 1995 when the new bypass alignment for Interstate 85 to the northwest of Spartanburg opened to traffic. First proposed in 1986, the bypass was estimated to cost $53 million with four lanes at a length of 9.6 miles. It was forecast for completion in 1992.

Revisions to the new I-85 bypass followed and included the expansion of the freeway to six lanes. Thus the costs also increased to $116 million and the time table shifted to December 1994.1 Actual work broke ground in 1988 with a deadline of November 1994 set. Weather delays and an abundance of unanticipated rock in the road's path pushed construction well into 1995 and costs to $122 million.2,3 A planned opening date of August 27 was further pushed back by several days due to heavy rains from Tropical Depression Jerry.4

Resigning of Interstate 85 as Business Loop I-85 included the following exit number changes:5

  • Exit 69 -> Exit 1 for S.C. 41
  • Exits 70A/B -> Exit 2A/B for I-26
  • Exit 71 -> Exit 2C for Fairforest Road
  • Exit 72A -> Exit 3 for New Cut Road
  • Exit 72B -> Exit 4A for Viaduct Road (southbound only)
  • Exit 72C -> Exit 4 northbound and 4B southbound for S.C. 56 (Asheville Highway)
  • Exit 73A -> Exit 5A for Interstate 585 & U.S. 176 / Pine Street
  • Exit 73B -> Exit 5B for U.S. 176 (southbound only)
  • Exit 74 -> Exit 5B for Milliken Road (northbound only)
  • Exit 75 -> Exit 6 for S.C. 9
  • Exit 76 -> Exit 7 for Bryant Road

