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Interstate 185 Georgia

 

Routing

Interstate 185 in Georgia is a 49-mile freeway that links the Columbus metropolitan area with Interstate 85, which continues northeast into the Atlanta metro area. Even though Interstate 185 terminates at the junction with U.S. 27, the freeway continues south to the entrance to Fort Benning. Like most Georgia Interstates, Interstate 185 has a hidden Georgia 4xx route number: Georgia 411.

Future Aspirations

Interstate 185 might be extended both north and south. Occasional discussions arise about extending Interstate 185 north from Interstate 85 near La Grange to Hogansville. From there, the freeway could possibly extend further north to Carrollton, Cedartown, and Rome via the U.S. 27 corridor.

Another long-range plan would extend Interstate 185 south from Columbus to the vicinity of Tallahassee, Florida. This corridor is occasionally discussed by regional leaders in the communities south of Columbus. In November 2006, city leaders in Albany met with Georgia Department of Transportation to discuss the feasibility of extending Interstate 185 south to Monticello, Florida, via Albany.1 (Monticello is located just east of Tallahassee.) Such as extension would follow Georgia 520 southeast to Albany, then continue south on U.S. 19/Georgia 300 to Interstate 10. Such a 200+ mile extension would be extremely costly but would probably use some existing sections of Georgia 520 and Georgia 300. However, funds are not currently available for such a major undertaking.

Steve Williams adds that Interstate 185's southern terminus is the combined GRIP corridors of U.S. 27/Georgia 1 (West Georgia Developmental Highway) and Georgia 520 (South Georgia Parkway/Corridor Z).

Naming

In Harris County (north of Columbus), the Georgia DOT has dubbed Interstate 185 as the "Chet Atkins Parkway", in honor of the legendary country guitarist who lived in the area during his teenage years.

