Interstate 516 Georgia

I-516 Georgia
History
East End
West End

Overview

Interstate 516 forms an urban loop encircling the city of Savannah from area around Hunter Army Airfield north to Garden City. Known as W.F. Lynes Parkway, the freeway doubles as SR 21, unsigned SR 421, and portions of U.S. 17 , U.S. 80 and SR 25. The south end ties into DeRenne Avenue, a congested commercial boulevard leading east into Midtown Savannah. Northern reaches of the freeway serve the Port of Savannah via connections with SR 26 Connector and SR 25.

Major Projects

Project DeRenne addresses congestion issues where Interstate 516 / Lynes Parkway transitions to DeRenne Avenue at Montgomery Street. Initiated by the city of Savannah in 2008, and currently under environmental review (until 2016 2019), the project involves extending the freeway end to a new interchange with Montgomery Street, expanding Hampstead Avenue east from there into a multi-lane boulevard, and reconfiguring DeRenne Avenue with access management, intersection improvements and new raised medians. Construction was previously estimated to start in 2019.

Project DeRenne-Savannah/Chatham County

History

The initial portion of Lynes Parkway built was the 1967 extension of DeRenne Avenue west from Montgomery Street to ACL Boulevard. Work on the freeway progressed north from there to Interstate 16 by 1968 and Augusta Avenue by 1970. Completion of the route followed in 1983.1

Lynes Parkway was originally signed as SR Loop 26 (SR 26 is the state route designation for U.S. 80 through Savannah). SR 26 Loop was replaced with an extension of SR 21 south from Garden City to Savannah in 1979. Interstate designation for the route was approved by AASHTO on December 7, 1984. U.S. 17 and 80 then shifted from their shared alignment along Bay Street and the couplet of Broad / Montgomery Streets to overlap with Lynes Parkway in 1985. U.S. 17 was again realigned in 1988, shifting from the alignment north from I-16 through Garden City and Port Wentworth to overlap with I-16 east to the Talmadge Bridge.

The 1999 Georgia Department of Transportation exit renumbering project assigned exit numbers along Interstate 516 for the first time. The Interstate is signed east-west, with exit numbers increasing from the southeast.

Route Information

  • East End – Savannah, GA

  • West End – Garden City, GA

  • Mileage – 6.49 (6.68*)

  • Cities – Savannah

  • JunctionsI-16

Source: December 31, 2018 Interstate Route Log and Finders List
* GDOT State Functional Classification Map

I-516 Annual Average Daily Traffic (AADT)

SR Loop 26 (Lynes Parkway) spurred south from Interstate 16 to U.S. 17 & SR 26 (Ogeechee Road) and DeRenne Avenue at ACL Boulevard in 1969.

The original in-city route of U.S. 17 split the highway into north and southbound components along a combination of Ogeechee Road / Victory Drive / 52nd Street and the couplet of Broad and Montgomery Streets north to U.S. 80 on Bay Street.

SR 26 Loop was envisioned as a full loop south of U.S. 80 in 1972. The route would take DeRenne Avenue east to La Roche Avenue and then follow a new alignment north back to U.S. 80 (Victory Drive) at Thunderbolt. A portion of this alignment was accomplished with construction of Truman Parkway.

U.S. 17 ran west from Savannah due to the tolled Eugene Talmadge Bridge across the Savannah River. Tolls were dropped on the cantilever span in 1975, but U.S. 17 was not realigned over the former Alternate route until 1988.

East End Georgia 21 DeRenne Avenue – Savannah, Georgia

East Georgia 21 South at DeRenne Avenue

I-516/GA 21 east at Mildred St - Savannah, GA

Speeds reduce along eastbound Interstate 516 on the approach to Montgomery Street. A right in right out (RIRO) intersection previously connected with Mildred Street south into an adjacent residential area. Photo taken 05/24/19.

I-516/GA 21 east at Montgomery St - Savannah, GA

W.F. Lynes Parkway transitions onto DeRenne Avenue as I-516 ends at Montgomery Street. DeRenne Avenue extends 0.4 miles east as SR 21 along a congested, six-lane commercial boulevard to SR 204 (Abercorn Street). Photo taken 01/03/14.

Georgia 21  / DeRenne Avenue North at

SR 21 west at I-516 - Savannah, GA

SR 21 (DeRenne Avenue) northbound intersects Montgomery Street at W.F. Lynes Parkway (Interstate 516) west. Montgomery Street arcs southwest to the Duncan Drive gate for Hunter Army Airfield. Photo taken 09/22/14.

SR 21 west at I-516 - Savannah, GA

The first westbound shield for Interstate 516 stands between Montgomery Street and the RIRO for Mildred Street and the Tatemville neighborhood. Lynes Parkway fully upgrades to a freeway in 0.3 miles. Photo taken 09/22/14.

SR 21 west at I-516 - Savannah, GA

A second set of Interstate 516 & SR 21 shields are posted after Mildred Street. Lynes Parkway north advances 1.25 miles to Veterans Parkway (Exit 2). Photo taken 09/22/14.

West End US 80 Georgia 21 Georgia 25 Georgia 26 Connector – Garden City, Georgia

West Georgia 21 Georgia 25 North at Georgia 26 Connector

I-516 west at SR 25 - Garden City, GA

SR 25 branches northwest from Interstate 516 via Exit 8 (SR 26 Connector) to join Main Street. SR 25 continues north to the Port of Savannah while SR 21 extends north along a busy arterial route (Augusta Road) seven miles to I-95. Photo taken 01/03/14.

I-516 west at SR 25 - Garden City, GA

Milepost seven for SR 21 coincides with the west end shield for Interstate 516 at the parclo interchange with Burnsed Boulevard (SR 26 Connector). Photo taken 01/03/14.

Georgia 25 Georgia 26 Connector South at Georgia 21

SR 25 south at I-516 - Garden City, GA

SR 26 Connector (Burnsed Boulevard) comprises a short route linking SR 25 (Main Street) and the Port of Savannah area with Interstate 516 & SR 21 (Lynes Parkway) and U.S. 80 & SR 26. Photo taken 11/13/06.

SR 25 south at I-516 - Garden City, GA

SR 25 loops onto Interstate 516 east & SR 21 south from Burnsed Boulevard. U.S. 80 parallels the freeway from the end of SR 26 Connector to Augusta Avenue, where it accompanies Lynes Parkway south as well. Photo taken 11/13/06.

SR 25 south at I-516 - Garden City, GA

SR 25 overlaps with I-516 & SR 21 south to Ogeechee Road, where it joins U.S. 17 for the remainder of its route south to Florida. I-516 leaves Garden City for Interstate 16, Hunter Army Air Field and Midtown Savannah. Photo taken 11/13/06.

Georgia 21 South at

SR 21 south at I-516 - Garden City, GA

SR 21 (Augusta Road) changes over to Interstate 516 beyond the intersection with Oak Street. The freeway immediately splits with Exit 8 for SR 26 Connector and SR 25 (Burnsed Boulevard) north. Burnsed Boulevard connects I-516 with Bay Street (U.S. 80), as it parallels Lynes Parkway east through Garden City. Photo taken 05/24/19.

I-516 east at SR 25 Connector - Garden City, GA

I-516 & SR 21/25 span Main Street and a Norfolk Southern Railroad ahead of a loop ramp for SR 25 Connector (Bay Street) east. SR 25 Connector joins Interstate 516 with both Downtown Savannah and the Talmadge Bridge (U.S. 17 & SR 404 Spur) north to Hutchinson Island. Bay Street constitutes the former alignment of U.S. 80 east to President Street. Photo taken 05/24/19.

Page updated May 28, 2019.