Sparkle City

Spartanburg Long-Range Transportation Plan (2025)

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I was wondering where one would find the SPATS plans beyond 2005. The 2000 to 2005 plans are on display in the courthouse. I have heard of a plan to extend Floyd Street to intersect with Hwy 29 on the Eastside of Spartanburg (near the new Lowes) and just wanted to find out more about this and any other upcoming road work.

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Welcome to UrbanPlanet Sparkle City! GLad to see another Spartan in the crowd :)

I have seen SPATS stuff online before. I will try to dig around and see where that is.

Not to be picky, but I think you mean Floyd Road. If you do a search for Floyd Street you will find a small street near Regional.

This is the first I have heard of the Floyd Rd Extention. It would be good to tie this in with the Easton project.

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I am glad to be a Spartan. We have much going on in our City/County to be proud of. There are a a lot of different leaders within Spartanburg who are truly redefining our community.

You are correct about Floyd Road.

I found a document on-line tonight that details several projects, but they appear to be old or only recommendations. This document includes the extension.

Link is:

http://www.spartanburgcounty.org/govt/dept...pplan/part6.pdf

Details are on about page 12 or so. I can't remember.

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I think this will make a good topic on its own :)

Here is what I found:

SPATS Transportation Improvement Plan

Executive Sumamry for Long-Range plan - there is alot of good information here, including a blurb about LRT :D

And finally the SPATS website. There are several other links here that are also interesting.

Since it is 2005 we ought to see another plan come out soon. I would hope by the end of the year, but who knows. I haven't seen the thing about Floyd Rd, but they can easily ad it in the next short-range plan. I don't think they had any idea 5 years ago that the eastise woudl take off like it has.

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Just curious. When I moved to Upstate the new portion of 85 around Spartanburg was already open. Why was the old portion name "Business 85"? Looks like it would have been 285, 485, 685 or something.

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Good question. There was an effort made to rename it I-685.

Spartanburg Hospitality Association

"Councilmember Fleming presented a letter from the Spartanburg Hospitality Association asking Council to pass a Resolution to rename I-85 to I-685 to change the image of a business route, and bring the image of an interstate to increase business. Councilmember Fleming moved to approve support for this change with second by Mayor pro tem Bain.

Councilman Allen felt this was wishful thinking and would not work toward the goal intended. Mayor pro tem Bain stated he agreed with the change and he could see the problem the Hospitality Association had expressed.

Mayor Talley called for a vote and the motion passed in a vote of 6

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Just curious.  When I moved to Upstate the new portion of 85 around Spartanburg was already open.  Why was the old portion name "Business 85"?  Looks like it would have been 285, 485, 685 or something.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Well, Business 85 isn't a beltway, so it wouldn't be 285, 485, 685, 885, etc. (even number first digit). It's not really a spur either (which would be 185, 385, 585, 785, 985, etc. (odd first number)). It's just a business route, I suppose?

I've often wondered why business routes get the Interstate designation, myself. I'd be curious to know the answer, too.

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I agree that it is a scare tactic. There is no way it costs that much to make some signs. The "Freeway loop" compromise wasn't very successful becuase people still see "business" and avoid it like the plague. I don't- if I ever need to use 85 I pick the  old one. No traffic = easy driving ;)

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

True, I've taken it many times on the way to Charlotte just for a change of scenery....seems just as quick.

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Well, Business 85 isn't a beltway, so it wouldn't be 285, 485, 685, 885, etc. (even number first digit).  It's not really a spur either (which would be 185, 385, 585, 785, 985, etc. (odd first number)).  It's just a business route, I suppose?

I've often wondered why business routes get the Interstate designation, myself.  I'd be curious to know the answer, too.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

In some states and cities it seems they've broken away for the original designation rules. Des Moines, Iowa for example, 235 goes through downtown (the original route which opened as 35). They built a new beltway and named it 35, changing the old to 235. Seems odd.

Anybody else wonder why 26 is considered East-West? When you look at a map it is so definitely North-South. Should be an odd number.