History

Interstate 185 was completed in 1979.2

Highway Guides

Southern Terminus - U.S. 27-280/First Division Road - Fort Benning, Georgia
Perspective from Interstate 185 south
Exit 1N/S sign bridge on Interstate 185 southbound approaching the cloverleaf interchange with the cosigned U.S. 27/280/Georgia 280. This interchange marks the southern terminus, but not the south end of the freeway. Photo taken by Alex Nitzman (10/15/99).
Sign replacement along Interstate 185 has done away with the cardinal direction based suffixes in favor of the alphabetical based ones. This photograph reveals the Exit 1A guide sign for the final Interstate 185 off-ramp. The new signs here no longer include green numerals for Georgia 520. Photo taken by Alex Nitzman & Justin Cozart (08/22/03).
This photo shows the end Interstate 185 shield at the U.S. 27/280 and Georgia 1/520 interchange. The freeway continues southward into the Fort Benning military complex. Photo taken by Alex Nitzman & Justin Cozart (08/22/03).
It is common in the Peach State to see paired end shields for Interstate termini. This photograph displays the median based end shield for Interstate 185 south. Note also the small guide sign indicating the approach to Fort Benning. Photo taken by Alex Nitzman & Justin Cozart (08/22/03).
Perspective from Interstate 185 north
Situated with the Exit 1A/B cloverleaf of Interstate 185 at U.S. 27-280 and Georgia 1-520 are a pair of begin shields. This photograph shows the right-hand begin shield and Exit 1B guide sign for U.S. 27-280 northwest toward downtown Columbus and Phenix City, Alabama. Photo taken by Alex Nitzman & Justin Cozart (08/22/03).
Prior to the exit renumbering project of 1999, Interstate 185 was one of a handful of freeways in Georgia to retain cardinal based direction suffixes. This photograph displays the same northbound begin shield with the previous incantation of the guide sign for U.S. 27 north/U.S. 280 west. Note the green text in the Georgia 520 shield. Photo taken by Alex Nitzman (10/15/99).
A closer view of the neutered Interstate 185 northbound begin shield Pictured above. All mainline shields of Interstate 185 are now neutered. This continues a trend by GADOT to switch from state-name based shields to those without the state name. There are eight interchanges along the Interstate 85 spur that serve the city of Columbus area. Photo taken by Alex Nitzman & Justin Cozart (08/22/03).
Like the pair of southbound end shields, a pair of northbound begin shields is also posted. Amid a summertime pop-up shower, the northbound begin shield resides in the median of the Exit 1A/B cloverleaf interchange. Photo taken by Alex Nitzman & Justin Cozart (08/22/03).
Perspective from U.S. 27 south and U.S. 280/Georgia 520 east
Approaching Interstate 185 on U.S. 27 south/U.S. 280 eastbound in south Columbus. The northbound destination of choice by GADOT is that of La Grange, a city near the northern terminus at Interstate 85. Mileage signs along the route itself also indicate the distance to Atlanta however. Photo taken by Alex Nitzman & Justin Cozart (08/22/03).
This sign bridge along U.S. 27 southbound/U.S. 280/Georgia 520 eastbound is placed at the Interstate 185 southern terminus cloverleaf interchange. The freeway to Fort Benning is not numbered, but Interstate 185 trailblazers are located on base. Photo taken by Alex Nitzman (10/99).
Perspective from U.S. 27 north and U.S. 280/Georgia 520 west
The triplex westbound at the Interstate 185 northbound beginning. The first northbound interchange of Interstate 185 is situated two miles to the north at Exit 3/Saint Marys Road. Meanwhile downtown Columbus is another five miles to the northwest. Photo taken by J.P. Nasiatka (06/05/03).
A second view of the Interstate 185 northbound beginning as seen from U.S. 27 north/U.S. 280 west. From the southeast, the paired federal routes travel through the Fort Benning military reservation. There is an overpass for Custer Road with access ramps in place. Further south across the Chattahoochee County line a second entrance to the base is available. The highway otherwise is pretty much limited-access on the approach to Interstate 185. Photo taken by Alex Nitzman & Justin Cozart (08/22/03).
Northern Terminus - Interstate 85 - LaGrange, Georgia
Perspective from Interstate 185 north
Posted just beyond the final mainline interchange of Interstate 185 at Exit 46 is the first guide sign for Interstate 85. 1.75 miles of Interstate 185 remain. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca (04/06/03).
One mile south of Interstate 85 is this overhead on Interstate 185 northbound. The city of Atlanta is 55 miles to the northeast while the capital of Alabama is a 95 mile drive to the southwest. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca (04/06/03).
Space is allocated for an Exit number on the one-half mile guide sign for the Interstate 85 southbound ramp. The number would be 50 based on the current mileage convention. The empty bracket to the left most likely held the southbound Interstate 85 sign with a northbound Interstate 85 panel in place to the right. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca (04/06/03).
A second view of the Interstate 85 southbound panel displayed in the above photograph. The left shoulder is wider than normal because there is provision for an extension of northbound Interstate 185 beyond this point. Pavement markings to the left give an indication of a stub end (closed third lane). Other evidence of a possible extension may be seen when merging from Interstate 85 to Interstate 185 Southbound. A stub end is located at the merge of the ramps from Interstate 85. Photo taken by AARoads (10/04/01).
Obviously based on the orientation of Interstate 185 that traffic is defaulted onto Interstate 85 northbound. In this photograph the southbound Interstate 85 ramp departs to the left. Note that La Grange, the Troup county seat nearby, is included as a control destination. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca (04/06/03).
The Interstate 185 end shield is posted along the roadway to Interstate 85 northbound. A twin end shield to the left is not posted as is common GADOT practice. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca (04/06/03).
Perspective from Interstate 85 south
One mile north of the beginning of Interstate 185 southbound on Interstate 85 southbound. This guide sign was replaced with the exit renumbering project and reflects the old Exit 5 sequentially based number. Photo taken by Alex Nitzman (04/95).
Interstate 85 southbound at the beginning of Interstate 185. The current exit number from Interstate 85 southbound to Interstate 185 is Exit 22. The pavement in this video capture was recently diamond grinded at the time of this video. Vidcap taken by Alex Nitzman (02/23/99).
Next Three Interstate Junctions for Interstate 85 north
Interstate 65 102 miles at Montgomery, AL
-- --
-- --
Perspective from Interstate 85 north
Two mile guide sign for Exit 21/Interstate 185 southbound on Interstate 85 north. The city of Columbus is 42 miles to the south. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca (04/06/03).
Interstate 85 northbound, 1.25 miles south of the northern terminus of Interstate 185 at Exit 18/Georgia 109. This east-west route connects La Grange with the Meriwether County seat of Greenville. There is no access to Interstate 185 from Georgia 109. Photo taken by AARoads (10/04/01).
A second view of the sign bridge of Exit 18 on Interstate 85 northbound. The northern terminus interchange of Interstate 185 is quite pervasive and features long drawn out ramps. Hence the exit ramp departure is in 1.25 miles yet the exit number is three miles higher than Exit 18. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca (04/06/03).
A reminder of Exit 21/Interstate 185 south for motorists entering Interstate 85 north from Georgia 109 at Exit 18. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca (04/06/03).
Interstate 85 northbound at the southbound beginning of Interstate 185/Exit 21. Interstate 185 is similar to Interstate 85 throughout this stretch in that rural pine forest dominates the landscape. Photo taken by AARoads (10/04/01).
A springtime view of Interstate 185's southbound departure from Interstate 85 northbound. Interstate 185 also serves the Phenix City, Alabama area with a connection to the U.S. 80 freeway at Exit 10, 40 miles to the south. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca (04/06/03).
Next Three Interstate Junctions for Interstate 85 north
Interstate 285 47 miles at College Park, GA
Interstate 75
overlap begin
56 miles in south Atlanta, GA
Interstate 75
overlap end
64 miles in Atlanta, GA

Sources:

  1. Albany leaders campaign for an interstate highway, December 4, 2006, WALB 10 News (walb.com)
  2. "WOULD FOUR LANES DRIVE AWAY RURAL LIFESTYLE?, SUPPORTERS OF WIDENING GEORGIA 85 SAY IT WOULD PROMOTE SAFETY, BUSINESS, BUT SOME ALONG ROAD ARE SKEPTICAL." Columbus Ledger-Enquirer, September 18, 1994.

Page Updated July 21, 2007.

 
Mileage

State Georgia
Mileage 49.30
Cities Columbus
Junctions Interstate 85
Source: October 31, 2002 Interstate Route Log and Finders List
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