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). 08/29/04
The Business Loop Interstate 85 freeway was designated as Veterans Parkway in August 2000. 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. 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. 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 cloverleaf interchange (Exits 2A/B) facilitates the movements between the two freeways. 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. 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 S.C. 296 (John B. White, Sr. Boulevard). Both routes lead east to Downtown. 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. 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. 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. 06/22/05
S.C. 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. 08/29/04
Exit 3 constitutes a slip ramp from the freeway onto parallel S.C. 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. 08/29/04
Passing under New Cut Road, the next exit along Business Loop I-85 north joins the freeway with Hearon Circle and S.C. 56 (Asheville Highway). 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. S.C. 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). 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. 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 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. 06/22/05
S.C. 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. 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. 08/29/04
Business Loop Interstate 85 northbound reassurance shield posted at milepost 6 ahead of Lawsons Fork Creek. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 06/01/07
Exit 4B follows quickly as a slip ramp onto adjacent Charisma Drive for Hearon Circle and S.C. 56 (Asheville Highway). Hearon Circle also connects with Lone Oak Road north to USC Upstate and east side frontage roads to adjacent travel services. S.C. 56 extends Asheville Highway southeast from U.S. 176 to Lone Oak and Church Street (U.S. 221) in Spartanburg. 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. 09/24/04
Exit 3 overtakes Buffington Road to New Cut Road and the southbound beginning of S.C. 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. 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 cloverleaf interchange lies beyond the Exit 2C off-ramp to Fairforest Road. 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 S.C. 56 (Asheville Highway) near Lone Oak. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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 S.C. 129 (Fort Prince Boulevard). S.C. 129 begins at the upcoming interchange and leads west five miles to Wellford and Lyman. 09/24/04
A wye interchange concludes Business Loop I-85 south. Traffic to S.C. 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. 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. 06/01/07
A compact cloverleaf interchange connects S.C. 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. 12/08/99

  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.

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