Interstate 85 South

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 south
Interstate 85 southbound features a collector distributor roadway between Exits 108 (Sugarloaf Parkway) and 107 (Boggs Road). The Boggs Road off-ramp facilitates the movements onto Georgia 316 eastbound for traffic interests to Lawrenceville (pop. 22,397). The direct interchange between Interstate 85 and Georgia 316 omits the southbound to eastbound movement. Photo taken 10/14/01.
1.25-mile overhead for Exit 102 (Georgia 378) on Interstate 85 southbound at the half-diamond interchange Steve Reynolds Boulevard (northbound Exit 103). The southbound on-ramp from Steve Reynolds Boulevard merges to become the sixth southbound auxiliary lane between Exit 103 and Georgia 378 (Beaver Ruin Road). Photo taken 01/17/04.
Georgia 378 (Beaver Ruin Road) is a 6.4-mile state route between U.S. 23 & Georgia 13 at Norcross and U.S. 29 & Georgia 8 at Lilburn. The multi lane divided highway parallels Interstate 85 between Exit 102 and 101 north of the freeway. Photo taken 01/17/04.
Southbound Interstate 85 at the diamond interchange (Exit 102) with Georgia 378 (Beaver Ruin Road). Exit 101 at Indian Trail-Lilburn Road departs the ten-lane freeway one mile to the south. Indian Trail-Lilburn Road ends at Beaver Ruin Road just north of the Exit 101 parclo interchange. Photo taken 01/17/04.
Suburban bliss continues on Interstate 85 southbound between Georgia 378 and the Indian Trail-Lilburn Road exit. The Exit 101 off-ramp ties into Indian Trail-Lilburn Road at Brook Hollow Parkway. The parkway begins from the ramp end and parallels Interstate 85 southbound to Georgia 140 (Jimmy Carter Boulevard). Photo taken 01/17/04.
Traffic to Indian Trail-Lilburn Road leaves Interstate 85 at Exit 102. The north-south surface roadway travels 3.4 miles south to U.S. 29 & Georgia 8 (Lawrenceville Highway) within the city of Lilburn itself. Killian Hill Road continues from there to U.S. 78 & Georgia 264 outside of Snellville (pop. 15,351). Photo taken 01/17/04.
One mile north of the Exit 99 diamond interchange with Georgia 140 (Jimmy Carter Boulevard). The upcoming exit represents the eastern terminus of state route. Note the missing Georgia 140 shield on the overhead and adjacent Brook Hollow Parkway to the right. Photo taken 01/17/04.
Southbound at the Carter Way over crossing near the Exit 99 ramp departure for Georgia 140 west (Jimmy Carter Boulevard). Jimmy Carter Boulevard carries Georgia 140 westbound three miles through Norcross to Georgia 141 (Peachtree Industrial Boulevard). From there Georgia 140 continues via Holcomb Bridge Road to Roswell. Photo taken 01/17/04.
A pair of lanes depart Interstate 85 southbound for Exit 99 and Georgia 140 west (Jimmy Carter Boulevard). Jimmy Carter Boulevard travels south of the freeway to U.S. 29 and the Dekalb County seat of Tucker (pop. 26,532). Georgia 140 used to continue southward from Exit 99 to the intersection of U.S. 29 (Lawrenceville Highway) and Mountain Industrial Boulevard at the Dekalb/Gwinnett County line. Photo taken 01/17/04.
Seven lanes of Interstate 85 southbound draw to within one mile of the Exit 96 off-ramp to Pleasantdale and Northcrest Roads near Doraville (pop. 9,862). The ramp to Pleasantdale Road becomes a southbound frontage road (Northeast Expressway) to adjacent Northcrest Road. From there a collector distributor roadway begins and travels southward through the upcoming Spaghetti Junction complex of Interstate 85 & 285. Photo taken 01/17/04.
Flyover ramps of Spaghetti Junction (Exit 95) come into view as Interstate 85 rounds the bend toward the Pleasantdale Road off-ramp (Exit 96). Pleasantdale and Northcrest Roads stem northward from Chamblee-Tucker Road to U.S. 23 & Georgia 13 (Buford Highway). Photo taken 01/17/04.
Interstate 85 southbound at the Dawson Boulevard over pass ahead of the Exit 96 ramp departure. Overheads advise motorists of the upcoming Exit 95B/A flyover ramps to the Atlanta Perimeter Highway (Interstate 285). The Pleasantdale Road off-ramp carries traffic to Northcrest Road in 0.75 miles. The southbound c/d roadway otherwise continues another one quarter mile to where it splits into ramps for both directions of Interstate 285 and the return ramp to Interstate 85 south. Photo taken 01/17/04.
The right-hand two lanes prepare to yield the Exit 95B flyover ramp to Interstate 285 Outer. Guide signs posted at the Pleasantdale Road overpass indicate the Interstate 285 westbound (outer) control cities as Chattanooga and Birmingham for the connections with Interstate 75 north (Exit 20) and Interstate 20 west (Exit 10). Photo taken 01/17/04.
