Interstate 85
I-85 highlighted in red
Route information
Maintained by SCDOT
Length106.28 mi[1][2] (171.04 km)
Major junctions
South end I-85 at Georgia state line
Major intersections I-185 near Greenville

I-385 in Greenville

I-85 BL near Spartanburg
I-26 in Spartanburg
I-585 / US 176 in Spartanburg
North end I-85 at North Carolina state line
CountryUnited States
StateSouth Carolina
CountiesOconee, Anderson, Greenville, Spartanburg, Cherokee
Highway system
SC 83 SC 86

In the U.S. state of South Carolina, Interstate 85 (I-85) runs northeast-southwest through Upstate South Carolina. Connecting regionally with Atlanta, Georgia and Charlotte, North Carolina, it became the first Interstate highway in South Carolina to have its originally planned mileage completed.

Route description

Georgia state line to Greenville

Interstate 85 enters South Carolina along the Vandiver Bridge, from Georgia, crossing over Tugaloo River/Lake Hartwell.[3] It is immediately followed by exit 1, where the Welcome Center and the start of the Cherokee Foothills National Scenic Highway (SC 11) are located. For the next 19 miles (31 km), Interstate 85 continues along the north shores of Lake Hartwell, crossing over some parts of it. At the US 76/SC 28 interchange (exit 19), the highway widens to six lanes. Continuing northeast, US 29 joins Interstate 85 (exit 34), near Piedmont, as they run concurrently until after they cross the Saluda River.

Greenville to Spartanburg

Interstate 85 bypasses Greenville to the south, but provides a link into the city via spur routes Interstates 185 and 385. US 29 splits from Interstate 85 and joins Interstate 185 toward downtown Greenville.

Two key Upstate businesses can be seen from this portion of the interstate. One is Michelin Tires's North American headquarters and the other is the BMW plant, located in Greer. Interstate 85 also passes Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport (exit 57), which serves the Greenville-Spartanburg metropolitan area.

Spartanburg to North Carolina state line

Near Spartanburg, Interstate 85 takes a northern bypass of the city with a higher speed limit of 70 miles per hour (110 km/h), while an older alignment designated as Interstate 85 Business Freeway Loop continues along a more direct path at a lower speed limit of 55 miles per hour (89 km/h).[4] Along the bypass routing, Interstate 85 connects with Interstate 26 (exit 70) and indirectly connects with Interstate 585, via US 176 (exit 72).

At mile marker 79, Interstate 85 narrows back down to four-lanes. The remaining 27 miles (43 km) is the oldest section, which features a few low height bridges such as a 15-foot (4.6 m) high railroad bridge originally used by the Clinchfield Railroad (now the CSX Blue Ridge Subdivision) east of Exit 80, and intriguing exit/entrance ramps. At mile marker 91 in Gaffney, travelers will not be able to miss the Peachoid, a large water tower with its top shaped like a peach, representing one of the state's most important crops. At mile marker 95, an old plantation cemetery is located on a knoll in the median of Interstate 85; more visible to see on southbound lanes.[5] A 23-foot-6-inch (7.16 m) high decrepit railroad bridge can be found in the vicinity of Blacksburg between Exits 100 and 102. At mile marker 103 is the southbound welcome center. 3.4 miles (5.5 km) later, Interstate 85 enters North Carolina.[6]


The Oconee County Welcome Center is shared with the frontage road at northbound Exit 1.
The Oconee County Welcome Center is shared with the frontage road at northbound Exit 1.

The South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCDOT) operates and maintains two welcome centers and five rest areas along I-85. Welcome centers, which have a travel information facility on site, are located at the collective-distributor road for exit 1 (northbound), and around mile marker 103 (southbound); rest areas are located at mile markers 17 (northbound) and 24 (southbound). Common at all locations are public restrooms, public telephones, vending machines, picnic area and barbecue grills.[7]

The South Carolina Department of Public Safety (SCDPS) and State Transport Police (STP) operate and maintain one truck inspection/weigh station, located northbound at mile marker 9 in Fair Play.[8] The location utilizes weigh-in-motion that does not require commercial motor vehicles to leave the freeway to be weighed.


Michelin North American headquarters near Greenville at Exit #54 in 2008
Michelin North American headquarters near Greenville at Exit #54 in 2008

Established in 1959, Interstate 85 originally ran along the newly widened four-lane section of US 29, from Fort Prince Boulevard (SC 129, exit 68) to the North Carolina state line. Construction also started around that time extending Interstate 85 from Fort Prince Boulevard to Interstate 185, south of Greenville. In 1961, construction started on another section, from Georgia state line to US 29, near Piedmont. In 1962, US 29 was removed from the entire existing section of Interstate 85 at that time.

By 1964, Interstate 85 was extended south from Fort Prince Boulevard to Interstate 185/US 29. Also, smaller sections were open: from the Georgia state line to Road 23 (exit 4) and from SC 24/SC 243 (exit 11) to US 178 (exit 21). By 1967, Interstate 85 was completed in the state.

In 1995, Interstate 85 was moved onto a new six-lane freeway north of its existing route near Spartanburg, from mile markers 69-77. The old alignment became Interstate 85 Business freeway loop. In 1998, exit 46B was added, connecting to Pleasantburg Drive (SC 291).[9][unreliable source]

Being a four-lane freeway since inception, the first widening to six-lanes (excluding the new freeway near Spartanburg) was completed in 1998, from US 276 to Interstate 385. By end of 2003, Interstate 85 was widened to 6-lanes from US 76/SC 28 (exit 19) north to US 221 (exit 78).