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Well, Business 85 isn't a beltway, so it wouldn't be 285, 485, 685, 885, etc. (even number first digit).  It's not really a spur either (which would be 185, 385, 585, 785, 985, etc. (odd first number)).  It's just a business route, I suppose?

I've often wondered why business routes get the Interstate designation, myself.  I'd be curious to know the answer, too.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

It doesn't have to be a loop though. Nothing is set in stone :) Or- it could be a part of a future interstate loop around Spartanburg........

Anybody else wonder why 26 is considered East-West?  When you look at a map it is so definitely North-South.  Should be an odd number.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Hah! The age-old question :) I drive I-26 alot, and I have often pondered this very thing. I have no official answer, but the only thing I have come up with is that historically, from Charleston everything inland from the ocean was considered "West" given the rise and fall of the sun. So they just continued this same pattern when they made the interstate. It also intersects with I-95 and US-17 which are both N/S routes.

It was more common on railroads. For example- in some maps you can see a railroad stop called "East Spartanburg" which is clearly south of town. It was "east" if you are headed inland from Charleston.

My question is why is 85 more E/W than N/S? I have no justification for that.

In Spartanburg County at the intersection of 85 and 26, I-85 is running nearly east/west and I-26 is running nearly north/south. Very perplexing :blink:

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It doesn't have to be a loop though. Nothing is set in stone :) Or- it could be a part of a future interstate loop around Spartanburg........

Hah! The age-old question :) I drive I-26 alot, and I have often pondered this very thing. I have no official answer, but the only thing I have come up with is that historically, from Charleston everything inland from the ocean was considered "West" given the rise and fall of the sun. So they just continued this same pattern when they made the interstate.  It also intersects with I-95 and US-17 which are both N/S routes.

It was more common on railroads. For example- in some maps you can see a railroad stop called "East Spartanburg" which is clearly south of town. It was "east" if you are headed inland from Charleston.

My question is why is 85 more E/W than N/S? I have no justification for that.

In Spartanburg County at the intersection of 85 and 26, I-85 is running nearly east/west and I-26 is running nearly north/south. Very perplexing :blink:

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

The interstate highway system was established by an act of Congress and signed into law by President Eisenhower in 1956. A numbering and routing convention was established at that time. Generally speakng, interstate routes ending in an odd number (55-65-75, etc.) run north-south while interstate routes ending in an even number (20-40-80, etc.) run east-west. Both interstates 26 and 85 are a bit confusing in that they run diagnonal. However, a numbering and routing convention has been established for diagonal routes too. Diagonal routes ending an odd number (71-81-83-85, etc.) are oriented in a northeast-southwest direction. Diagonal routes ending in even numbers (16-24-26, etc.) are oriented northwest to southeast.

There are a couple exceptions to this numbering convention but overall the system makes pretty good sense. Another practical reason this convention was established was that, prior to the interstate system, the US had another federally designated system of roads - the US highway routes (US-29, US-25, US-66, etc.). The numbering convention for this system was established way back in 1926 and is virtually the same as the interstate system, except in reverse order and with many more exceptions. The reverse order prevents to roads with the same designation being close together and further confusing the motorist. For instance, US-80, a cross-country US highway route running from Georgia to Southern California is parallel but 400-600 miles south of Interstate 80 which runs from New York to Northern California.

The vast majority of motorists don't realize the logic behind route numbering. I agree the system is confusing but it does make sense. If you have anymore questions about roads, please let me know.

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Diagonal routes ending an odd number (71-81-83-85, etc.) are oriented in a northeast-southwest direction.
Edited by RestedTraveler

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Thanks for the information, RS!

This is exactly how I understand the numbering system to work too; however, there are a couple that don't seem to fit to convention, as you pointed out.  For example:  I guess I-4 running at a diagonal between Daytona Beach (Northeast) and Tampa (Southwest) is one of these oddball exceptions?

