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Interstate 385 South Carolina

 

Routing

Interstate 385 is a 42-mile freeway spurring northwest from Interstate 26 to the city of Greenville in the Upstate of South Carolina. The freeway serves as a commuter route for the south Greenville County suburbs including Mauldin, Simpsonville and Fountain Inn, while joining the Greenville metropolitan area with Columbia via I-26. The route carries six or more lanes through the suburbs and city of Greenville, while southern reaches through Laurens County remain a rural four lane freeway.

A Business Spur for Interstate 385 extends 0.49 miles west from U.S. 276 (Laurens Road) along East North Street to link the freeway with Downtown Greenville and U.S. 29 (Church Street).

Interstate 385 is underwent reconstruction and expansion to six lanes in the Greenville area between June 2001 and fall 2004. Work expanded the northernmost arc of the freeway from Interstate 95 to the diamond interchange with U.S. 276 (Exit 42). Widening replaced the median with a concrete barrier and raised area for landscaping. Additionally the project included the conversion of the South Carolina 291 interchange from a full cloverleaf to a partial cloverleaf to eliminate a weaving traffic pattern. The South Carolina 291 overpass was one of many that was replaced to increase the height clearance.1

Resurfacing of the southernmost 15 miles was undertaken between January and July 2010. One direction of the freeway was closed for a period of time so that crews could rebuild the roadway with new concrete.

Construction planned from 2014 to 2017 involves upgrading the interchange with Interstate 85 to replace two existing loop ramps with high speed flyovers. Collector distributor roadways will be added along I-385 from I-85 south to Woodruff Road as well.

History

Interstate 385 originally consisted of just the spur from Interstate 85 northwest into Greenville. The freeway leading south from Mauldin to Laurens and I-26 by Clinton was built in the 1950s as a new alignment for U.S. 276. The two freeways were eventually linked with U.S. 276 shifting onto the new alignment as approved by AASHTO on October 1, 1983 and its former route through Greenville and Mauldin redesignated as a Business Loop. The AASHTO Route Numbering Committee meeting on May 23, 1984 revised the freeway route into an extension of Interstate 385, with U.S. 276 dropped from the freeway leading southeast from Mauldin.

Construction of the Southern Connector extended Interstate 185 southeast to end at Interstate 385 and U.S. 276 in Mauldin. The toll road opened on February 27, 2001.

Highway Guides

Southern Terminus - Interstate 26 - Clinton, South Carolina
Perspective from Interstate 385 south
Interstate 385 is rather lonely on its 30 mile voyage between Mauldin and Interstate 26 near the town of Clinton. The routing draws to a close rather unceremoniously onto Interstate 26 eastbound. This original button copy sign displayed that Interstate 26 was reached in 1.25 miles. No control point is offered, although the capital city of Columbia is just 58 miles to the southeast. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca (04/06/03).
Interstate 385 merges onto Interstate 26 eastbound. No end signage is in place, nor is a ramp to Interstate 26 westbound. The next interchange is situated close by with South Carolina 56. Photo taken 10/14/01.
The Interstate 385 southbound merge forms an auxiliary lane for South Carolina 56 (Exit 52) into Clinton. A second interchange for the city of Clinton is two miles to the south at South Carolina 72 (Exit 54). Photo taken by Chris Patriarca (04/06/03).
Next Three Interstate Junctions for Interstate 26 east
Interstate 20 55 miles at West Columbia, SC
Interstate 126 56 miles at West Columbia, SC
Interstate 77 64 miles at Cayce, SC
Perspective from Interstate 26 west
A diagrammatic sign posted at the South Carolina 56 overpass outlines the forthcoming split of Interstate 385 north (Exit 51) from Interstate 26 west. Two lanes are allocated for each route. Photo taken 12/31/13.
Interstate 385 departs from the left-hand side with two lanes toward Laurens and Greenville while Interstate 26 turns more northward to Spartanburg. Photo taken 12/31/13.
Entering the rural wye interchange with Interstate 385 north on I-26 west. Greenville is 39 miles to the north while Interstate 26 reaches Spartanburg in 30 miles. Photo taken by Carter Buchanan (02/01).
Historical Perspective from Interstate 26 west
Former button copy signage posted for the Interstates 26 west and 385 northbound split. Photo taken 10/14/01.
The first Interstate 385 interchange lies two miles to the northwest at South Carolina 308. Laurens follows, three miles to the south of Exit 9 along U.S. 221. Photo taken 10/14/01.
Next Three Interstate Junctions for Interstate 26 west
Interstate 85 34 miles north of Spartanburg, SC
Interstate 40/
Interstate 240
92 miles at Asheville, NC
-- --
Next Three Interstate Junctions for Interstate 385 north
Interstate 185 30 miles near Mauldin, SC
Interstate 85 36 miles east of Greenville, SC
-- --
Northern Terminus - Business Spur I-385 and U.S. 123 - Greenville, South Carolina
Perspective from Interstate 385 north
The Downtown Greenville skyline appeared as Interstate 385 approached Exit 42 with U.S. 276 (Laurens Road). The freeway transitions into unsigned Business Spur I-385 along East North Street beyond the Laurens Road on-ramp. Photo taken 08/23/03.
A historical look at the diamond interchange (Exit 42) with U.S. 276 (Laurens Road) on Interstate 385 north. This interchange was revised when I-385 was expanded to six lanes. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca (04/06/03).
Perspective from Business Spur 385 south
This set of original button copy signs saw replacement during the Winter of 2003 during the associated rebuilding of Interstate 385 in Greenville. Photo taken 12/08/99.
Passing over U.S. 276 (Laurens Road) during freeway reconstruction, Interstate 385 winds eastward through a valley below the Arcadia Hills neighborhood of Greenville. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca (04/06/03).
Perspective from U.S. 276 east
Business Loop I-385 was shielded at the U.S. 276 (Laurens Road) on-ramp to East North Street until Interstate 385 was reconstructed. Signs now simply reference the northbound on-ramp as simply to Downtown. Photo taken by Carter Buchanan (06/00).
Perspective from U.S. 276 west
U.S. 276 westbound at the former southbound on-ramp to Interstate 385. This ramp was relocated to leave Laurens Road opposite the southbound off-ramp during 2001-04 road work. Photo taken 08/23/03.
Next Three Interstate Junctions for Interstate 385 south
Interstate 85 6 miles east of Greenville, SC
Interstate 185 12 miles at Mauldin, SC
Interstate 26 42 miles near Clinton, SC

Sources:

  1. I-385 Widening Project (Greenville County) http://www.dot.state.sc.us/Projects/I-385/default.html. SCDOT.

Page Updated September 18, 2014.

 
Mileage

State South Carolina
Mileage 42.16
Cities Greenville, Laurens
Junctions Interstate 85, Interstate 185, Interstate 26
Source: December 31, 2013 Interstate Route Log and Finders List
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