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Interstate 85 Northbound (Atlanta to South Carolina)

179 miles worth of Interstate highway straddling northern Georgia. Interstate 85 links the Atlanta metropolitan area with Alabama's state capital and South Carolina's largest metropolitan area. The freeway serves acts as a conduit for suburban sprawl to the northeast, allowing motorists to commute from as a far as Gainesville via Interstate 985. Growth toward the southwest has yet to duplicate the intensity that the northeastern suburbs has attained. Interstate 85 carries six lanes or more from Exit 51 (Georgia 54) northward to Exit 113 (Interstate 985). The nine mile overlap with Interstate 75 through the heart of Atlanta carries up to 16 lanes.

Interstate 85 North
Five lanes of Interstate 85 northbound depart Interstate 75 at the Peachtree Street (U.S. 19 & Georgia 9) overcrossing. Visible to the right is the beginning of the Georgia 13 (old Northeast Expressway) freeway from Peachtree Street. Exit 86 departs traffic onto the original Interstate 85 alignment ahead of the Georgia 13 interchange with Georgia 237. The old Northeast Expressway eventually transitions into the surface arterial Buford Highway. Photo taken 10/04/01.
The first overhead for Exit 87 (Georgia Toll 400 north) on Interstate 85 northbound. The 1990s constructed tollway links Interstate 85 with Interstate 285 and U.S. 19 at Sandy Springs. The facility carries six lanes and a 50 cent toll levied to all passenger vehicles. Photo taken 10/04/01.
The split of Georgia Toll 400 northbound from the ten lane Interstate 85. Georgia Toll 400 directly feeds into the U.S. 19 & Georgia 400 Turner McDonald Parkway at the Perimeter Highway. The tolled facility travels through the Buckhead portion of the city. The Turner McDonald Parkway serves the northern suburbs with a freeway through to the town of Cumming (pop. 4,220). Photo taken 10/04/01.
Approaching the Druid Hills Road (Georgia 42) partial cloverleaf interchange on Interstate 85 northbound. Georgia 42 travels between the suburbs of Brook Haven and Toco Hills outside the city limits of Atlanta. The state highway composes part of the original U.S. 23 alignment between Chamblee (pop. 9,552) and Atlanta. The federal highway now travels along Georgia 155 between Chamblee and Decatur. Photo taken 10/04/01.
Advance guide sign for the diamond interchange of U.S. 23 & Georgia 155 (Clairmont Road). Clairmont Road carries U.S. 23 southward from Georgia 13 (Buford Highway) to U.S. 29 and U.S. 78 in the city of Decatur (pop. 18,147). Photo taken 10/04/01.
A series of frontage roads coincide with Interstate 85 between Exits 89 and 94. These frontage roads carry slip ramps to U.S. 23 & Georgia 155 (Exit 91), Shallowford Road (Exit 93), and Chamblee Tucker Road (Exit 94) along the way. Pictured here are advance guide signs for Exit 94 and the Interstate 285 (Exit 95) junction. The overpass above carries Shallowford Road. Photo taken 10/04/01.
North of the Exit 94 diamond interchange with Chamblee Tucker Road, Interstate 85 approaches the locally known "Spaghetti Junction", the northeast junction with the Atlanta Beltway. Situated within the interchange complex is the lengthy off-ramp to Northcrest Road (Exit 96). Photo taken 10/04/01.
Two lanes carry Interstate 285 bound traffic away from Interstate 85 at the Tom Moreland Interchange. The flyover to Interstate 285 north from Interstate 85 north and the ramp from Interstate 285 south to Interstate 85 north compose the tallest level of the stack interchange. Photo taken 10/04/01.
Diagrammatical overhead at the beginning of the Exit 95 flyover ramps to Interstate 285. Two lanes shuttle traffic to the respective Perimeter Highway directions from Interstate 85. Northward Interstate 285 sees two interchanges within the city of Doraville (pop. 9,862). Southward the Atlanta Beltway travels to Clarkston (pop. 7,231) and the U.S. 78 Stone Mountain Freeway. Photo taken 10/04/01.
Interstate 85 northbound at the ramp departure of Exit 96. The off-ramp joins an Interstate 285 northbound ramp before intersecting Northcrest Road. Beyond that the Interstate 85 service road system resumes, linking Northcrest Road and Exit 96 with Pleasantdale Road. Photo taken 10/04/01.
An otherwise standard four level symmetrical stack, the Interstate 85 & 285 junction also features connecting ramps to the nearby Chamblee Tucker and Northcrest Roads. Photo taken 10/04/01.
Interstate 85 travels through the interchange on the ground level of Exit 95. The high speed flyovers soar above, each carrying at least two lanes of travel. The stacked junction replaces an original cloverleaf interchange. Photo taken 10/04/01.
Traffic added from the Interstate 285 ramps overwhelms Interstate 85 northbound into Gwinett County. Ahead is the diamond interchange of Exit 99 (Georgia 140). Part of which is Georgia 140, Jimmy Carter Boulevard skims through northeastern Atlanta metro near the community of Norcross (pop. 8,410). Photo taken 10/04/01.
Interstate 85 continues as a ten lane freeway through to the Exit 106 "Y" interchange at Georgia 316. A significant amount of traffic departs the Interstate for the Georgia 316 freeway spur into the city of Lawrenceville (pop. 22,397). Photo taken 10/04/01.
Drawing to within one half mile of the western terminus of Georgia 316. The east-west highway links Atlanta with the city of Athens (pop. 100,266) via an overlap with U.S. 29. Photo taken 10/04/01.
The partition of Interstate 85 northbound and Georgia 316 eastbound. The Lawrenceville freeway includes three interchanges. The first is a partial cloverleaf with Sugarloaf Parkway. Second is a diamond interchange at Riverside Parkway. Third is the diamond interchange with Georgia 120 (Pike Street/Duluth Highway). Georgia 120 also composes the next interchange of Interstate 85 (Exit 107). Photo taken 01/27/05.
Interstate 85 northbound within the 1999-2000 constructed partial cloverleaf interchange of Exit 107. Georgia 120 travels between the cites of Duluth and Lawrenceville along the arterial Duluth Highway. Photo taken 10/04/01.
A collector/distributor roadway continues through the Georgia 120 interchange to Sugarloaf Parkway (Exit 108). A slip ramp between the northbound lanes of Interstate 85 and the c/d roadway facilitate access to the north-south roadway. Photo taken 10/04/01.
Diagrammatical overhead for the Interstate 985 northbound beginning (Exit 113) of Interstate 85 northbound. This partial "Y" interchange is not accessible via Interstate 85 southbound. The split of freeways brings a need reprieve of traffic for Interstate 85 as it departs the metropolitan area. Photo taken 10/04/01.
Interstate 985 departs for the city of Gainesville (pop. 25,578) via the Lanier Parkway. The freeway is cosigned secretly with Georgia 365 and U.S. 23 from Exit 4 onward. U.S. 23 continues from Interstate 985 northward into western North Carolina. Interstate 85 meanwhile quickly reduces to four lanes overall as it departs Exit 113. Photo taken 10/04/01.
One mile guide sign of Exit 115 (Georgia 20) on Interstate 85 northbound. Suburban sprawl now entails this former diamond interchange with the placement of the Mall of Georgia nearby. Thus the junction with Georgia 20 (Buford Drive) is now includes c/d roadways and a full cloverleaf interchange. Photo taken 10/04/01.

Page Updated February 4, 2005.