Interstate-Guide Home State by State Interstate list Main Interstate Routes Hidden Interstates Decommissioned Interstates Future Interstates Business Loops & Spurs Interstates Facts & Trivia FWHA Rouge Log Kurumi's 3di Log
 

Interstate 20

 

In downtown Atlanta, Interstate 20 travels east from the Capitol Avenue overpass after a recently completed Atlanta Braves baseball game. Photo taken by Andy Field (05/27/07).

Routing

Starting in the vastness of western Texas, then emerging in the southeastern states as a major highway through several metropolitan areas, Interstate 20 provides an east-west connection through the northern tier of the Deep South states. It begins at Interstate 10 near Kent, Texas, and passes through Midland-Odessa, Abilene, Fort Worth-Dallas, Tyler, Shreveport, Monroe, Jackson, Birmingham, Atlanta, Augusta, and Columbia before culminating in Florence, South Carolina.

High Priority Corridor

Interstate 20 in Dallas County is part of High Priority Corridor 55: Dallas to Memphis via Little Rock.

Guide

The Deep South's east-west main street, Interstate 20 travels through the heart of the Confederacy. Interstate 20 begins humbly at a split from Interstate near Kent, Texas, but not near any cities or urban areas. The westernmost section of Interstate 20 travels through some sparsely populated, isolated terrain, which resulted in the 2006 enactment of an 80 miles-per-hour speed limit along an 89-mile stretch between IH 10 and Monahans.

This 80 miles per hour speed limit sign is posted on westbound Interstate 20 near Piyote, Texas. Trucks may only travel 70 miles per hour on this stretch of freeway. Interstate 10 has similar speed laws in West Texas. Photo taken by Robert Lee (06/03/06).

This section of Interstate 20 serves mid-sized Lone Star communities such as Midland, Odessa, and Abilene. The highway acts at the main conduit between the West Coast and the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex. There Interstate 20 bypasses both cities to the south, overriding original alignments of Interstate 820 and Interstate 635 respectively. Interstate 30, beginning at Interstate 20 west of Fort Worth, facilitates movements into downtown and to Dallas by way of the original Dallas Fort-Worth Turnpike. The first stem of Interstate 20 is found also at Fort Worth. This route is Interstate 820, a belt route around the west, north, and east side of the cities. Interstate 20 varies between six and eight lanes as it travels through cities such as Arlington, Grand Prairie, and Mesquite. A spectacular view of the Dallas cityscape is offered to motorists entering the metropolitan area from the east. The highway here transitions from urban to rural environs as it enters the vast Piney Woods region of East Texas. Situated within this geographic realm are the Interstate 20 cities of Tyler, Longview, and Marshall.

Upon entering the Pelican State of Louisiana, Interstate 20 encounters the Shreveport metropolitan area of Caddo Parish. A second urban loop in the form of Interstate 220 exists, facilitating through traffic around the north side of the city. Interstate 20 meanwhile intersects the current north end of Interstate 49 in dramatic fashion with a multi-level stack interchange. The freeway cuts through the central business district of Louisiana's third largest city. East of the city, Interstate 20 passes by the sprawling Barksdale A.F.B. as it again enters rural landscapes. It is not until the east-west freeway reaches the city of Monroe that the scenery changes. Here the busiest stretch of highway between Dallas and Jackson is encountered. A second bypass route of Interstate 20 was planned here, that of defunct Interstate 420.2 At the Mississippi River, Interstate 20 departs Louisiana for Vicksburg, Mississippi.

Vicksburg is a city rich in Civil War history. For Interstate 20, its the entrance into the Deep South and the first of three urban centers the route encounters in the Magnolia State. 40 miles separate the western city with the Capital of Jackson. Jackson is the largest urban area of the state, but unfortunately is in a state of economic decline. Interstate 20 expands to six to eight lanes as it overlaps with U.S. 49 and Interstate 55 through the southern reaches of the city. The overlap with Interstate 55 ends at "The Stack", a three-level interchange nicknamed for its flyovers. The moniker is applied because Mississippi essentially has no other interchanges of this type (though the Interstate 220 northern terminus is also a tri-level stack). Interstate 220 composes the third urban loop of Interstate 20. The north-south freeway carries U.S. 49 northward to an exit of the city and Yazoo City before it concludes at Interstate 55. The metropolitan area itself is growing at a rapid pace eastward along the Interstate 20 and U.S. 80 corridors. The suburbs of Pearl and Brandon provide Interstate 20 with a highly suburban feel. East of Exit 59, Interstate 20 returns to forested environs.