Also, I believe the original discussion was pertaining to the use of the "Business Route I-85" through Spartanburg, SC.  Do you have any input on why the "Business Route" nominclature is used in this particular instance?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Business 85...it was yours truly who fought the SCDOT over the route number back in 2000 and who the above quote can be attributed to.

When the "new" I-85 was built the state had a golden opportunity to keep the federal dollars flowing by renumbering "old" I-85 something like I proposed - I-685. Instead they changed it to Business 85, a designation that nobody understands and created a road that will never receive any federal highway dollars. When the SCDOT took down the tri-color I-85 shields and replaced them with the green Business 85 shields traffic fell off and a number of businesses along the highway failed. This is exactly what I predicted would happen but nobody would listen.

When the Spartanburg Hospitality Association (I was President) petitioned SCDOT to change the designation their "engineer' claimed the highway did not meet interstate standards anymore. I argued that when SCDOT changed the designation it met the standards. Granted, the highway has some serious design issues that need to be corrected. But I contend that by changing the designation to I-685 more traffic and commerce will return to the corridor and more federal dollars will become available to fix the freeway's design flaws.

The history of Business 85 goes back to the early 1950's. In 1953 the state re-route US-29 north of Spartanburg. It was Interstate 85 that was built over this alignment. The substandard exit ramps at SC-295 and SC-9 are the result of this.

The Spartanburg City Council agreed with our proposal but neither SPATS

or the local chamber of commerce showed any interest. F. Hugh Atkins, the upstate's representative on the state highway commission, was disinterested also.

We did get Mr. Atkins to add the words "FREEWAY LOOP" to exits 69 and 78 on Interstate 85 prior to entering Business 85. We reasoned that more motorists would use the road if they knew that they could avoid local traffic and stoplights.

Interstate business routes are the Rodney Dangerfields of America's highways. They get no respect or federal money. It is a designation that was intended to route traffic into a city. Spartanburg's Business 85 is the one exception. It does not lead motorists into the city.

For SCDOT to change the designation everyone in Spartanburg must get involved. Back in 2000, nobody was interested. Perhaps one day the powers-to-be will make a push to remove the Business 85 designation and return this highway to full interstate highway status.

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Thanks for the explanation RS! Can Business 85 get changed to 685, 485, etc in the future?

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Thanks for the explanation RS!  Can Business 85 get changed to 685, 485, etc in the future?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

It can be done but it will require a concerted effort by the city, the county, the chamber, SPATS, Congressman Bob Inglis, and Senator Jim DeMint. The problem is SCDOT. For some reason, they don't want the highway redesignated. I really don't see what the problem is. Sure, Business 85 has some poorly designed interchanges but so do many other freeways around the country. Back in 2000 I proposed a long-term solution to the freeway. First, improve the exit ramps to I-585 / US-176. Second, tackle the Hearon Circle exit ramps. Third, construct a new diamond interchange at SC-295. Fourth, construct a new diamond interchange at SC-9. Finally, construct construct a concrete "Jersey Barriers" in the median.

What the people at SCDOT don't realize is that too many motorists and too many dollars are literally bypassing Spartanburg. Interstate motorists naturally follow the tri-color interstate signs to their destinations.

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Fascinating. I wonder is Spartanburg will ever get a clue? This is not the only time Spartanburg has misesd the boat on a project or opportunity. Those were my first thoughts as soon as they rerouted the interstate. Surely we aren't the only ones who think this. You should be commended for your efforts and foresight, roads-scholar.

For the moment all of SCDOT's money is going to pay for a little thing called the Cooper River Bridge. Nobody in the state is getting any extra money for things they deem unnecessary for near term operations. Perhaps in the future, when there is less money owed for that bridge, they will tackle some of our problems here in Spartanburg.

One of the better things SCDOT is doing is upgrading the substandard intersections along I-585 and extending it to the new 85. The new intersection at USCS and Business 85 looks like it will be nice and confusing :) Seriously though, they are much needed upgrades, and will go far to making 585 a viable spur. I wish there were a way to connect it to downtown better. Maybe as far as Daniel Morgan Ave.

