Interstate 85 in Alabama

Interstate 85 (I-85) is a part of the Interstate Highway System that runs from Montgomery, Alabama, to Petersburg, Virginia. In Alabama, the Interstate Highway runs 80.008 miles (128.760 km) from I-65 in Montgomery northeast to the Georgia state line near Valley. I-85 is the primary highway between Montgomery and Atlanta. The Interstate also connects Montgomery with Tuskegee, Auburn, Opelika, and, indirectly, Phenix City and Columbus, Georgia.

Route description

I-85 begins at a six-ramp modified directional-T interchange with I-65 southwest of downtown Montgomery. In addition to the ramps to and from I-65, the terminating Interstate's dual carriageways continue west a short distance and become Day Street; the interchange also includes a ramp from southbound I-65 to Day Street and from Day Street to northbound I-65. I-85 heads east toward downtown Montgomery as an eight-lane freeway. The highway has a pair of half-diamond interchanges with Court Street (northbound exit, southbound entrance) and Union Street (southbound exit, northbound entrance). The one-way pair of Arba Street and South Street serve as frontage roads for the northbound and southbound lanes, respectively, along the southern edge of downtown. The interchanges provide access to the Alabama State Capitol and Alabama State University. Southeast of downtown Montgomery, I-85 has a pair of half-interchanges with Forest Avenue (northbound exit, southbound entrance) and Mulberry Street (southbound exit, northbound entrance).[2]

I-85 leaves the core of Montgomery and has a diamond interchange with Ann Street and a six-ramp partial cloverleaf interchange with Perry Hill Road. The freeway's next junction is with East Boulevard, which forms part of a circumferential highway around Montgomery; the partial cloverleaf interchange includes a flyover ramp from northbound East Boulevard to southbound I-85. East Boulevard carries US 231 and Alabama State Route 21 (SR 21) through the interchange and US 80 south from the interchange; US 80 joins I-85 heading east from Montgomery. I-85's interchange with SR 271 provides access to Auburn University at Montgomery. The Interstate drops to four lanes between SR 271 and the next interchange with SR 110 and SR 126 (Atlanta Highway), where the route leaves the city of Montgomery.[2]

I-85 and US 80 parallel SR 126 east through the community of Mount Meigs and through an unused directional-T interchange with State Route 108, which is also future I-85. This is among the largest and tallest interchanges in the state, featuring SR 126 & SR 293 on both sides of the Interstate and freeway state route. US 80 splits east onto Atlanta Highway at a diamond interchange, and I-85 heads east-north-east, leaving Montgomery County and entering Macon County at Line Creek. Another access to US 80 is provided at Shorter via an interchange with unsigned SR 138. The Interstate meets the southern end of SR 229 south of SR 229's crossing of the Tallapoosa River and the southern end of SR 49 near the town of Franklin. I-85's interchange with SR 81 connects the freeway with the Macon County seat of Tuskegee and Tuskegee University. The Interstate's final access to US 80 is via SR 186 (Wire Road), beyond which the freeway passes through a portion of Tuskegee National Forest.[2]

I-85 continues northeast into Lee County. On the southern edge of Auburn, the freeway has an interchange with Auburn Technology Parkway. US 29 joins I-85 at its next interchange with College Street; SR 147 continues north along College Street toward Auburn University. I-85 and US 29 continue northeast through the city to an interchange with Bent Creek Road, which provides access to Auburn University Regional Airport. The freeway continues northeast into the city of Opelika, the county seat of Lee County. I-85 gains a second U.S. Highway concurrency at its four-ramp partial cloverleaf interchange with Gateway Drive, where US 280 joins from the north. The three highways cross over a Norfolk Southern Railway line just west of their four-ramp partial cloverleaf interchange with SR 51 and SR 169 south of downtown Opelika.[2]

I-85 North exit 70 toward Cusseta, Alabama

US 280 splits east toward Phenix City and Columbus at the next interchange with US 431. US 29 diverges from I-85 at the following interchange, and the Interstate leaves the city of Opelika beyond its junction with Andrews Road. The interstate enters Chambers County at its interchange with County Road 388 (CR 388), which leads to Cusseta. I-85 meets CR 208 in the unincorporated area of Huguley west of the city of Valley. Southbound I-85 has a welcome center between CR 208 and the freeway's final interchange in Alabama, a junction with US 29 between the cities of Valley to the south and Lanett to the north. I-85 crosses the Chattahoochee River on its way toward LaGrange and Atlanta.[2]

History

The construction of the downtown part of the interstate in Montgomery destroyed a significant part of the traditionally African-American community in that area.[citation needed]

