Interstate 85 in Alabama

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Interstate 85

I-85 highlighted in red
Route information
Maintained by ALDOT
Length80.00 mi[1] (128.75 km)
NHSEntire route
Major junctions
South end I-65 / US 82 in Montgomery
Major intersections
North end I-85 at the Georgia state line near Valley
CountryUnited States
CountiesMontgomery, Macon, Lee, Chambers
Highway system
  • Alabama State Highway System
US 84 SR 85
SR 107AL 108 SR 109

Interstate 85 (I-85) is a part of the Interstate Highway System that runs from Montgomery, Alabama, to Petersburg, Virginia. In Alabama, the Interstate Highway runs 80 miles (130 km) from I-65 in Montgomery northeast to the Georgia state line near Valley. Although it is nominally north–south as it carries an odd number, I-85 travels east–west through the state. It is the primary highway between Montgomery and Atlanta. The Interstate also connects Montgomery with Tuskegee, Auburn, Opelika, and, indirectly, Phenix City and Columbus, Georgia.

Route description

I-85 begins at a six-ramp modified directional T interchange with I-65 southwest of downtown Montgomery. In addition to the ramps to and from I-65, the terminating Interstate's dual carriageways continue west a short distance and become Day Street; the interchange also includes a ramp from southbound I-65 to Day Street and from Day Street to northbound I-65. I-85 heads east toward downtown Montgomery as an eight-lane freeway. The highway has a pair of half diamond interchanges with Court Street (northbound exit, southbound entrance) and Union Street (southbound exit, northbound entrance). The one-way pair of Arba Street and South Street serve as frontage roads for the northbound and southbound lanes, respectively, along the southern edge of downtown. The interchanges provide access to the Alabama State Capitol and Alabama State University. Southeast of downtown Montgomery, I-85 has a pair of half interchanges with Forest Avenue (northbound exit, southbound entrance) and Mulberry Street (southbound exit, northbound entrance).[2]

I-85 leaves the core of Montgomery and has a diamond interchange with Ann Street and a six-ramp partial cloverleaf interchange with Perry Hill Road. The freeway's next junction is with East Boulevard, which forms part of a circumferential highway around Montgomery; the partial cloverleaf interchange includes a flyover ramp from northbound East Boulevard to southbound I-85. East Boulevard carries US Route 231 (US 231) and State Route 21 (SR 21) through the interchange and US 80 south from the interchange; US 80 joins I-85 heading east from Montgomery. I-85's interchange with SR 271 provides access to Auburn University at Montgomery. The Interstate drops to four lanes between SR 271 and the next interchange with SR 110 and SR 126 (Atlanta Highway), where the route leaves the city of Montgomery.[2]

I-85 and US 80 parallel SR 126 east through the community of Mount Meigs and through an unused directional T interchange with SR 108, which is also future I-85. This is among the largest and tallest interchanges in the state, featuring SR 126 and SR 293 on both sides of the Interstate and freeway state route. US 80 splits east onto Atlanta Highway at a diamond interchange, and I-85 heads east-northeast, leaving Montgomery County and entering Macon County at Line Creek. Another access to US 80 is provided at Shorter via an interchange with unsigned SR 138. The Interstate meets the southern end of SR 229 south of SR 229's crossing of the Tallapoosa River and the southern end of SR 49 near the town of Franklin. I-85's interchange with SR 81 connects the freeway with the Macon County seat of Tuskegee and Tuskegee University. The Interstate's final access to US 80 is via SR 186 (Wire Road), beyond which the freeway passes through a portion of the Tuskegee National Forest.[2]

I-85 continues northeast into Lee County. On the southern edge of Auburn, the freeway has an interchange with Auburn Technology Parkway. US 29 joins I-85 at its next interchange with College Street; SR 147 continues north along College Street toward Auburn University. I-85 and US 29 continue northeast through the city to an interchange with Bent Creek Road, which provides access to Auburn University Regional Airport. The freeway continues northeast into the city of Opelika, the county seat of Lee County. I-85 gains a second US Route concurrency at its four-ramp partial cloverleaf interchange with Gateway Drive, where US 280 joins from the north. The three highways cross over a Norfolk Southern Railway line just west of their four-ramp partial cloverleaf interchange with SR 51 and SR 169 south of downtown Opelika.[2]

I-85 North exit 70 toward Cusseta

US 280 splits east toward Phenix City and Columbus at the next interchange with US 431. US 29 diverges from I-85 at the following interchange, and the Interstate leaves the city of Opelika beyond its junction with Andrews Road. The Interstate enters Chambers County at its interchange with County Road 388 (CR 388), which leads to Cusseta. I-85 meets CR 208 in the unincorporated area of Huguley west of the city of Valley. Southbound I-85 has a welcome center between CR 208 and the freeway's final interchange in Alabama, a junction with US 29 between the cities of Valley to the south and Lanett to the north. I-85 crosses the Chattahoochee River on its way toward LaGrange and Atlanta.[2]


The construction of the downtown part of the interstate in Montgomery destroyed a significant part of the traditionally African-American community in that area.[3]


