Interstate 85 in Alabama

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Interstate 85 marker

Interstate 85
I-85 highlighted in red
Route information
Maintained by ALDOT
Length 80.008 mi[1] (128.760 km)
Major junctions
South end I-65 / US 82 in Montgomery
 
North end I-85 at the Georgia state line near Valley
Location
Counties Montgomery, Macon, Lee, Chambers
Highway system
  • Alabama Highways
US 84SR 85

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 north 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[edit]

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. 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]

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 La Grange and Atlanta.[2]

Future[edit]

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 I-85 would go east-west not northeast-southwest.

Exit list[edit]

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
1Court StreetNorthbound exit, southbound entrance
1Union StreetSouthbound exit, northbound entrance
2Forest AvenueNorthbound exit, southbound entrance
2Mulberry StreetSouthbound exit, northbound entrance
3.0044.8343Ann Street
4Perry Hill Road
6.54610.5356 US 80 west (SR-8 west) / US 231 (SR-53) / SR 21 (East Boulevard)South end of US-80 / SR-8 overlap
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) – Mitylene, Mount Meigs
152415 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, WaughNorth end of US-80 overlap
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 80Tuskegee National Forest
LeeAuburn50Auburn Technology Parkway
51.43882.78151 US 29 south (SR-15 south) / SR 147 (College Street) – AuburnSouth end of US-29 / SR-15 overlap
57Bent Creek Road
Opelika58.75494.55558 US 280 west (SR-38 west / Gateway Drive)South end of US-280 / SR-38 overlap
60.77397.80560 SR 51 / SR 169 – Opelika, Hurtsboro
62.197100.09662 US 280 east (SR-38 east) / US 431 (SR-1) – Opelika, Phenix CityNorth end of US-280 / SR-38 overlap
64.551103.88564 US 29 north (SR-15 north) – OpelikaNorth end of US-29 / SR-15 overlap
66Andrews 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 – AtlantaContinuation into Georgia over the Chattahoochee River
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Alabama Department of Transportation. "Milepost Maps". Archived from the original on 2015-04-02. Retrieved 2015-04-20.
  2. ^ a b c d e f Alabama Department of Transportation. "General Highway Maps". Archived from the original on 2015-04-02. Retrieved 2015-04-20.
  3. ^ Volkert and Associates, I-85 Extension Corridor Study & EUIS Archived 2008-12-19 at the Wayback Machine.
  4. ^ Hinnen, Jerry. Shelby shares views with Hale, Greene counties[permanent dead link] Posted by the Demopolis Times, 17 January 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[edit]

Route map:

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