Business Loop I-85 north
Just east of the Business Loop I-85 northbound split with I-85 is the Exit 1 slip ramp onto Falling Creek Road east to North Blackstock Road (Road 41). Photo taken 08/29/04.
The Business Loop Interstate 85 freeway was designated as Veterans Parkway in August 2000. Photo taken 08/29/04.
The first reassurance marker for Business Loop I-85 north precedes Exit 1 to North Blackstock Road. Frontage road accompany most of the 1950s-built freeway. Visible here are College Drive to the north and Falling Creek Road to the south. Speed limits remain at 55 miles per hour on this stretch. Photo taken 08/29/04.
Exit 1 leaves Business Loop Interstate 85 north for Blackforest Road by way of Falling Creek Road. N. Blackstock Road angles southeast from here to Fairforest, where the road turns southward parallel to I-26 to Hadden Crossroads and West View. Photo taken 08/29/04.
The three-quarter mile advance sign for Interstate 26 was removed from the N. Blackstock Road overpass and replaced by a new overhead at Exit 1. A full cloverleaf interchange (Exits 2A/B) facilitates the movements between the two freeways. Photo taken 08/29/04.
Interstate 26 is designated the James F. Byrnes Memorial Freeway within the greater Spartanburg area. James Byrnes is a former South Carolina Governor who was once the Director of War Mobilization as appointed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt during World War II. Photo taken 08/29/04.
Exit 2A departs ahead for Interstate 26 eastbound to the capital city of Columbia. Interstate 26 sees two interchanges for the city of Spartanburg: Exit 21 joins the freeway with U.S. 29 (W.O. Ezell Boulevard) and Exit 22 with South Carolina 296 (John B. White, Sr. Boulevard). Both routes lead east to Downtown. Photo taken 08/29/04.
Drivers bound for Interstate 26 southeast to Columbia, Orangeburg and Charleston part ways with Business Loop I-85 north at Exit 2A. Interstate 26 is one of the older freeways in South Carolina as it stretches 221 miles from the North Carolina state line to the South Carolina Lowcountry. Photo taken 08/29/04.
Exit 2B leaves Business Loop Interstate 85 northbound for Asheville and Hendersonville, North Carolina. Interstate 26 meets the exchange with Interstate 85 in one mile (Exit 18) and reaches the city of Hendersonville in 39 miles. Photo taken 08/29/04.
Exit 2C quickly departs Business Loop I-85 north after the on-ramp from I-26 west. Fairforest Road (Road 525) travels 3.2 miles north from Fairforest to Interstate 585 & U.S. 176 near Lone Oak. Photo taken 06/22/05.
South Carolina 295 follows Spring Street north to Simuel Road east to end at Exit 3 of Business Loop I-85 in 0.75 miles. The state highway leads south to Arcadia and Spartanburg Downtown Memorial Airport (SPA) and east to Delmar, White Stone and Pacolet along a 16.6-mile route. Photo taken 08/29/04.
Exit 3 constitutes a slip ramp from the freeway onto parallel South Carolina 295 (Simuel Road). A folded diamond interchange follows between Simuel and New Cut Road next to the freeway. New Cut Road angles southeast to Una and northwest to Sigsbee and Cunningham. Photo taken 08/29/04.
Passing under New Cut Road, the next exit along Business Loop I-85 north joins the freeway with Hearon Circle and South Carolina 56 (Asheville Highway). Photo taken 06/22/05.
An on-ramp from Simuel Road adds a third northbound lane to the split-diamond interchange with Hearon Circle and S.C. 56. South Carolina 56 follows a former alignment of U.S. 176 southeast 2.3 miles to U.S. 221 (Church Street) in Spartanburg and northwest 1.6 miles to Lone Oak and U.S. 176 (Asheville Highway). Photo taken 08/29/04.
Business Loop I-85 travels a viaduct over Buffington Road, a Norfolk Southern Railroad line and Howard Street to Exit 4. There is no direct access onto Interstate 585 & U.S. 176 westbound from Exit 5, so motorists bound for USC Upstate or Inman are directed onto S.C. 56 north or Lone Oak Road respectively. Photo taken 06/22/05.
Exit 5A joins Interstate 585 & U.S. 176 southeast to Pine Street through Spartanburg. The Interstate spur ended here originally, but was extended northwest to a new interchange with Upper Valley Falls Road, near USC Upstate, during a $63-million project undertaken between 2003 and October 25, 2006.1 Photo taken 06/22/05.
Exit 5B constitutes a slip ramp onto adjacent Milliken Road east to North Campus Boulevard, which leads north and west back to USC Upstate. Photo taken 06/22/05.
South Carolina 9 branches north from Interstate 585 and U.S. 176 along Boiling Springs Road to cross paths with Business Loop I-85 at Exit 6 in 0.75 miles. Photo taken 06/22/05.
A split-diamond interchange connects Business Loop I-85 with Milliken and Landers Road to the south and Hospitality Drive to the north to access S.C. 9 (Boiling Springs Road) at Exit 6. S.C. 9 travels 258 miles from The Grand Strand to the state line north of both Boiling Springs and New Prospect. Photo taken 08/29/04.
Business Loop Interstate 85 northbound reassurance shield posted at milepost 6 ahead of Lawsons Fork Creek. Photo taken 08/29/04.
Next in line for northbound drivers is the Exit 7 diamond interchange with Bryant Road (Road 191). Bryant Road links Business Loop I-85 with U.S. 221 (Chesnee Highway) near Whitney, 0.9 miles to the southeast. Photo taken 06/22/05.
Exit 7 is the final mainline interchange of the Business Loop freeway before it returns to Interstate 85. Bryant Road (Road 191) continues north through agricultural areas to Old Furnace Road, east of Carlisle. Photo taken 06/22/05.