Future

An extension of Interstate 85 is proposed west from Montgomery to interchange with Interstate 20 and Interstate 59 just east of the Mississippi-Alabama state line,[3] where it will connect with I-20 and I-59 near Cuba, Alabama. This extension will roughly follow the route of U.S. 80, going through or bypassing Selma and Demopolis.[4] The FHWA approved the alignment on February 17, 2011 after AASHTO approved at its Fall 2010 meeting in Biloxi, Mississippi. Also approved was the proposal to re-designate part of existing I-85 south and east of Montgomery to be bypassed as part of the extension of I-85 as I-685. Alabama has permission to co-sign this part of I-85 as I-685 until the new alignment is built.[5] This section is also envisioned by some as part of a proposed Interstate 14.

If this extension were to be completed, I-85 and I-20 would meet each other twice and the extension of I-85 would run east-west.

Exit list

CountyLocationmi[1][2]kmExitDestinationsNotes
MontgomeryMontgomery0.0000.000 I-65 / US 82 (SR 6) / Day Street west – Mobile, BirminghamSouthern terminus; I-65 exit 171; no access from eastbound Day Street to southbound I-65 or from northbound I-65 to Day Street; future western terminus of I-685
0.7901.2711Court StreetNorthbound exit and southbound entrance
1.2902.0761Union StreetSouthbound exit and northbound entrance
2.1303.4282Forest AvenueNorthbound exit and southbound entrance
2.3203.7342Mulberry StreetSouthbound exit and northbound entrance
3.0044.8343Ann Street
4.7347.6194Perry Hill Road
6.54610.5356 US 80 west (SR 8 west) / US 231 (SR 53) / SR 21 (East Boulevard)Southern end of US 80 / SR 8 concurrency
9.03714.5449 SR 271 (Taylor Road) to US 231 (SR 53)Auburn University at Montgomery
11.00917.71711 SR 110 / SR 126 (Atlanta Highway) – , Mount Meigs
14.44023.23915 SR 108 west – Pike RoadFuture I-85 rerouting; future eastern terminus of I-685
Waugh16.06725.85716 US 80 east (SR 8 east) / SR 126 – Mount Meigs, WaughNorthern end of US 80 concurrency
MaconShorter22.21635.75322 SR 138 to US 80 – ShorterSR 138 is unsigned from I-85
26.05841.93626 SR 229 north – Tallassee
Franklin32.37052.09432 SR 49 north – Tuskegee, Franklin
Tuskegee38.81862.47238 SR 81 – Notasulga, Tuskegee
42.31168.09342 SR 186 east (Wire Road) to US 80 – Tuskegee, AuburnTuskegee National Forest; to US 29
LeeAuburn49.92180.34050Auburn Technology Parkway
51.43882.78151 US 29 south (SR 15 south) / SR 147 (College Street) – AuburnSouthern end of US 29/SR 15 concurrency
57.02891.77857Bent Creek Road
Opelika58.75494.55558 US 280 west (SR 38 west / Gateway Drive)Southern end of US 280/SR 38 concurrency
60.77397.80560 SR 51 / SR 169 – Opelika, Hurtsboro
62.197100.09662 US 280 east (SR 38 east) / US 431 (SR 1) – Opelika, Phenix City, Eufaula, DothanNorthern end of US 280/SR 38 concurrency
64.551103.88564 US 29 north (SR 15 north) – OpelikaNorthern end of US 29/SR 15 concurrency
66.731107.39366Andrews Road To US 29
Chambers70.394113.28870 CR 388 – Cusseta
Huguley76.908123.77177 CR 208 – Valley, Huguley
Valley79.365127.72679 US 29 (SR 15) – Lanett, Valley
80.008128.760 I-85 north (SR 403) – AtlantaContinuation into Georgia over the Chattahoochee River
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

See also

References

  1. ^ a b Alabama Department of Transportation. "Milepost Maps". Archived from the original on April 2, 2015. Retrieved April 20, 2015.
  2. ^ a b c d e f Alabama Department of Transportation. "General Highway Maps". Archived from the original on April 2, 2015. Retrieved April 20, 2015.
  3. ^ Volkert and Associates, I-85 Extension Corridor Study & EUIS Archived December 19, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ Hinnen, Jerry. Shelby shares views with Hale, Greene counties[permanent dead link] Posted by the Demopolis Times, January 17, 2005.
  5. ^ FHWA letter downloaded from http://cms.transportation.org/sites/route/docs/Alabama%20Interstate%20FHWA%20Decision%20Letter.pdf[permanent dead link] April 14, 2011

External links

Route map:

KML is from Wikidata
Interstate 85
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Terminus
Alabama Next state:
Georgia