The last urban center Interstate 20 sees in Mississippi is that of Meridian. Here the freeway begins a lengthy overlap with the north-south Interstate 59. Interstate 59 is the conduit between New Orleans and Houston to Birmingham and Nashville, and thus adds a substantial amount of traffic to Interstate 20. The two highways additionally add U.S. 11-80 and Mississippi 19 to form a five-way overlap through the urban area. Downtown Meridian is situated to the north of the narrow east-west freeway.

Entering the state of Alabama, Interstate 20-59 travel to Cuba and Alabama 8, home to the western reaches of High Priority Corridor 6, a federally mandated corridor between Meridian and Savannah, Georgia by way of U.S. 80. The corridor may entail an extended Interstate 85, an idea touted by former Alabama Governor Don Siegalman (D). If this comes to fruition, U.S. 80 will vastly be upgraded to freeway standards and carry Interstate 85 west from its current terminus in Montgomery to Interstate 20-59.

Otherwise Interstate 20-59 travel northeast from the state line to Tuscaloosa, home to the University of Alabama and the Crimson Tide. Alabamians are generally die-hard college football fans. In the Heart of Dixie, your either for the Tide or for the Auburn Tigers. The rivalry is fierce and culminates in the annual Iron Bowl, the Alabama vs. Auburn game. The stadium in Tuscaloosa has a capacity of something like 80,000. Interstate 359 represents an urban spur to both the central business district and the University of Alabama campus. Interstate 20-59 themselves skirt the urban area to the south, expanding briefly to six lanes in the process.

Continuing northeast to Birmingham, Alabama's largest city, Interstate 20-59 maintain just four lanes, but see an increasing amount of traffic. For the burgeoning metropolitan area of Birmingham and Jefferson County, Interstate 459 exists to facilitate through travel interests around the city for points north and east. While the southwest suburb of Bessemer is older and more industrial based, the metro area is seeing most of its growth to the southeast by way of U.S. 280, Thus Interstate 459 is becoming more and more overrun with local traffic. With that stated, it is still the preferred route of Interstate 20 and 59 for Atlanta and Chattanooga-bound motorists. The scenery becomes highly urbanized as the routes continue northeast toward Interstate 65 and the Birmingham urban core. The pivotal junction with the north-south freeway is locally dubbed "Malfunction Junction". This is in relation to the left-hand ramps that exist between the two freeways and overall crowded design. Construction is underway along Interstate 65 to improve this situation. However, the left-hand ramps will remain in place under this plan.

Downtown Birmingham is situated between Interstate 20-59 and the Red Mountain to the south. The high-rises that dot the landscape include the largest in the state of Alabama. Amid six lanes of travel, motorists are afforded spectacular views of the downtown skyline. Before one can soak in the urban scenery, the two routes prepare to end their 130-mile marriage. Just south of Birmingham International Airport, their divorce occurs. Interstate 20 turns briefly southeast, cutting through area hills as it heads through the eastern suburb of Irondale. A substandard ramp currently carries one lane of travel from Interstate 20 west onto Interstate 59 south incidentally. In contrast, a symmetrical stack interchange with high-speed flyovers facilitates movements between Interstate 20 and the Birmingham bypass of Interstate 459. Another ten miles of built-up areas buffer Interstate 20 before the highway leaves the metropolitan area.

Rolling, forested hills greet travelers along eastbound Interstate 20 in Alabama near Cook Springs (Exit 152) after a rain shower. The freeway retains rural characteristics as it travels east toward Atlanta. Photo taken 07/15/05.

Again Interstate 20 returns to rural scenery, albeit this time with piedmont of the Appalachian composing part of the corridor. A brief interaction with Anniston occurs before the east-west route leaves Alabama for Georgia. The city has the dubious honor of being well-known for being home to the Anniston Army Depot, home to various weapons of mass destruction including that of sarin gas.

Not long after entering the Peach State, Interstate 20 enters the sprawling Atlanta metropolitan area. The freeway quickly expands to six, then eight, then ten... to an ultimate expansion of 16 lanes. Although the western interchange with Interstate 285 is vastly substandard, Interstate 20 is quite modern as it travels through the city limits of Atlanta. A compact interchange welcomes Interstate 20 motorists to the central business district and Interstate 75 and 85 overlap. The skyline of Atlanta is nothing short of spectacular. Views from Interstate 20 include the skyscrapers and Turner Field, home of the Atlanta Braves Baseball franchise to the southeast. A few curves guide motorists eastward out of the city itself toward the east junction with the Perimeter Highway. A second cancelled Interstate 420 was to have tied into the Interstate 20 mainline on this curved portion. The south urban loop exists partially as the Georgia 166 Langford Parkway at East Point.