Exit list

Tugaloo River /
Lake Hartwell
0.000.00 I-85 south (SR 403) – AtlantaContinuation into Georgia
S. Earnest Vandiver Bridge; Georgia–South Carolina state line
Oconee0.190.311 SC 11 north (Cherokee Foothills Scenic Highway) – WalhallaNorthbound exit includes South Carolina Welcome Center; southern terminus of SC 11
Fair Play2.293.692 SC 59 north – Fair Play, Seneca
To SC 243 / Road 23 – Fair Play
11.1717.9811 SC 24 / SC 243 west – Anderson, TownvilleEastern terminus of SC 243
13.6621.9814 SC 187 – Pendleton, Clemson
19.4231.2519 US 76 / SC 28 – Clemson, AndersonSigned as exits 19A (east) and 19B (west)
20.6433.2221 US 178 – Anderson, Liberty
27.1443.6827 SC 81 – Anderson
31.7851.1432 SC 8 – Pelzer, Belton
34.1754.9934 US 29 south – Williamston, AndersonSouth end of US 29 overlap; Southbound exit and northbound entrance
Piedmont35.2056.6535 SC 86 – Piedmont, Easley
Powdersville38.9362.6539River Road – Piedmont
40.1964.6840 SC 153 – Easley
Greenville41.8867.4042 I-185 / US 29 north – Greenville, ColumbiaNorth end of US 29 overlap; south I-185 toll road
Greenville42.7568.8044A SC 20 (Piedmont Highway)Southbound exit and northbound entrance
43.2169.5444B US 25 (White Horse Road)
45.3372.9546AAugusta Road
45.5373.2746B SC 291 (Pleasantburg Drive)
46.0174.0546CMauldin Road
48.1777.5248 US 276 – Mauldin, GreenvilleSigned as exits 48A (east) and 48B (west)
50.3781.0651A SC 146 (Woodruff Road)
50.8081.7551 I-385 – Columbia, GreenvilleSigned as exits 51B (south) and 51C (north)
53.6886.3954Pelham Road
SpartanburgGreer55.9690.0656 SC 14 – Greer, PelhamSouthbound exit combined with exit 57
56.8391.4657  Aviation Drive – GSP International Airport
57.2492.1258Brockman McClimon Road
59.9296.4360 SC 101 – Woodruff, Greer
63.32101.9063 SC 290 – Moore, Duncan
65.89106.0466 US 29 – Spartanburg, Wellford, Lyman
67.89109.2668 SC 129 west – Lyman
68.71110.5869 I-85 BL north – Spartanburg
70.62113.6570 I-26 – Columbia, Asheville
US 176 to I-585 – Spartanburg, Inman
Boiling Springs74.87120.4975 SC 9 – Spartanburg, Boiling Springs
77.35124.4877 I-85 BL south – Spartanburg
78.46126.2778 US 221 – Chesnee, Spartanburg
79.80128.4380Road 57, Gossett Road
82.11132.1482Frontage RoadNorthbound exit only
83.38134.1983 SC 110 – Cowpens, Chesnee
Cherokee86.58139.3487Road 39, Green River Road
Gaffney89.76144.4590 SC 105 south – Gaffney
SC 11 (Cherokee Foothills Scenic Highway) to SC 150 – Gaffney, Chesnee
SC 18 to SC 150 / Pleasant School Road – Gaffney, Boiling Springs
Northbound entrance at exit 96
96.10154.6696 SC 18 – Shelby
98.04157.7898Frontage RoadNorthbound exit only
99.33159.86100Blacksburg Highway
Blacksburg101.97164.10102 SC 5 south / SC 198 east – Blacksburg, Rock HillNorthern terminus of SC 5; western terminus of SC 198
103.95167.29104Road 99, Tribal Road
105.67170.06106 US 29 – Blacksburg, Grover
106.28171.04 I-85 north – CharlotteContinuation into North Carolina
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

Related routes

Interstate City Type Notes
Interstate 85 Business Spartanburg Business loop Freeway grade throughout the route.
Interstate 185 Greenville Spur Enters into Greenville from the southwest, between I-85 and I-385 is toll road
Interstate 385 Greenville Spur Enters into Greenville from the east, connects I-85 with I-26 towards Columbia
Interstate 585 Spartanburg Spur Enters into Spartanburg from the northwest between I-85 and US 221, becoming N. Pine Street

See also


  1. ^ "Table 1: Main Routes of the Dwight D. Eisenhower National System Of Interstate and Defense Highways". Route Log and Finder List. Federal Highway Administration. October 31, 2002. Retrieved January 22, 2013.
  2. ^ a b "STATEWIDE HIGHWAYS 2012". South Carolina Department of Transportation. 2012. Archived from the original on June 13, 2012. Retrieved January 22, 2013.
  3. ^ " Vandiver Bridge". Retrieved February 10, 2013.
  4. ^ "Interstate". Retrieved February 10, 2013.
  5. ^ "Gaffney, South Carolina: Graveyard in the I-85 Median". Retrieved February 10, 2013.
  6. ^ Google (October 4, 2014). "Google Street View of I-85 from southbound Welcome Center to North Carolina state line" (Map). Google Maps. Google. Retrieved October 4, 2014.
  7. ^ "SC Rest Areas Map". South Carolina Department of Transportation. Retrieved May 14, 2019.
  8. ^ "Fair Play Weigh Station Information". Coops are July 19, 2012. Retrieved May 14, 2019.
  9. ^ "Mapmikey's South Carolina Highways Page: Interstate 85". Retrieved February 10, 2013.

Route map:

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