A trumpet interchange facilitates movements at the north end of Business Loop I-85 with Interstate 85. A left exit returns traffic onto Interstate 85 south for Inman, Asheville, and Greenville. Photo taken 08/29/04.
Business Loop Interstate 85 northbound traffic merges onto Interstate 85 ahead of Exit 78 with U.S. 221 (Chesnee Highway). The city of Gaffney and town of Blacksburg lie 14 and 24 miles ahead respectively. Photo taken 08/29/04.
Business Loop I-85 south
A three-quarter cloverleaf interchange (Exits 5B/A) joins Business Loop I-85 south with Interstate 585 & U.S. 176. Exit 5B connects southbound drivers with I-585 & U.S. 176 north to USC Upstate and Lone Oak. Photo taken 06/01/07.
The freeway spur leads southeast from Exit 5A onto Pine Street in Spartanburg. U.S. 221 ties into the freeway from Downtown at Exit 25A/B. Photo taken 06/01/07.
Exit 4B follows quickly as a slip ramp onto adjacent Charisma Drive for Hearon Circle and South Carolina 56 (Asheville Highway). Hearon Circle also connects with Lone Oak Road north to USC Upstate and east side frontage roads to adjacent travel services. South Carolina 56 extends Asheville Highway southeast from U.S. 176 to Lone Oak and Church Street (U.S. 221) in Spartanburg. Photo taken 09/24/04.
A loop ramp carries Exit 4A underneath Business Loop Interstate 85 to Simuel Road, the north side frontage road. Buffington Road lines the north side of the freeway to S.C. 295 (New Cut Road) while Broadcast Drive loops north and west to New Cut Road from the off-ramp. Photo taken 09/24/04.
Exit 3 overtakes Buffington Road to New Cut Road and the southbound beginning of South Carolina 295 (Simuel Road). New Cut Road travels northwest to Sigsbee and Cunningham and southeast to Una and California Avenue. S.C. 295 follows Simuel Road west to Spring Street south to Johnson City and Arcadia. The state highway encircles Spartanburg along a 16.6-mile course to U.S. 176 near Pacolet. Photo taken 09/24/04.
Affixed to the New Cut Road over crossing is the 1.25-mile overhead for Exits 2B/A (Interstate 26). The upcoming full cloverleaf interchange lies beyond the Exit 2C off-ramp to Fairforest Road. Photo taken 09/24/04.
Fairforest Road (Road 525) sees a modified diamond interchange with the adjacent service roads from Business Loop I-85 at Exit 2C. The north-south road travels between Fairforest at North Blackstock Road to South Carolina 56 (Asheville Highway) near Lone Oak. Photo taken 09/24/04.
Passing under Fairforest Road, drivers near the Exit 2B off-ramp onto Interstate 26 westbound for Hendersonville and Asheville, North Carolina. I-26 crosses into the Tar Heel State in 19 miles on the 39-mile drive to Hendersonville. Photo taken 09/24/04.
Exit 2B leaves Business Loop I-85 south for I-26 west. Interstate 26 meets Interstates 40 & 240 at Asheville in 58 miles and travels 136 miles overall north to Johnson City, Tennessee. Photo taken 09/24/04.
Interstate 26 east travels southward 79 miles from Exit 2A to meet Interstates 20 and 126 at Columbia and 202 miles to downtown Charleston. Photo taken 09/24/04.
Exit 1 departs Business Loop I-85 south immediately west of Interstate 26. A slip-ramp carries drivers onto adjacent College Drive, 0.75 miles ahead of North Blackstock Road. North Blackstock Road leads southeast to Fairforest and north to John Dodd Road near Exit 16 of I-26. Photo taken 09/24/04.
N. Blackstock Road passes over Business Loop I-85 south as the freeway prepares to return to Interstate 85 south. Exit 68 splits from the freeway end and lines I-85 south to South Carolina 129 (Fort Prince Boulevard). S.C. 129 begins at the upcoming interchange and leads west five miles to Wellford and Lyman. Photo taken 09/24/04.
A wye interchange concludes Business Loop I-85 south. Traffic to South Carolina 129 combines with Exit 68 from I-85 south to the state highway. S.C. 129 links the freeway with U.S. 29 south to Greer. Photo taken 09/24/04.
Business Loop I-85 scenes
An Interstate 85 trailblazer stands along North Campus Boulevard at University Way, directing traffic onto Business Loop I-85 south near I-585 & U.S. 176. Photo taken 06/01/07.
A compact full cloverleaf interchange connects South Carolina 9 (Boiling Springs Road) with the frontage road system of Business Loop I-85. This trailblazer was posted at the loop ramp from S.C. 9 south onto Frontage Road east for the northbound ramp to Charlotte. Photo taken 12/08/99.

Sources:

  1. "New Interstate 85 bypass causes fear, excitement." Herald-Journal (Spartanburg, SC), October 18, 1993.
  2. "Interstate project set for completion within five weeks NEW SECTION OF I- 85 : Countdown to opening day Drivers on I-85 ready for relief officials say highway to open within five weeks." Herald-Journal (Spartanburg, SC), July 21, 1995.
  3. "New I-85 to open Aug. 27 $122 million highway bypasses congestion." Herald-Journal (Spartanburg, SC), August 19, 1995.
  4. "Heavy rains delay opening of I-85 , again RAIN DELAYS I-85 OPENING....AGAIN." Herald-Journal (Spartanburg, SC), August 29, 1995.
  5. "New I-85 brings changes in exits." Herald-Journal (Spartanburg, SC), September 24, 1995.


Photo Credits:

  • 12/08/99 by AARoads.
  • 08/29/04 by Carter Buchanan.
  • 09/24/04 by Carter Buchanan.
  • 06/22/05 by AARoads.
  • 06/01/07 by AARoads.

Connect with:
Interstate 26
Interstate 85
Interstate 585 & U.S. 176

Page Updated 09-25-2013.