Twenty miles east of Interstate 285, Interstate 20 reduces from six to four lanes as it departs the Atlanta metropolitan area. For the next 150 miles, pine forest and sporadic interchanges will be the norm for east-west motorists. This landscape persists to Exit 195, where the Augusta urban area quickly begins. The first and only spur of Interstate 20 is found here, that of Interstate 520, the Bobby Jones Expressway. This route arcs to the south and east around the city of Augusta. It serves the western reaches of the suburban area and industrial areas to the south. Eventually Interstate 520 is to continue northeast into South Carolina. With this extension, it is possible that Interstate 520 may wrap its way back to Interstate 20 east of North Augusta, South Carolina.

The Savannah River represents the Georgia and South Carolina state line. 200 miles of Georgia later, Interstate 20 departs the Peach State for the Palmetto State. The forest landscape of Georgia that persists between Atlanta and Augusta resumes east of North Augusta. The scenery is a bit more appealing though, as most of the country west of Columbia is hilly. The metropolitan area of the capital city begins 60 miles east of the state line by way of Interstate 20. The freeway expands again to six lanes, and bypasses the urban core of the city to the north. Interstate 20 in conjunction with Interstate 26 and 77 composes the Columbia Beltway system, though the route is not actually signed as such. While Columbia is the largest the city of the state, AARoads was impressed with the overall traffic flow of the area Interstate system. A pervasive interchange with various flyovers exists at Interstate 77 near the Fort Jackson military reservation to the northeast of the city. This junction represents the last interchange of the metro area.

Pressing east, the final 70 miles of Interstate 20 again travels through forested realms. There are not many towns of significance along this stretch, and thus traffic counts are lower. The freeway is designated the Strom Thurman Freeway, named after the recently passed 100 year old South Carolina congressman. This distinction apparently exists for the entire length of the freeway within South Carolina. At Florence, Interstate 20 draws to a close at a modified cloverleaf interchange with Interstate 95. The Interstate 20 mainline defaults onto Business Spur I-20 east. This business route represents the only such occurrence where an Interstate highway ends as a Business route of itself. The city of Florence is known as the Denture Capital of the World. This locale is home to only 30,248, and represents the only urban area of any consequence along the Interstate 95 corridor in South Carolina.

Some have wondered why Interstate 20 ends in an isolated part of West Texas rather than overlap with Interstate 10 and connect to the west coast, perhaps via Interstate 8 or Interstate 10 west of Casa Grande, Arizona. This did not occur due to the significant mileage of dually-signed freeway. Therefore, Interstate 20 is not a coast-to-coast route.

Planned Improvements

Construction at "The Stack", the eastern end of the Interstate 20 and 55 overlap at Jackson, Mississippi will improve traffic flow and increase safety. The "X" stack interchange is closely situated to the nearby merge of U.S. 49 onto Interstate 20. U.S. 49 is the main route between the city of Jackson and the Mississippi Gulf Coast. The route also carries Florida bound travelers from points north to resort destinations via U.S. 98 at Hattiesburg to Mobile, Alabama and Interstate 10. Additionally the Jackson metropolitan area is expanding southeast through Pearl via the U.S. 49 corridor, thus adding more traffic to the fold. The new construction will see the creation of a new flyover ramp from U.S. 49 north to Interstate 55 independent of the Interstate 20 mainline. The current scenario for motorists traveling this direction is a cloverleaf ramp and merge onto Interstate 20 before encountering The Stack. Additionally a new ramp configuration will allow motorists entering the U.S. 49/Interstate 20 interchange from the north separate movements to Interstate 20 west/55 south and Interstate 55 north.1

Begun March of 2003, "The Stack" project will involve reconstruction of five miles of Interstate 20, 55, and U.S. 49. To reduce the effect on current traffic flow in the area, most direct construction will be conducted at night. The project is hoped to finish by December 2006.1

Future Aspirations

As part of the High Priority Corridor 5 project in South Carolina and North Carolina, a proposal for an easterly extension of Interstate 20 to Wilmington, North Carolina, was proposed by the governor of North Carolina as part of his Strategic Transportation Plan for Southeastern North Carolina on May 5, 2003. This extension would allow Interstate 20 to follow the route of U.S. 76 from Florence east to Wilmington.2

At Chadbourn, at the current intersection of U.S. 74 and U.S. 76, Interstate 20 would meet a proposed easterly extension of Interstate 74. Interstate 74, planned to be extended from Cincinnati, Ohio, southeast on a path roughly parallel to U.S. 52 and U.S. 220, would overlap with Interstate 20 between Chadbourn and Bolton via Whiteville.

