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Interstate 285 Georgia

 

Routing

The lifeline of Atlanta's transportation infrastructure, Interstate 285 is the Perimeter Highway around metropolitan Atlanta. Originally intended to allow through traffic to bypass the city, it now is heavily used by local traffic as a result of suburban growth. Atlanta has been fast growing for quite some time now, and the development has reached far beyond the scope of the Atlanta Beltway. Many corporations have established their presence near beltway interchanges, as opposed to center city. This can be seen in the many high-rise buildings along the northern portion near Georgia 400 and Interstate 75.

Rumors have been floating around for years of a potential second beltway for Atlanta Metro. This highway would be built about 50 miles or so outside of Interstate 285. Don't look for this one in the immediate future, as many hurdles both politically and environmentally would have to be overcome.

History

Interstate 285 was completed in 1969.1

Highway Guides

Beltway Milepost Zero - College Park, Georgia - Interstate 85/Georgia Spur 14
Perspective from Interstate 285 south
Two miles north of Exit 61 for Interstate 85 on Interstate 285 southbound. The final two exits (1 and 2) of Interstate 285 serve the College Park community of southwest Atlanta metro. Photo taken by Alex Nitzman (07/13/05).
The final exit on southbound Interstate 285 is Exit 1, Washington Road. Photo taken by Alex Nitzman (07/13/05).
In addition to connecting Atlanta to Montgomery, Interstate 85 also serves the city of Columbus and Fort Benning via connections with Interstate 185. Photo taken by Alex Nitzman (07/13/05).
Ramps to Interstate 85/Exit 61 depart just after the Interstate 285 ramps to the westbound beginning of Georgia Spur 14/South Fulton Parkway. This photograph looks at the one mile sign bridge for the approaching parent junction. Photo taken by Alex Nitzman (07/13/05).
This is the last southbound Interstate 285 reassurance shield. Photo taken by Alex Nitzman (07/13/05).
Traffic to Georgia 279/Old National Highway is segregated from the traffic movements between Interstate 85 and 285, even through the state route bisects the parallel routing of the two freeways. Photo taken by Alex Nitzman (07/13/05).
Interstate 285 utilizes Interstate 75 control cities and places second fiddle to the 2-digit route on its own reassurance panel as the Exit 61 ramps for Interstate 85 depart from southbound. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca (02/23/03).
Sign bridge at the partition of the Exit 61 ramps to Interstate 85 north and south. Hartsfield International Airport is located just four miles to the northeast along Interstate 85. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca (02/23/03).
Perspective from Interstate 285 west
Five lanes of Interstate 285 progress westward toward Exits 60/Georgia 139 and 61/Interstate 85. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca (02/23/03).
Now within 1.50 miles of Interstate 85 on Interstate 285 westbound. Georgia 139/Riverdale Road serves the Atlanta Airport and College Park vicinity. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca (02/23/03).
0.75 miles east of Interstate 85 on Interstate 285 westbound. Exits 61 and 62 are the highest numbers Interstate 285 will obtain before the mileposts reset to zero. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca (02/23/03).
Four through lanes are provided for Interstate 285 westbound through traffic at Exit 61. Interstate 85 is allocated three lanes. Downtown Atlanta is 14 miles to the northeast at this point. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca (02/23/03).
Split of Interstate 285 west from the Exit 61 lanes to Interstate 85. Interstate 85 mileage to Columbus (via Interstate 185): 93 miles, to Montgomery: 146 miles. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca (02/23/03).
Reassurance panels showing the parallel alignment of Interstate 85 south with Interstate 285 west. Control points of Interstate 285 include Birmingham for the Interstate 20 westbound connection at Exit 10 and Chattanooga for the connection with Interstate 75 north at Exit 20. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca (02/23/03).
Perspective from Interstate 85 south
Centerline upcoming exits sign on Interstate 85 southbound, 2.25 miles north of the confluence with Interstate 285. Exit 72 for Camp Creek Parkway and Atlanta Airport departs within 0.25 miles. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca (02/23/03).