Five southbound lanes continue through Spaghetti Junction on Interstate 85 as the Exit 95B/A ramps claim the two right-hand ramps. Exit 95B leaves first for Interstate 285 Outer and the adjacent Exit 32 interchange with U.S. 23 & Georgia 13 (Buford Highway) at Doraville. Motorists utilizing this ramp have the opportunity to merge onto the Interstate 285 westbound mainline or the Exit 32 c/d roadway. Photo taken 01/17/04.
Interstate 85 southbound at the Exit 95B gore point for Interstate 285 outer. The right-hand lane of the mainline expands into a two-lane flyover for Interstate 285 inner ahead. Like Exit 95B, Exit 95A features the control cities of the Interstate junctions with Interstate 20 east (Augusta) and Interstate 75 south (Macon). Photo taken 01/17/04.
Exit 95A leaves Interstate 85 southbound for Interstate 285 south (inner). A southbound collector distributor roadway of Interstate 285 coincides with the Perimeter Highway mainline between U.S. 23 & Georgia 13 (Exit 32) and Exit 34 (Chamblee-Tucker Road). The flyover ramp of Exit 95A features a slip ramp to the Chamblee-Tucker Road c/d roadway before merging onto Interstate 285 Inner. Photo taken 01/17/04.
A look at the Pleasantdale & Northcrest Road (Exit 96) collector distributor roadway ramp split from the Interstate 285 westbound off-ramp of Interstate 85 south (Exit 95B). The right-hand ramp above merges with the U.S. 23 off-ramp from Exit 95B ahead. Photo taken 01/17/04.
Exit 95B splits for Interstate 285 Outer and U.S. 23 & Georgia 13 (Buford Highway) and Doraville. The Exit 96 c/d roadway ramp to Interstate 285 Inner skirts overhead. Photo taken 01/17/04.
Traffic entering Interstate 85 from Georgia 13 (old Northeast Expressway) merges onto the freeway just north of the Interstate 75 & 85 merge at Exit 85. A one lane ramp is available for those wishing to return northbound via Interstate 75. The overpass above carries U.S. 19 & Georgia 9 (Peachtree Street). No direct access is available to this surface boulevard from Interstate 85. However, ramps from Georgia 13 southbound (accessible via Exit 86) do link with U.S. 19 nearby. Photo taken 01/17/04.
Just before the merge of Interstate 85 southbound onto Interstate 75 southbound is the departure of the January 2004 opened Exit 84 off-ramp. Opened on January 5, 2004, the 17th Street Bridge, known locally at the yellow bridge because of its color, carries traffic from the Downtown Connector into the Midtown area. The $38 million 829 foot span eventually will continue to Northside Drive through the new Atlantic Station complex nearby.1 Photo taken 01/17/04.
The Exit 84 off-ramp splits between 17th Street and Techwood Drive. The 10th & 14th Street element of the ramp utilizes Techwood Drive adjacent to the southbound lanes of Interstate 75 & 85 to the left. Photo taken 01/17/04.
Downtown Connector South
Interstate 85 South
Button copy sign bridge along the Interstate 285 eastbound ramp from Interstate 85 south (Exit 69). This two lane ramp includes the Interstate 85 southbound on-ramp from Georgia 139 (Riverdale Road). Ramps to Interstate 285 west and Interstate 85 southbound are included because of the Riverdale Road on-ramp. Traffic on this roadway is also provided access to the Interstate 85 Georgia 279 (Old National Highway) interchange to the west. Photo taken 04/95.
Situated alongside a southbound rest area was this two-mile guide sign for Interstate 185 southbound (Exit 21). The southbound beginning of Interstate 185 features a long off-ramp from Interstate 85 southbound and a stub end for a not constructed northward extension to U.S. 29 near Hogansville (pop. 2,774). The 49.30 mile freeway links the Atlanta metropolitan area with the city of Columbus and Fort Benning. Photo taken 04/95.
Scenes Related to Interstate 85
Peering northward at the Interstate 85 & 285 parallel at the southwest corner of the Perimeter Highway. The pervasive directional interchange to the left includes Georgia Connector 14 (South Fulton Parkway) entering from the west. The north-south arterial midway between the freeway partitioning is that of Georgia 279 (Old National Highway). Photo taken 04/95.
The confluence of Interstate 85, Camp Creek Parkway, and Airport Boulevard at Atlanta's Hartsfield International Airport. Interchanges link the freeway with the two surface highways (Exits 71 & 72). A trumpet interchange also facilitates the movements between Airport Boulevard and Camp Creek Parkway to the southeast of the Interstate. Bisecting the two interchanges of Interstate 85 is a MARTA transit line. The north-south arterial west of Interstate 85 is that of U.S. 29 & Georgia 139 (Roosevelt Highway). Photo taken 04/95.

Sources:
1 - "Wearing its stripes: The new bridge will remain yellow." Atlanta Journal-Constitution, January 5, 2004.


Page Updated June 30, 2004.

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