Interstates 20 and 74 would follow U.S. 74-76 east to Whiteville, then continue on via U.S. 74-76 due east to Bolton. Interstate 20 will continue east from this point into Wilmington, and Interstate 74 would turn south along North Carolina 211 toward Myrtle Beach. Both the extension of Interstate 20 into Wilmington and the extension of Interstate 74 along North Carolina 211 are part of High Priority Corridor 5.

Interstate 20 would follow U.S. 74-76 east to Wilmington, passing by proposed Interstate 140, the planned Interstate bypass route for U.S. 17. The first segment of Interstate 140 is planned for completion in 2005, and it will provide a 14.5-mile bypass from U.S. 17 at the Pender County line south to U.S. 421, then onward to U.S. 17 near Bishop in Brunswick County (with an eventual eastern extension from Bishop to U.S. 421 south of downtown Wilmington planned ultimately).

After Interstate 140, Interstate 20 would follow U.S. 17-74-76 and North Carolina 133 over the Brunswick and Cape Fear Rivers into downtown Wilmington. Interstate 20 could enter the city directly via U.S. 17-74-76, or it could turn north via U.S. 421 and then east via North Carolina 133 to enter from the north. There would be no direct connection to Interstate 40, which terminates at U.S. 117/North Carolina 132 northeast of Wilmington. The freeway connection to Interstate 40 would be via Interstate 140, which in turn would also connect to the U.S. 17 freeway, which is planned to be upgraded to freeway standards throughout the state. U.S. 17 would be the most direct route to Myrtle Beach to the south and Jacksonville to the north along U.S. 17.

There are some in South Carolina who have protested the notion that Interstate 20 should depart their state and enter North Carolina. Instead, some have suggested that Interstate 20 should continue southeast directly Myrtle Beach, perhaps via U.S. 76-301 and South Carolina 22. However, Future Interstate 73 is planned to provide for most of this route.

History

In Texas, Interstate 20 was an original Interstate Highway, and it was approved by the Texas State Highway Commission in 1962 with 634 miles. The final route for Interstate 20 was approved in 1971. 5

In Texas, early maps showed Interstate 20 passing through downtown Fort Worth and Dallas along the route currently occupied by Interstate 30; the routes were shifted once adequate funding for today's Interstate 20 was made available from Interstate Highway Funds. Since the federal funding formula for new Interstate freeways allocated only a certain number of miles to each state, Texas leaders had to find innovative ways to construct an Interstate bypass of both areas to the south of both cities (today's Interstate 20). To that end, Texas repaid the federal government the small amount of money it contributed for Interstate 30, thereby reclaiming the mileage for use on Interstate 20.4