Interstate 285 sees the control cities of Macon and Birmingham on Interstate 85 south for the connections with Interstate 75 south and Interstate 20 west respectively. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca (02/23/03).
Exit 71 for Georgia 139/Riverdale Road departs in one mile as Interstate 85 draws within 1.50 miles of Interstate 285/Exit 70. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca (02/23/03).
During the two mile parallel alignment of Interstate 85 and 285, is Exit 69 with Georgia 279/Old National Highway. Georgia Spur 14, the South Fulton Parkway, extends westward from the southwest corner of the Atlanta Beltway, two miles to the west. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca (02/23/03).
Interstate 285 traffic branches from Interstate 85 southbound as both highways are now orientated in an east-west fashion. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca (02/23/03).
Continuing on Exit 70 to Interstate 285 is this sign bridge. A return ramp to Interstate 85 southbound and ramp to Georgia 279 is offered to traffic utilizing the Interstate 285 northbound roadway. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca (02/23/03).
The sign bridge Pictured in the above photograph used to display this original button copy signage. Photo taken by Alex Nitzman (04/95).
Next Three Interstate Junctions for Interstate 85 South
Interstate 185 49 miles near La Grange, GA
Interstate 65
150 miles at Montgomery, AL
-- --
Perspective from Interstate 85 north
Interstate 85 northbound expands to four lanes as it travels through the growing southwest suburbs of Atlanta. This diagram sign for Exit 68 is situated two miles to the south of Interstate 285. The second photo shows the original button copy panel displayed for Exit 68 (then Exit 15). Signage was replaced in August 2000, and this coincided with the Georgia exit renumbering project of 2000. Note that the lighting fixtures also are no longer in place in the newer photo. Photos taken by Alex Nitzman (06/21/05 and 12/07/99).
Now one mile south of Exit 68 for the Atlanta Beltway. Although maps show Interstates 85 and 285 as overlapped for two miles, the two highways actually maintain independent roadways from one another. The zero milepost occurs at the western confluence of the two freeways. Photo taken by Alex Nitzman (06/12/05).
The right two lanes become exit-only for Interstate 285. The control cities are replaced with "Atlanta Bypass" as this guide sign coincides with truck restriction signage for traffic within the beltway. Photo taken by Alex Nitzman (06/12/05).
Exit 68 branches away from Interstate 85 northbound for Interstate 285. Ahead is Exit 69 for Georgia Spur 14. This state route extends westward from this interchange as a freeway two miles to U.S. 29, the Roosevelt Highway. Photos taken by Chris Patriarca (02/23/03) and Alex Nitzman (06/12/05).
Interstate 285 overheads on the Exit 68 roadway from Interstate 85 northbound. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca (02/23/03).
Control cities finally emerge for Interstate 285 at the ramp split of Exit 68. Note that Macon and Tampa both pertain to Interstate 75 south for Interstate 285 east. Augusta is normally displayed for the connection with Interstate 20 eastbound (Exit 46 of the beltway). The original button copy signs (1999 photo) use Augusta instead of Tampa as a control city for Interstate 285 east. From here, Interstate 285 east meets Interstate 75 in four miles. Photos taken by Chris Patriarca (02/23/03) and Alex Nitzman (12/07/99).
Back on mainline Interstate 85 north, the next exit is Exit 69A, Junction Georgia Spur 14/South Fulton Parkway. At this exit, the Interstate 285 overheads can be seen from the main lanes. Photo taken by Alex Nitzman (06/12/05).
The next exit along northbound Interstate 85 is Exit 69B, Junction Georgia 279/Old National Highway. This overpass carries Interstate 285 into position alongside Interstate 85. The outer loop of Interstate 285 and northbound Interstate 85 will parallel each other for a short distance. Photo taken by Alex Nitzman (06/12/05).
Continuing north on mainline Interstate 85 north (after Exit 69A, Junction Georgia Spur 14/South Fulton Parkway and Exit 69B, Junction Georgia 279/Old National Highway), this view shows the close proximity of Interstate 285's outer loop as Interstate 285 straddles Interstate 85 for a distance. Photo taken by Alex Nitzman (06/12/05).
Three separate sets of lanes carry traffic through this busy interchange. Interstate 85 north will soon peel off to the northeast, while Interstate 285's outer loop lanes will continue due east toward Interstate 75. Photo taken by Alex Nitzman (06/12/05).