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Fascinating. I wonder is Spartanburg will ever get a clue? This is not the only time Spartanburg has misesd the boat on a project or opportunity. Those were my first thoughts as soon as they rerouted the interstate. Surely we aren't the only ones who think this. You should be commended for your efforts and foresight, roads-scholar.

For the moment all of SCDOT's money is going to pay for a little thing called the Cooper River Bridge. Nobody in the state is getting any extra money for things they deem unnecessary for near term operations.  Perhaps in the future, when there is less money owed for that bridge, they will tackle some of our problems here in Spartanburg.

One of the better things SCDOT is doing is upgrading the substandard intersections along I-585 and extending it to the new 85. The new intersection at USCS and Business 85 looks like it will be nice and confusing :) Seriously though, they are much needed upgrades, and will go far to making 585 a viable spur. I wish there were a way to connect it to downtown better. Maybe as far as Daniel Morgan Ave.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

There are plans for improving I-585. First, improving the segment between Valley Falls Road and Business 85 that will ease access to USC-Upstate. This project is well underway. Second, SPATS and SCDOT are planning a much needed redesign to the US-221 / SC-9 exits to and from I-585. This project will allow motorists on southbound 585 to exit to both SC-9 and US-221 from the same interchange. Third, I-585 will eventually link up to the new I-85 with a new high speed interchange. I also think 585 will get a major upgrade between Business 85 and its termination point at Pinewood.

A lot of people don't realize that Spartanburg nearly lost the I-585 designation when the new I-85 opened back in 1995. SCDOT tried their best to drop it but SPATS fought it in order to keep the federal dollars coming in for the freeway's upgrade.

I would like to see 585 extended south also but I don't see that happening. What I would prefer is a brand new spur route beginning at Daniel Morgan and running northeast parallel to the old Clinchfield rail line and finally linking up with I-85 near the existing exit 80. Leaving downtown Spartanburg for Gaffney and Charlotte takes a lot of time and this would solve that problem as well as open the area up for development.

Another major road project being discussed is a connector running between I-26 and I-85 in southern Spartanburg County. This project would open up this area for much needed development.

As you tell, I'm a road nut. I believe that investing in roads and infrastructure leads to more jobs and economic development. Sadly, a lot of people see roads only contributing to urban sprawl and polution.

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As you tell, I'm a road nut.  I believe that investing in roads and infrastructure leads to more jobs and economic development.  Sadly, a lot of people see roads only contributing to urban sprawl and polution.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Maybe I am getting off on a tangent, especially since I agree with the points made by roads-scholar in this thread, but I think that poorly designed roads do contribute to sprawl. I agree that investing in roads is necessary, but it is a fallacy to believe that we can pave our way out of congestion. In Atlanta for instance, 10 lanes of interstate clog just as badly as 6 or 8 and cause problems for the surface streets that are not designed to accommodate the additional traffic. In metro areas like Atlanta and Dallas where daily commuters commonly travel the interstates, sprawl is rampant. Unfortunately, the same will be true for this area as the region grows and more people commute to and from Greenville, Spartanburg, and Anderson.

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I agree with you roads. There has been a lot lost in that area, but there is still a great deal of potential. I drive the old 85 everyday and think of all the business parks that could be located in the area. Spartanburg Tech has really stepped up their campus. When the interchange at USC Upstate is done, there will be a great pocket of land between the new road and old 85 for development. Right now it is the old Spartanburg Lodge and other run down stores. I hope that we can market those areas, plus others, and turn that section of Interstate into a great showcase for industry. However, we've got to get the state involved, because interchanges will have to be addressed.

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Another major road project being discussed is a connector running between I-26 and I-85 in southern Spartanburg County.  This project would open up this area for much needed development. 

As you tell, I'm a road nut.  I believe that investing in roads and infrastructure leads to more jobs and economic development.  Sadly, a lot of people see roads only contributing to urban sprawl and polution.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I have heard this connector mentioned before, but it is my understnading that it would be routed more in Union County. They need it much more than we do.

