Interstate 85 and Branches
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From:  NC Line near Palmer Springs (Mecklenburg County)
To:   City of Petersburg
Total Length:  70 miles
Nationally I-85 runs from Petersburg to I-65 Montgomery, AL, about 595 miles  
ROUTE LOG
NC STATE LINE: 0 - 0
EXIT 4 (old 1) - SR 903: 4 - 4
EXIT 12 (old 2) - US 58: 8 - 12
EXIT 15 (old 3) - US 1: 3 - 15
BR-MK LINE: 5 - 20
EXIT 24 (old 4) - SR 644: 4 - 24
EXIT 27 (old 5) - VA 46: 3 - 27
EXIT 28 (old 6) - US 1: 1 - 28
EXIT 34 (old 7) - SR 630: 6 - 34
EXIT 39 (old 8) - SR 712: 5 - 39
DI-BR LINE: 1 - 40
EXIT 42 (old 9) - VA 40: 2 - 42
EXIT 48 (old 10) - SR 650: 6 - 48
EXIT 53 (old 11) - SR 703: 5 - 53
EXIT 61 (old 12) - US 460 WB, US 460 Bus: 8 - 61
EXIT 63 (old 13, old 1) - US 1, US 460 Bus: 2 - 63
PET-DI LINE: 1 - 64
EXIT 65 - Squirrel Level Rd: 1 - 65
EXIT 68 (old 14, old 2) - I-95, US 460 EB: 3 - 68
EXIT 69 (old 15, old 3) - Wythe St: 0 - 68
Creation: The first piece of I-85 to be open was 5 miles from I-95 to US 1-460 Petersburg. This was the beginning of the Richmond-Petersburg Turnpike, which opened in 1958. The 1961 Map was the first to actually label this as I-85.
Adjustments: The first free piece of I-85 to open came in 1966, from NC State Line to US 1 South Hill.
In 1969, I-85 was extended from Petersburg to US 460.
In 1970, I-85 was extended from US 460 south to VA 40.
The last piece between US 1 South Hill and VA 40 opened in 1971.
Posting: Fully posted; I-85 is signed for Durham and Atlanta at the I-95 split.  Like I-64 and I-95 near Richmond, I-85 is usually not signed with cutout shields, but rather with the shield and directional marker on a single black-background signboard.
Comments: This is the Main Street of the South, but the relatively short Virginia section is also relatively uneventful. I-85 to US 1 to I-40 is a good alternative to I-95 which used to be under perpetual construction from Rocky Mt, NC to Emporia. I-85 was the first Virginia 2di to be totally finished.
I-85 totally blows off US 1 (near US 460 exit), VA 142, and US 301 ALT.
The 1959 Official Map labels the NC stretch of I-85 in the Henderson area as US 293. What's up with that?
Additional detailed info on I-85 exists on Scott Kozel's site.
I-785   Future Attraction
  I-785:  Proposed Interstate connection from I-85 near Greensboro, NC along the US 29 corridor to Danville.  I believe it was written into the TEA-21 legislation, but I'm not certain on that.

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Page last modified 22 November, 2005