Shortly thereafter, Interstate 85 turns to the northeast at Exit 71, Junction Georgia 139/Riverdale Road (to Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport). Interstate 285 continues east from here, passing by the south edge of the airport, while Interstate 85 will pass along the western edge of the airport and the eastern edge of College Park. Photo taken by Alex Nitzman (06/12/05).
Next Three Interstate Junctions for Interstate 85 North
Interstate 75
overlap begin
9 miles in south Atlanta, GA
Interstate 75
overlap end
17 miles in Atlanta, GA
Interstate 285 27 miles at College Park, GA
Perspective from Georgia Spur 14 east
The southwest junction of the beltway with Interstate 85 and Georgia Spur 14 marks Milepost 0 for Interstate 285. The zero milepost marks the "terminus" of the beltway. This view takes a look at the confluence of bridges associated with the complex interchange. Photo taken by Jim K. Georges (7/98).
North Parent Interstate Junction - southeast of Doraville, Georgia - Interstate 85
Perspective from Interstate 285 north
Interstate 285 northbound, two miles outside of Exit 33/Interstate 85. Interstate 285 varies between six and eight lanes on its 62 mile venture around the capital city of Georgia. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca (02/23/03).
Approaching the ramp split for Exit 33 on Interstate 285 north. Interesting to note that the exit numbers count downward as Interstate 285 progresses north. With that stated, Exit 34 for Chamblee-Tucker Road should depart before Exit 33 of Interstate 285. In actuality, the ramp for Interstate 285 does leave before the ramp to Chamblee-Tucker Road. However, the actual location of the diamond interchange of Exit 34 is to the south of the stack interchange at Exit 33. The photos below will illustrate the fact that the Interstate 285 ramps parallel Interstate 85 a good distance before actually entering the interchange area itself. Photos taken by Chris Patriarca (02/23/03).
The Exit 33 roadway begins just south of the Exit 34 diamond interchange with Chamblee-Tucker Road. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca (02/23/03).
Descending northward on the Interstate 85 ramps. The Exit 34 interchange with Chamblee-Tucker Road on Interstate 285 is situated to the left. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca (02/23/03).
Ascending to the Tom Moreland interchange with Interstate 85. The ramp to Interstate 85 northbound is rather tight and also features a ramp to Northcrest and Pleasantdale Roads (Exit 96 of Interstate 85 northbound). Photo taken by Chris Patriarca (02/23/03).
Perspective from Interstate 285 south
Original button copy signage for Interstate 85 on Interstate 285 southbound. This signage has long since been replaced in conjunction with the Georgia Interstate exit renumbering project of 2000. Photo taken by Alex Nitzman (04/95).
One quarter mile to the southeast of the above Pictured sign bridge on Interstate 285 is this set of signs indicating that Interstate 85 is just 2.25 miles away. The signage above, 0.25 miles away, displays that Interstate 85 is still three miles out. The original interchange between Interstate 85 and 285 in northeast Atlanta was a standard cloverleaf. The new interchange features flyover ramps that depart Interstate 285 further north from where the original cloverleaf ramps were located. This helps to explain the distance discrepancy between the two mileage figures. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca (02/23/03).
One half mile north of Exit 32 for U.S. 23/Buford Highway. Interstate 85's ramps are just beyond that interchange. Note that traffic to Chamblee-Tucker Road (Exit 34 for Interstate 285 northbound) must use the Interstate 85 south (Exit 33A) ramp. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca (02/23/03).
Three exit-only lanes are allocated from Interstate 285 southbound for Exits 33A/B to Interstate 85. The Doraville exit of U.S. 23 departs Interstate 285 in this scene. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca (02/23/03).
Southbound Interstate 285 descends toward the sprawling "Spaghetti Junction" interchange with Interstate 85. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca (02/23/03).
Interstate 285 maintains three southbound through lanes through the Interstate 85 stack interchange. This photo shows the Exit 33B overhead for traffic headed to Interstate 85 northbound for Gainesville and Greenville, South Carolina. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca (02/23/03).
Continuing southbound on the Exit 33A roadway to Interstate 85 southbound. Note that due to merging traffic from Exit 32/U.S. 23, access to Interstate 85 northbound is provided as well as return access to Interstate 285 southbound. Chamblee-Tucker Road traffic must utilize the Interstate 85 northbound ramp. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca (02/23/03).