Highway Guides

Western Terminus - Interstate 10 - near Kent, Texas
Perspective from Interstate 20 west
Traveling west on Interstate 20, this is the first advisory sign of the pending junction with Interstate 10 east of Kent. Photo taken by Robert Lee (06/03/06).
Use the left lane to connect to Interstate 10 east to San Antonio and the right lane to Interstate 10 west to El Paso. Traffic from westbound Interstate 10 will merge with Interstate 20 shortly. Photo taken by Robert Lee (06/03/06).
A zero milepost is located under the overhead sign bridge as westbound Interstate 20 ends and the freeway splits between Interstate 10 east (left lane only) and Interstate 10 west (both lanes). Traffic from Interstate 10 merges in from the left. Photo taken by Robert Lee (06/03/06).
This is a close-up of the zero milepost shown in the preceding photobox. For the ramp to eastbound Interstate 10, see the perspective from Interstate 10 west. Photo taken by Robert Lee (06/03/06).
Perspective from Interstate 10 east
This is the first advance signage for the pending junction with Interstate 20 as seen on eastbound Interstate 10 in West Texas. The mileage sign is located three miles west of Kent and about 13 miles west of the Interstate 20 interchange. Photo taken by Steve Hanudel (01/11/05).
Now east of Kent, eastbound Interstate 10 approaches its junction with Interstate 20. This older sign leaves room for the U.S. 80 shield that used to accompany Interstate 20 east to Dallas. Since U.S. 80 was decommissioned through this area in 1991, the new signs (which were added in 2006 once the construction project was complete) no longer have this space. Those new signs are also in Clearview. Photos taken by Steve Hanudel (01/11/05) and Chris Elbert (03/31/07).
Interstate 10 prepares to split with Interstate 20 at the Reeves County line. Although there is no exit number for Interstate 20, the ramp correlates with milepost 187 of Interstate 10. Note the conversion of the sign to Clearview, which occurred in 2006. Photos taken by Jeff Royston (12/30/00) and Chris Elbert (03/31/07).
The lonely split of Interstate 20 eastbound from Interstate 10 eastbound. This point marks the departure of traffic for northern Texas destinations such as Dallas, Fort Worth, Midland and Odessa, while Interstate 10 takes the southerly route through Fort Stockton en route to San Antonio. Photos taken by Jeff Royston (12/30/00) and Chris Elbert (03/31/07).
Close-up of Interstate 10/20 overhead signs on Interstate 10 east. The numbers: 383 miles to San Antonio, 428 miles to Fort Worth, and 460 miles to Dallas. The first town of any consequence along Interstate 20 is Toyah at Exit 22. Photo taken by Jeff Royston (12/30/00).
This reassurance shield for eastbound Interstate 10 is posted immediately after the split between Interstate 10 and Interstate 20 in West Texas. Photo taken by Steve Hanudel (01/11/05).
This mileage sign provides the distance to Fort Stockton (77 miles) and San Antonio (383 miles) via eastbound Interstate 10. Photo taken by Steve Hanudel (01/11/05).
Perspective from Interstate 10 west
Westbound Interstate 10 approaches its junction with Interstate 20. Interstate 20 travels northeast toward Pecos, Monahans, and Odessa-Midland. Photo taken by Steve Hanudel (01/11/05).
Westbound Interstate 10 reaches Exit 187, Junction Interstate 20 east to Pecos. The two main lanes continue west on Interstate 10 toward El Paso. Photos taken by Steve Hanudel (01/11/05) and Chris Elbert (03/31/07).
After merging with Interstate 20 west traffic, Interstate 10 west approaches Exit 186, which is nothing more than a U-Turn allowing motorists to turn to eastbound Interstate 10 toward San Antonio. The right two lanes continue west toward El Paso on Interstate 10. Photo taken by Robert Lee (06/03/06).
Perspective from Interstate 20 east
This neutered Interstate 20 shield is the first reassurance shield on eastbound Interstate 20 after the split from Interstate 10. From here, Interstate 20 travels northeast toward Midland-Odessa along the old alignment of U.S. 80. Photo taken by Chris Elbert (03/31/07).
Eastern Terminus - Interstate 95 - Florence, South Carolina
Perspective from Interstate 20 east
This upcoming miles sign is the first indication of the eastern terminus with Interstate 95 given to eastbound Interstate 20 motorists. It is posted just to the east of Exit 137/South Carolina 340, the final mainline interchange. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca (06/13/03).
Interstate 20 crosses the Darlington/Florence County line upon entering the final three miles. Pictured here is the two-mile guide sign for Exits 141A/B - Interstate 95. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca (06/13/03).
Auxiliary guide sign for Exit 141A advising Myrtle Beach traffic interests to use Interstate 95 north. U.S. 501 connects Interstate 95 to Myrtle Beach via Exit 181, 21 miles to the northeast. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca (06/13/03).
Continuing east, we are now one mile west of Interstate 95. Fayetteville, North Carolina, is 90 miles to the northeast and Savannah, Georgia, is 170 miles to the south. Florence is the only major city along the Interstate 95 corridor in the Palmetto State. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca (06/13/03).
Approaching Exits 141A/B for Interstate 95 on Interstate 20 eastbound. The northbound ramp for Interstate 95 departs on the left while mainline traffic splits between Business Spur 20 east and Interstate 95 south (Exit 141B). The Exit 141B panel is the first mentioning of Business Spur 20 on Interstate 20 east. Traffic continuing east into Florence via Business Spur 20 will reach downtown in four miles. Photos taken by Alex Nitzman (12/14/01) and Chris Patriarca (06/13/03).