An extension of I-85 is proposed west from Montgomery to interchange with I-20 and I-59 just east of the MississippiAlabama state line,[4] where it will connect with I-20 and I-59 near Cuba. This extension will roughly follow the route of US 80, going through or bypassing Selma and Demopolis.[5] The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) approved the alignment on February 17, 2011, after the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) approved at its Fall 2010 meeting in Biloxi, Mississippi. Also approved was the proposal to redesignate part of existing I-85 south and east of Montgomery to be bypassed as part of the extension of I-85 as I-685. I-85 will be rerouted onto the Montgomery Outer Loop, which will loop to the south and east of Montgomery and link up with US 80 west of Montgomery. Alabama has permission to cosign this part of I-85 as I-685 until the new alignment is built.[6] This section has also envisioned by some as part of a proposed I-14.[7] The first segment of the Montgomery Outer Loop from Vaughn Road (SR 110) to I-85 opened to traffic on January 25, 2016, signed as SR 108.[8] If this extension were to be completed, I-85 and I-20 would meet each other twice, and the extension of I-85 would run east–west. As of 2023, no construction has been started to extend SR 108 beyond Vaughn Road.[9]

Exit list

MontgomeryMontgomery0.0000.0000 I-65 / US 82 (SR 6) / Day Street west – Mobile, BirminghamSouthern terminus and signed as exit 0 (north) northbound, left 0A (south) & 0B (north) southbound; I-65 exit 171; no access from eastbound Day Street to southbound I-65 or from northbound I-65 to Day Street; future western terminus of I-685
0.7901.2711Court StreetNorthbound exit and southbound entrance
1.2902.0761Union StreetSouthbound exit and northbound entrance
2.1303.4282Forest AvenueNorthbound exit and southbound entrance
2.3203.7342Mulberry StreetSouthbound exit and northbound entrance
3.0044.8343Ann Street
4.7347.6194Perry Hill Road
US 80 west (SR 8 west) / US 231 (SR 53) / SR 21 (East Boulevard)
Southern end of US 80 / SR 8 concurrency
SR 271 (Taylor Road) to US 231 (SR 53)
Auburn University at Montgomery
11.00917.71711 SR 110 / SR 126 (Atlanta Highway) – Mitylene, Mount Meigs

Future I-85 south / SR 108 west – Pike Road
Future I-85 rerouting; future eastern terminus of I-685
US 80 east (SR 8 east) / SR 126 – Mount Meigs, Waugh
Northern end of US 80 concurrency
SR 138 to US 80 – Shorter
SR 138 is unsigned from I-85
SR 229 north – Tallassee
SR 49 north – Tuskegee, Franklin
Tuskegee38.81862.47238 SR 81 – Notasulga, Tuskegee

SR 186 east (Wire Road) to US 80 – Tuskegee, Auburn
Tuskegee National Forest; to US 29
LeeAuburn49.92180.34050Auburn Technology Parkway
US 29 south (SR 15 south) / SR 147 (College Street) – Auburn
Southern end of US 29/SR 15 concurrency
57.02891.77857Bent Creek Road
US 280 west (SR 38 west / Gateway Drive)
Southern end of US 280/SR 38 concurrency
60.77397.80560 SR 51 / SR 169 – Opelika, Hurtsboro
US 280 east (SR 38 east) / US 431 (SR 1) – Opelika, Phenix City, Eufaula, Dothan
Northern end of US 280/SR 38 concurrency
US 29 north (SR 15 north) – Opelika
Northern end of US 29/SR 15 concurrency
66.731107.39366Andrews Road To US 29
Chambers70.394113.28870 CR 388 – Cusseta
Huguley76.908123.77177 CR 208 – Valley, Huguley
Valley79.365127.72679 US 29 (SR 15) – Lanett, Valley
I-85 north (SR 403) – Atlanta
Continuation into Georgia over the Chattahoochee River
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi


  1. ^ Starks, Edward (January 27, 2022). "Table 1: Main Routes of the Dwight D. Eisenhower National System Of Interstate and Defense Highways". FHWA Route Log and Finder List. Federal Highway Administration. Retrieved August 18, 2022.
  2. ^ a b c d e f Alabama Department of Transportation. "General Highway Maps". Archived from the original on April 2, 2015. Retrieved April 20, 2015.
  3. ^ Yawn, Andrew J. (March 7, 2018). "Cleaved by Concrete". Montgomery Advertiser. Retrieved July 9, 2019.
  4. ^ Volkert and Associates, I-85 Extension Corridor Study & EUIS Archived December 19, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ Hinnen, Jerry. Shelby shares views with Hale, Greene counties[permanent dead link] Posted by the Demopolis Times, January 17, 2005.
  6. ^ FHWA letter downloaded from[permanent dead link] April 14, 2011
  7. ^ Koplowitz, Howard (5 August 2021). "Plans for Alabama's newest interstate, I-14, progress in US Senate". al. Retrieved 23 March 2023.
  8. ^ Burylo, Rebecca (January 25, 2016). "1st phase of Montgomery's Outer Loop opens". Montgomery Advertiser. Gannett. Retrieved July 10, 2022.
  9. ^ Alabama Department of Transportation (June 25, 2023). "Alabama Department of Transportation Rural Planning Organization Report: County Highway Projects - Montgomery" (PDF). Alabama Department of Transportation. Retrieved June 25, 2023.
  10. ^ Alabama Department of Transportation. "Milepost Maps". Archived from the original on April 2, 2015. Retrieved April 20, 2015.

External links

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