Perspective from Interstate 85 south
1.50 miles north of Exits 95B-A on Interstate 85 southbound. A truck restriction is in effect for Interstate 85 within the Atlanta Beltway as the signage suggests. Photo taken by Alex Nitzman (07/13/05).
Signage for Exit 95 is split between two panels in this sign bridge on Interstate 85 southbound, 0.75 miles north of Exit 95B. The Atlanta Bypass is afforded two control cities per direction when approaching Interstate 285 from outside the beltway. Photo taken by Alex Nitzman (07/13/05).
Interstate 85 southbound expands to seven lanes in anticipation of the "Tom Moreland" stack interchange with Interstate 285. As is the case with northbound, the left-hand lane is allocated for HOV-2 traffic. This restriction is generally in place 24 hours a day. Photo taken by Alex Nitzman (07/13/05).
Traffic for Exit 95B, the West Bypass portion of Interstate 285 splits from Interstate 85 south. The control city includes Birmingham for the junction with Interstate 20 west, 23 miles to the southwest. Photo taken by Alex Nitzman (07/13/05).
Unlike the northbound ramp configuration to Interstate 285, southbound sees independent ramps to the Atlanta beltway. This overhead advises motorists that the right-hand lane is now exit-only for Interstate 285 south. Photo taken by Alex Nitzman (07/13/05).
The volumes of traffic that travel through this busy interchange warrant two lanes for Interstate 285 from Interstate 85 south. Unfortunately, the growth of the Atlanta metropolitan area has inundated these ramps, adding pressure to expand the capacity even further. Macon is displayed on the East Bypass guide sign for the Interstate 75 southbound junction, 15 miles to the south. Photos taken by Alex Nitzman (07/13/05) and Chris Patriarca (02/23/03).
Views of the stack interchange between Interstate 85 and Interstate 285 as seen from southbound Interstate 85. Photos taken by Alex Nitzman (07/13/05).
Next Three Interstate Junctions for Interstate 85 South
Interstate 75
overlap begin
10 miles in Atlanta, GA
Interstate 75
overlap end
18 miles in south Atlanta, GA
Interstate 285 25 miles at College Park, GA
Perspective from Interstate 85 north
The first sign of the north parent junction of Interstate 285 is posted at the Shallowford Road overpass (Exit 93). Interstate 85 northbound consists of five lanes with the left lane designated for HOV-2 traffic. Photo taken by Alex Nitzman (06/21/05).
Now within one mile of Exit 95 and Interstate 285 on Interstate 85 northbound. The control cities include Chattanooga for the connection with Interstate 75 north and Augusta for the connection of Interstate 20 east. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca (02/23/03).
The flyover ramps of "Spaghetti Junction" coming into view Interstate 85 prepares to yield its right lane to Interstate 285 bound traffic. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca (02/23/03).
The Interstate 85 mainline splits with the ramps for Interstate 285. This often congested junction sits 128 miles of the northern control city of Greenville, South Carolina. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca (02/23/03).
The Exit 95 ramps to Interstate 285 expand to three lanes, allowing for two lanes to either direction of Interstate 285. Photos taken by Chris Patriarca (02/23/03) and Alex Nitzman (06/21/05).
Ramp partition to Interstate 285 from Interstate 85 north. The first northbound interchange is that of Exit 32 to U.S. 23/Buford Highway. The first southbound interchange is that of Exit 34 for Chamblee-Tucker Road. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca (02/23/03).
Back on northbound Interstate 85, this view shows the stack Spaghetti Junction interchange with its intricate maze of ramps stacked on top of each other. Exit 96 (Northcrest Road and Pleasantdale Road) departs from Interstate 85 north underneath the tall stack interchange. Photo taken by Alex Nitzman (06/21/05).
Next Three Interstate Junctions for Interstate 85 North
Interstate 985 18 miles at Suwanee, GA
Interstate 185 126 miles at Greenville, SC
Interstate 385 135 miles at Greenville, SC

Sources:

  1. Interstate 285 @ Wikipedia.org.

Page Updated May 8, 2007.

 
Mileage

State Georgia
Mileage 63.98*
Cities Atlanta
Junctions Interstate 85, Interstate 75, Interstate 675, Interstate 20, Interstate 85, Interstate 75, Interstate 20
Source: October 31, 2002 Interstate Route Log and Finders List
1.21 miles on I-85
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