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monsoon

I-85, Official Highway of the South

Is I-85 the official highway of the South?  

76 members have voted

  1. 1. Is I-85 the official highway of the South?

    • Yes
      44
    • No, (please explain)
      32


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monsoon    0

Some Interesting Facts about I-85

  • It only serves Southern states. Route starts in Montgomery Alabama and ends abruptly in Virginia where it joins I-95 in the Richmond Metro.

  • It passes through the metros of 4 Southern state capitals. Montogomery, Atlanta, Raleigh, and Richmond

  • It passes through the most urban areas of the states it serves.

Is I-85 the Official Highway of the South? Or is there a better contender?

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monsoon    0

A few oddities about I-85 in the Carolinas. Please post more if you know them.

  • The huge Peachoid in Gaffney SC is a big tourist draw.

  • Between Greensboro and Charlotte, the highway crosses over itself and for 3 miles people are driving on the wrong side. This was done to give right hand exits for the NC Vietnam memorial which sits in the middle of the two lanes. There are also rest areas in the middle of the highway as well.

  • The intersection of I-85 and I-77 is considered one of the most badly designed modern interchanges in the South.

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The sad thing is, the new I-77/I-85 interchange isn't much better.

I agree, it's the worst inner-city intersection for two interstates that I've seen.

I also find it interesting that it is listed as a North/South interstate (hence the odd number), but yet it's main route is East/West

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StevenRocks    0

I also find it interesting that it is listed as a North/South interstate (hence the odd number), but yet it's main route is East/West

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

It's primarily North/South, but that section between Greensboro and Durham is almost straight East/West because it duplexes with I-40.

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True, and I know Charlotte is a little north of Atlanta, but you've got to think of a Charlotte to Atlanta route as an East/West route. Same for 85 as it goes through Greenville/Spartanburg...East/West.

Now I-77...that's North/South. I-95...no doubt, North/South.

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ATLman1    0

I would say it is important, but not the official highway of the South. I think I-75 is the most important. I-85 is very important for cities like Montgomery, Greenville, and Columbus via I-185. Hopefully the new I-14 that is proposed from SC to Miss. (which will go through Columbus) will help out traffic a lot through these states and bring more economic development.

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Aessotariq    1

I find it interesting that I-85 starts west of I-75, which seems to break the rules. Interstates that end in 5 usually cut across the entire country in a north-south direction (the ones that end in 0 usually go across the entire country east to west). This one obviously does not, ending in Virginia.

I-75 and I-95 probably carry more goods, considering the cities outside the South that they serve, and I-85 serves as a valuable intrarregional route, not to mention a great way to market the good things these states share in common.

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JunktionFET    0

I-85 is probably the most important route in NC and one of the most important along the southeast coast. It serves to connect all of NC's largest metros, as well as Spartanburg/Greenville, and Atlanta to the entire Northeast corridor.

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satalac    491

i know it's more of a scenic route and only goes through 2 states, but i'd say the natchez trace. it feels a lot more southern to me than any interstate.

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Jerseyman4    0

Agreed. I-85 is to me the official interstate of the south. Petersburg (the northern terminus) is still very southern despite the Richmond metro being poured down from northerners escaping DC/Baltimore and elsewhere. I-20 would be a 2nd place winner. Matt Steffora of NCRoads agrees that I-85 is the official interstate of the south as well.

http://www.ncroads.com/interst/ih085.htm

(Reminder, information could be likely outdated since it was last updated in 1998!)

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bobliocatt    0

I'd say I-20, because it passes through six southern states. It also passes through just as many state capitols as I-85 does, as going through the heart of Dallas, the South's largest metro. I'd rank below I-95 and I-75. Based on the combined population of cities it passes through, it would be tied 4th with I-10. So here's my list.

1. Interstate 20

2. Interstate 95

3. Interstate 75

4. Interstates 85 & 10

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Spartan    682

True, and I know Charlotte is a little north of Atlanta, but you've got to think of a Charlotte to Atlanta route as an East/West route. Same for 85 as it goes through Greenville/Spartanburg...East/West.