The Interstate 20 mainline partitions at the final interchange. For now this interchange is the eastern terminus, although a planned extension may or may not occur to the city of Wilmington, North Carolina. If this plan is enacted, Interstate 20 in all likelihood will overlap with Interstate 95 north to bypass the city of Florence to the north. The Interstate 95 southbound ramp departs shortly from the Business Spur 20 eastbound continuation of the Interstate 20 freeway. Three miles to the south U.S. 76 intersects Interstate 95 at Exit 157. In the 1995 photo, note the button copy shields and signs and lighting fixtures. These old signs erroneously showed Business Spur I-20 as Interstate 20. Tricolor shields were also found on original signs along Interstate 95 for Business Spur I-20 east as well. Photos taken by Alex Nitzman (12/14/01), Chris Patriarca (06/13/03), and Michael Summa (1995).
Continuing past the Interstate 95 ramp, Interstate 20 eastbound erodes into Business Spur 20 east at Exit 141B/Interstate 95 south. Traffic continuing eastward along Business Spur 20 is greeted with at-grade intersections and a handful of traffic lights on the trek to U.S. 76 and downtown Florence. Photos taken by Alex Nitzman (12/14/01) and Chris Patriarca (06/13/03).
Perspective from Business Spur I-20 west
Now traveling west on Business Spur I-20/David H. McLeod Boulevard, this is the first advance guide sign for the junction with Interstate 95 since the Evans Street intersection. The control cities are Fayetteville to the north and Savannah to the south, neither of which are in South Carolina. Photo taken by Andy Field (05/30/07).
After passing through traffic signals at Beltline Drive and Hospitality Boulevard and after passing an offramp to the north frontage road alongside the boulevard, these trailblazer shields are posted for Interstate 20 and Interstate 95. Photo taken by Andy Field (05/30/07).
The final traffic signal on westbound Business Spur I-20 is with Radio Drive (South Carolina Secondary 21-1060). From here, the divided highway widens to freeway standards in anticipation of the junction with Interstate 95 and the transition to Interstate 20 west. Photo taken by Andy Field (05/30/07).
Westbound Business Spur I-20 is a divided highway as it enters the Interstate 95 interchange. The next business route that serves Interstate 20 is located over 1,100 miles to the west in Baird, Texas along an old alignment of U.S. 80. This is largely because Georgia, Alabama, and Mississippi do not use business loops on Interstate 20. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca (06/13/03).
Continuing west, Business Spur I-20 transitions directly into Interstate 20. The overhead signs are for Exits 141B-A, Junction Interstate 95 north and south. The capital city of Columbia is 79 miles westward via Interstate 20 and South Carolina 277. Photos taken by Andy Field (05/30/07) and Chris Patriarca (06/13/03).
Exit 141A departure of the southbound Interstate 95 cloverleaf ramp from Business Spur I-20 west. The bridge in the background carries eastbound motorists to Interstate 95 north to Fayetteville, North Carolina. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca (06/13/03).
A flyover ramp carries traffic from eastbound Interstate 20 onto northbound Interstate 95; westbound Business Spur I-20 passes under the ramp. Photo taken by Andy Field (05/30/07).
After passing under the flyover ramp, the two lanes of Business Spur I-20 west become the left two lanes of Interstate 20 as the business route merges onto the mainline freeway. There is no END shield for the business route. Photo taken by Andy Field (05/30/07).
Perspective from Interstate 95 south
This is the first Interstate 20/Business Spur I-20 advance guide signs to appear on Interstate 95 south for Exits 160B-A. This is a rare instance where a Interstate and Business Spur shield are displayed on the same guide signage. Interstate 20 is the only instance where a two-digit Interstate route terminates into a business counterpart of itself. Interstate 526 in Charleston is an example of a three-digit route that ends in a similar manner. Interstate 96 used to end in this manner in Muskegon, Michigan, until the business spur was decommissioned. Photo taken by Jeff Morrison (08/09/05), vidcap taken by Alex Nitzman (02/11/01), and photo taken by Chris Curley (03/24/00).
The first ramp connects southbound Interstate 95 to westbound Interstate 20 (Exit 160B), while the second ramp connects to Business Spur I-20 east (Exit 160A). The business spur is still shown erroneously with a tri-color shield. Speed limits are 70 miles per hour on Interstate 20 west between Florence and Columbia as the freeway passes through territory that mostly rural in nature, and there are few population centers between the two cities. Photo taken by Jeff Morrison (08/09/05).
Drawing closer to Exit 160B for Interstate 20 westbound, Interstate 95 sees these overheads. The denture capital of the world Florence, is easily accessible by Exit 164/U.S. 52 and by Business Spur I-20 east/Exit 160A. This image shows the same overheads illuminated by signage lighting. South Carolina maintains signage lighting, while their southeastern counterparts Alabama and Georgia do not. Since the photo taken in 2000, the signs have been replaced to show Interstate 20 rather than Business Spur I-20 to Florence. In the 1996 video capture, the original button copy signage that once graced the sign bridges on Interstate 95 southbound was still in place, but all Interstate 95 button copy signage was replaced between 1996 and 2000. Photos taken by Jeff Morrison (08/09/05) and Alex Nitzman (08/05/00); vidcap taken by Alex Nitzman (08/26/96).
