Interstate 516 Georgia
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.
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.
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.
East End – Savannah, GA
West End – Garden City, GA
Mileage – 6.49 (6.68*)
Cities – Savannah
- Junctions –
Source: December 31, 2018 Interstate Route Log and Finders List
* GDOT State Functional Classification Map
I-516 Annual Average Daily Traffic (AADT)
Source: 2017 AADT – GDOT Traffic Analysis & Data Application (TADA)
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.
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 DeRenne Avenue – Savannah, Georgia
East South at DeRenne Avenue
/ DeRenne Avenue North at
West End – Garden City, Georgia
West North at
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 & 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.