Now I-77...that's North/South. I-95...no doubt, North/South.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Another off topic, but wierd fact is that I-26 is an East/West interstate but where it intersects with 85 in Spartanburg County it is running almost perfectly N/S. So you have two interstates that are "mislabeled" there.

I find it interesting that I-85 starts west of I-75, which seems to break the rules. Interstates that end in 5 usually cut across the entire country in a north-south direction (the ones that end in 0 usually go across the entire country east to west). This one obviously does not, ending in Virginia.

I-75 and I-95 probably carry more goods, considering the cities outside the South that they serve, and I-85 serves as a valuable intrarregional route, not to mention a great way to market the good things these states share in common.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Interestates that end in even numbers are supposed to be labeled east/west, and odd numbers are supposed to be labeled north/south. Obviuosly the actual direction varies.

I'd say I-20, because it passes through six southern states.  It also passes through just as many state capitols as I-85 does, as going through the heart of Dallas, the South's largest metro.  I'd rank below I-95 and I-75.  Based on the combined population of cities it passes through, it would be tied 4th with I-10.  So here's my list.

1. Interstate 20

2. Interstate 95

3. Interstate 75

4. Interstates 85 & 10

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I would argue that 85 is where a great deal of growth is. I have heard talk of the Birmingham-Atlanta-Charlotte-Raliegh "megalopolis" most of which is located along 85.

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bobliocatt    0

I would argue that 85 is where a great deal of growth is. I have heard talk of the Birmingham-Atlanta-Charlotte-Raliegh "megalopolis" most of which is located along 85.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I've never heard of such talk, but that may be because I live outside of that particular region. But I'd think it would be accurate to say that the I-75 corridor through the South is growing at a faster rate, considering it runs through most of Florida's booming areas, as well as Atlanta. Putting growth aside, I'd still go with I-20, because it covers more ground and the natural landscape, along its path, is more diverse, considering it runs (In the South) from Texas to South Carolina.

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Jerseyman4    0

Ive always thought a paralleled toll road to follow I-85 from SW of Atlanta to NE of Durham with a ROW big enough to make a 2-3-3-2 configuration with dedicated car and truck lanes with exits every 20-30 miles to connect major highways. I believe I-85 will eventually be like I-95 in Connecticut and Westchester County, NY even if I-85 is all 8 lanes between Atlanta and Durham if theres no new parallel road to alleivate the growing volumes on I-85. What goes on that part of I-95 are daily bottlenecks, it is HORRIBLE. This new toll road should be at least pursued for ROW acquistion while property values are still cheap and then eventually build parts of it if I-85 needs another N/S road to take off some congestion in areas like between Concord and Lexington which dosent have alternative or between Greensboro and Hillsborough.

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StevenRocks    0

Ive always thought a paralleled toll road to follow I-85 from SW of Atlanta to NE of Durham with a ROW big enough to make a 2-3-3-2 configuration with dedicated car and truck lanes with exits every 20-30 miles to connect major highways.  I believe I-85 will eventually be like I-95 in Connecticut and Westchester County, NY even if I-85 is all 8 lanes between Atlanta and Durham if theres no new parallel road to alleivate the growing volumes on I-85. What goes on that part of I-95 are daily bottlenecks, it is HORRIBLE. This new toll road should be at least pursued for ROW acquistion while property values are still cheap and then eventually build parts of it if I-85 needs another N/S road to take off some congestion in areas like between Concord and Lexington which dosent have alternative or between Greensboro and Hillsborough.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Can't you just see the NIMBYs lighting their torches protesting a project like that... :P

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Spartan    682

I've never heard of such talk, but that may be because I live outside of that particular region.  But I'd think it would be accurate to say that the I-75 corridor through the South is growing at a faster rate, considering it runs through most of Florida's booming areas, as well as Atlanta.  Putting growth aside, I'd still go with I-20, because it covers more ground and the natural landscape, along its path, is more diverse, considering it runs (In the South) from Texas to South Carolina.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

If you can find a population density map of the US, you will see a noticaeble increase in denstiy around the 85 corridor. Its not perfect, but there is a high concentration, both rural and urban, of people along this route.