The westbound beginning of Interstate 20 from Interstate 95 southbound at Exit 160B. The reflective signage in this photograph was installed during Winter of 2000. Interstate 20 is designated the Strom Thurman Freeway between Florence and Columbia. The first westbound exit of Interstate 20 is Exit 157, four miles to the west with South Carolina 340. The 1996 video capture shows the original button copy signage at Exit 160B/Interstate 20 west on Interstate 95 south. Note that the Exit 160A panel erroneously displayed a tricolor Interstate 20 shield in place of Business Spur I-20. Photo taken by Jeff Morrison (08/09/05) and vidcaps taken by Alex Nitzman (02/11/01 and 08/26/96).
Immediately thereafter, southbound Interstate 95 reaches Exit 160A, Junction Business Spur I-20 east to Florence via a loop ramp. Photo taken by Jeff Morrison (08/09/05).
Perspective from Interstate 95 north
Two mile south of the eastern terminus of Interstate 20. Business Spur I-20 is shown to the left because it is represents Exit 160A, the first of the two off-ramps at this interchange. Photo taken by Andy Field (05/30/07).
One mile south of Interstate 20/Business Spur I-20 on Interstate 95 north. Interstate 95 retains concrete throughout the state of South Carolina for the time being. Photo taken by Andy Field (05/30/07).
Interstate 95 north meets Exit 160A for Business Spur I-20 eastbound. The interchange for Interstate 20 and Interstate 95 is a cloverleaf with the exception of the eastbound Interstate 20 to northbound Interstate 95 ramp. The overpass to which the signs are attached is not a part of the interchange of Interstate 20. It represents the adjacent Ebenezer Road, a road that also crosses Interstate 20 as well. Note that the graffiti on the Business Spur I-20 panel in 2001 was no longer present in 2007. Photos taken by Andy Field (05/30/07) and Alex Nitzman (12/14/01).
Interstate 95 north reaches Exit 160B, Junction Interstate 20 west via this cloverleaf ramp. The next interchange for East Coast's Main Street is four miles to the north with U.S. 52. Other major east-west Interstates to conclude at Interstate 95 include Interstate 4, Interstate 10, and Interstate 80. Photo taken by Andy Field (05/30/07).
After the transition ramp to Interstate 20 west, traffic from Interstate 20 east merges onto Interstate 95 north. For the next several miles, Interstate 95 will carry three northbound lanes. Photo taken by Andy Field (05/30/07).
Perspective from Interstate 20 west
The first westbound reassurance shield for Interstate 20. A forested stretch of freeway constitutes Interstate 20 from Florence to Columbia. Traffic counts through our experiences on Interstate 20 are vastly lower than that of Interstates 26, 85, or 95. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca (06/13/03).
Business Spur I-20 Eastern Terminus - U.S. 76 - Florence, South Carolina
Perspective from Business Spur I-20/David H. McLeod Boulevard east
Eastbound Business Spur I-20/David H. McLeod Boulevard approaches its end at U.S. 76 southwest of downtown Florence. From here, a left turn follows U.S. 76 east to downtown Florence, Marion, and to Myrtle Beach (via U.S. 501). U.S. 76 east ultimately enters North Carolina, serves the growing city of Wilmington, and ends in Wrightsville Beach. To the southwest, U.S. 76 travels toward Timmonsville and Sumter. Photo taken by Andy Field (05/30/07).
Business Spur I-20/David H. McLeod Boulevard ends at U.S. 76/Palmetto Street in Florence at this traffic signal. There is no END business spur shield present here. Photo taken by Andy Field (05/30/07).
Perspective from U.S. 76 west
The first appearance of Business Spur I-20 is this junction sign found on westbound U.S. 76 southwest of downtown Florence. Photo taken by Andy Field (05/30/07).
Use Business Spur I-20 west to Interstate 20 west and Interstate 95 north. Interstate 20 travels west to Columbia, Augusta, and Atlanta, while Interstate 95 travels northeast to Fayetteville. Photo taken by Andy Field (05/30/07).
Westbound U.S. 76 reaches Business Spur I-20/David H. McLeod Boulevard west to Interstate 20 west and Interstate 95 north. Photo taken by Andy Field (05/30/07).
Perspective from Business Spur I-20/David H. McLeod Boulevard west
The first set of shields are trailblazers to Interstate 20 west and Interstate 95. These are 1972 specification Interstate shields, a rarity in South Carolina. Photo taken by Andy Field (05/30/07).
Shortly thereafter is the first reassurance shield for Business Spur I-20, which is flanked by a mileage sign providing the distance to Interstate 95 (and Interstate 20) in two miles and the distance to Timmonsville eight miles to the southwest via Evans Street. Photo taken by Andy Field (05/30/07).
Westbound Business Spur I-20 approaches the Evans Street traffic signal. A trailblazer shield for Business Spur I-20 is posted at Evans Street. Another mileage sign providing the distance to Interstate 95 (and Interstate 20) in two miles and the distance to Timmonsville eight miles to the southwest via Evans Street is posted here. Photos taken by Andy Field (05/30/07).
A second reassurance shield for Business Spur I-20, flanked by a trailblazer shield for Interstate 95, is posted after the Evans Street traffic signal. In another mile, signs for the forthcoming junction with Interstate 95 and Interstate 20 will appear on westbound Business Spur I-20. Photo taken by Andy Field (05/30/07).