I think that roads are a necessity around here. We have a MAJOR need for some connecting roads to better facilitate the flow of traffic around the city. As a society we will forever be somewhat dependent on cars. However, I think it is essential that we create an environment that is condusive to mass transit usage on a large scale, so you dont have to use a car. In America you should be able to choose what you want to do, be it car or mass transit. I think that Spartanburg can plan to have both exist.

Maybe I am getting off on a tangent, especially since I agree with the points made by roads-scholar in this thread, but I think that poorly designed roads do contribute to sprawl. I agree that investing in roads is necessary, but it is a fallacy to believe that we can pave our way out of congestion. In Atlanta for instance, 10 lanes of interstate clog just as badly as 6 or 8 and cause problems for the surface streets that are not designed to accommodate the additional traffic. In metro areas like Atlanta and Dallas where daily commuters commonly travel the interstates, sprawl is rampant. Unfortunately, the same will be true for this area as the region grows and more people commute to and from Greenville, Spartanburg, and Anderson.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Agreed. As I said before, connector roads are key. If you have more than one direct way to get where you are going there will be less traffic. That is why I love driving downtown anywhere- if you can't go one way, you can usually go a block over and do it a different way. Why can't the whole city be based on a similar thing.

In Hillcrest there needs to be a secondary road on the south side of E Main that connects to all of the stores (sort of like the cut through in Hillcrest Shopping center). Then, they need to connect to lowes and walkmart and any other development so that it is not necessary to clog the road with unnecesary traffic.

One thing that can be done (and is done in other counties) is to mediate curb ciuttin by requiring similar business types (ie- commercial) to have within their parking lot a connection to neighboring parking lots.

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I agree with you roads.  There has been a lot lost in that area, but there is still a great deal of potential.  I drive the old 85 everyday and think of all the business parks that could be located in the area.  Spartanburg Tech has really stepped up their campus.  When the interchange at USC Upstate is done, there will be a great pocket of land between the new road and old 85 for development.  Right now it is the old Spartanburg Lodge and other run down stores.  I hope that we can market those areas, plus others, and turn that section of Interstate into a great showcase for industry.  However, we've got to get the state involved, because interchanges will have to be addressed.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Great points!

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I agree with you roads.  There has been a lot lost in that area, but there is still a great deal of potential.  I drive the old 85 everyday and think of all the business parks that could be located in the area.  Spartanburg Tech has really stepped up their campus.  When the interchange at USC Upstate is done, there will be a great pocket of land between the new road and old 85 for development.  Right now it is the old Spartanburg Lodge and other run down stores.  I hope that we can market those areas, plus others, and turn that section of Interstate into a great showcase for industry.  However, we've got to get the state involved, because interchanges will have to be addressed.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

The key is the tri-color interstate shield! Again, I recommended I-685 back in 2000 and suggested a long term plan for bringing the freeway up to current interstate highway standards. Everyone must get involved. I encountered local apathy and Columbia bureaucrats in 2000.

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Hello everyone, I am new to this forum and I think that it is a truly productive function of the internet.

Also, I still have a question that I am hoping to find the answer to:

Does anyone know who is a good source on long-range SPATS? Other than the posting at the courthouse and the online link previously captioned, I was trying to determine what or whom would be a good source to determine the long-term plans (versus simply hopes/dreams)? Does anyone have a good source?

Thanks

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Hi Roads-Scholar,

What about I-185 on the west side of Greenville? This freeway only has like one, maybe two exits between I-85 and it's termination point near the hospital. How did this freeway keeps it's official interstate designation? It looks like this was an old highway that they simply made controlled access. It seems to get so little use.

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Hello everyone, I am new to this forum and I think that it is a truly productive function of the internet.

Also, I still have a question that I am hoping to find the answer to:

Does anyone know who is a good source on long-range SPATS? Other than the posting at the courthouse and the online link previously captioned, I was trying to determine what or whom would be a good source to determine the long-term plans (versus simply hopes/dreams)? Does anyone have a good source?

Thanks

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Please see post #4 on page 1 of this thread for that information.

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