I think I'd go with the idea that 85 may be the southeasts most important freeway.  That being said, I think that I-85 needs six lanes from Atlanta to Charlotte.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I agree. I despise the 2 lane sections. Particulary the one from Gaffney to Gastonia.

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orulz    106

Ive always thought a paralleled toll road to follow I-85 from SW of Atlanta to NE of Durham with a ROW big enough to make a 2-3-3-2 configuration with dedicated car and truck lanes with exits every 20-30 miles to connect major highways.  I believe I-85 will eventually be like I-95 in Connecticut and Westchester County, NY even if I-85 is all 8 lanes between Atlanta and Durham if theres no new parallel road to alleivate the growing volumes on I-85. What goes on that part of I-95 are daily bottlenecks, it is HORRIBLE. This new toll road should be at least pursued for ROW acquistion while property values are still cheap and then eventually build parts of it if I-85 needs another N/S road to take off some congestion in areas like between Concord and Lexington which dosent have alternative or between Greensboro and Hillsborough.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

For the love of God, no!! This sounds a lot like what Virginia is considering for I-81 and I must say I think it's a terrible plan. Trucks are not the most efficient way of moving freight, and cars are not the most efficient way of moving people. Even if this road is built and seems to succeed in the short term, gasoline WILL get more expensive, and pollution WILL get worse, and the people who build said road will severely regret putting all their eggs in the highway basket.

I say it's time that America wakes up from it's delusion that roads are the only solution to the problem of ground transportation.

Before you go so far as to build such a monstrosity of a highway, spend a mere fraction of that money to pay Norfolk Southern to upgrade their DC-Atlanta mainline railroad to a multi-track deal. Heck, you could double track ALL the mainlines in the south for the amount of money that such a highway would cost.

The potential of freight rail goes far beyond the low-value, high-volume commodities like grain, coal, and wood chips that are most often associated with it. Intermodal freight rail is fast, efficient, and safe - truly the wave of the future. Multi-track railroads can carry an INSANE amount of traffic in a right of way no wider than a four lane city street (which, might I add, is already 100% owned by the railroad - so there's no issue of acquisition at all!) With enough capacity, you could fit 110mph passenger trains in there too. Plus, you could even electrify the railroad some years down the road for an even greater boost in efficiency and a decrease in pollution.

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JunktionFET    0

Pound for pound, rail is by far the most fuel efficient and cleanest way to move people and goods. It all takes place on a dedicated right of way and requires only a throttle (and brake--hehe) to drive. A 10 car freight train literally burns a fraction of the fuel consumed by the number of trucks it takes to haul the same load--and the pollution discharged is even more than that!

Trains are probably the best idea to come from the industrial revolution, and we still use the same basic concept today, just with much more advanced train technology. The idea of sprinkling down some gravel, throwing down some wood, and nailing some steel rails to them hasn't changed. :) Almost no rolling resistance (steel wheels on steel track equals extremely low loss), favorable aerodynamics, and a drive system with minimal mechanical losses all account for the relative high efficiency.

I sincerely believe that the freight industry needs to pick up and that long range tractor-trailers should be greatly reduced--save the trucks for regional or shorter-range trips. Use the extensive rail network for moving the bulk quantites to each region. You cut down on disgruntled truck drivers with road rage, you weed out the backward trucking companies who are downright absuive to their employees, you reduce the stress level for automobile drivers on the interstates, etc.

Train travel in NC is very popular. Ever since NCDOT introduced The Piedmont inter-city train in 1994 (Charlotte-Greensboro-Raleigh, plus towns in between), they have seen increasing ridership numbers each year--the trains are usually packed to capacity. NCDOT also subsidizes the Amtrak "Carolinian" train from Charlotte to NYC, which greatly reduces what a ticket would normally cost. It is also often filled to the brim.

Given this information, I suspect SEHSR will be quite popular here when it opens. Let's just hope it leaves people an even better impression of rail travel!

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orulz    106
Train travel in NC is very popular. Ever since NCDOT introduced The Piedmont inter-city train in 1994 (Charlotte-Greensboro-Raleigh, plus towns in between), they have seen increasing ridership numbers each year--the trains are usually packed to capacity. NCDOT also subsidizes the Amtrak "Carolinian"

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