Sources:

  1. Metro Area Projects - Rankin County. Mississippi DOT.
  2. Summers, Stephen. "Interstate system route numbering." Defunct Interstate Numbering Webpage.
  3. North Carolina Department of Transportation Strategic Highway Planning Documents
  4. From Anywhere to Everywhere: The Development of the Interstate Highway System in Texas by Penny Beaumont, Rhonda Brinkmann, David Ellis, Chris Pourteau, and Brandon V. Webb, Texas Transportation Institute, page 17.
  5. From Anywhere to Everywhere: The Development of the Interstate Highway System in Texas by Penny Beaumont, Rhonda Brinkmann, David Ellis, Chris Pourteau, and Brandon V. Webb, Texas Transportation Institute, page 29.

Page Updated July 14, 2007.

 
Mileage

State Texas
Mileage 636.08
Cities Pecos, Monohans, Odessa, Midland, Big Spring, Colorado City, Sweetwater, Abilene, Fort Worth, Dallas, Longview, Marshall
Junctions Interstate 10, Interstate 30, Interstate 820, Interstate 35W, Interstate 820, Interstate 35E, Interstate 45, Interstate 635
State Louisiana
Mileage 189.87
Cities Shreveport, Bossier City, Minden, Ruston, Monroe, Tallulah
Junctions Interstate 220, Interstate 49, Interstate 220
State Mississippi
Mileage 154.61*
Cities Vicksburg, Jackson, Meridian
Junctions Interstate 220, Interstate 55, Interstate 55, Interstate 59
State Alabama
Mileage 214.70#
Cities Tuscaloosa, Bessemer, Birmingham, Anniston
Junctions Interstate 359, Interstate 459, Interstate 65, Interstate 20
State Georgia
Mileage 202.61
Cities Atlanta, Covington, Thomson, Augusta
Junctions Interstate 285, Interstate 75, Interstate 85, Interstate 285, Interstate 520
State South Carolina
Mileage 141.51
Cities North Augusta, Columbia, Camden, Florence
Junctions Interstate 26, Interstate 77, Interstate 95
TOTAL 1,539.38
Source: October 31, 2002 Interstate Route Log and Finders List
* - 0.60 miles on I-55 and 23.60 miles on I-59, # - 130.10 miles on I-59
Interstate 20 Annual Average Daily Traffic

State Location AADT Composite Year
Louisiana Shreveport 64,654 2001
Louisiana Monroe 90,210 2001
Louisiana Waverly 19,283 2000
Source: Louisiana Traffic Volume Monitoring (LADOTD)
Complete Interstate 20 AADT data.

| Home | Sitemap | Updates | About | Privacy | Contact | Copyright AARoads