Interstate 520 Georgia / South Carolina

I-520 Georgia I-520 South Carolina

History
East End
West End

Overview

I-520 east of the Savannah River
The first Interstate 520 shield posted after the Savannah River bridge. Opened on June 22, 2004, the initial leg of Palmetto Parkway connected Georgia 28 and Sand Bar Ferry Road with U.S. 1-78-278. Photo taken by Carter Buchanan (07/07/04).

Known as the Bobby Jones Expressway in Georgia and Palmetto Parkway in South Carolina, Interstate 520 encircles Augusta and North Augusta along a 23-mile loop. Running south from SR 232 and I-20 to Wrightboro Road (Exit 2), the freeway starts out with eight overall lanes separated by a concrete barrier median. Serving a bevy of retail areas and Augusta Mall, this stretch includes a pair of two-lane collector distributor roadways as it .

The freeway carries six lanes south to the six-ramp parclo interchange with U.S. 78 & 278 (Gordon Highway), which along with U.S. 1 (Deans Bridge Road), provides one of two routes connecting I-520 with Fort Gordon to the west. Beyond there, I-520 curves around the south side of Augusta to U.S. 25 and SR 56 .

The remainder of I-520 through Richmond County takes the loop northeast across Phinizy Swamp to industrial areas along the Savannah River at East Augusta. The freeway ended there until 2004, when the first leg of Palmetto Parkway opened northward to Aiken County, South Carolina. Palmetto Parkway weaves through suburban areas of North Augusta along a rural four lane course to Interstate 20 by Mathis Lake.

History

The designation of Interstate 520 was approved by AASHTO on October 28, 1977 along Bobby Jones Expressway southward from I-20 to New Savannah Road. Previously numbered as Georgia State Route 232, the expressway connected I-20 with U.S. 1 (Dean Bridge Road) by 1975. I-520 appeared the Official Georgia Highway Map first in 1980, when Bobby Jones Expressway was completed east to SR 56 Spur.

A $22.28-million project started on November 1, 1997 both resurfaced and expanded 6.12 miles of Interstate 520 from the Columbia County line, north of I-20, to U.S. 1 (Deans Bridge Road). Work included rehabilitating the concrete roadway, raising six bridges and expanding two other spans among other improvements.1 The six-laning of I-520 coincided with resigning of the freeway in 2000 to use mileage based exit numbering. This included the replacement of all remaining button copy signs and those needing exterior illumination.2

The first of several extensions for Interstate 520 east and north opened on July 31, 1998. A $41-million, five mile section of freeway opened to traffic following a ribbon cutting ceremony. The extension lengthening I-520 east from New Savannah Road (Exit 10) to Sand Bar Ferry Road was approved in February 1989, with work on paving and bridge construction started in 1995.3

With origins dating back to 1971,5 construction on the first phase of Palmetto Parkway kicked off at a ground breaking ceremony held on November 12, 2002.4 The $43-million project extended Interstate 520 northward to U.S. 1-78-278 (Exit 17) in North Augusta, South Carolina. Work culminated at a ribbon cutting ceremony held on the new Savannah River bridge along the parkway on June 22, 2004.5

A unanimous vote by the South Carolina Transportation Infrastructure Bank on March 24, 2005 allocated $95 million for the second phase of the Palmetto Parkway.5 When work finally began on January 2, 2007, costs increased to $127 million on six miles of new road, four interchanges and 13 new bridges.6 An additional $18 million was added to the phase as approved in mid January 2008 for widening of Clearwater Road to five lanes, expansion of U.S. 25 to six lanes, the building of a new eight-lane bridge for U.S. 25 above Interstate 20, and the addition of the multi use Palmetto Parkway Trail from Ascauga Lake Road south to S.C. 125 (Atomic Road).7

The Palmetto Parkway portion of Interstate 520 opened two weeks early and $600,000 under budget after a ribbon cutting ceremony held on December 16, 2009. Total costs for both phases of the parkway was $275 million.8

Work at the west end of Interstate 520 took place between 2007 and October 31, 2009 as part of a $191 million upgrade of the former full cloverleaf interchange with Interstate 20 and SR 232. Construction replaced two of the loop ramps at the exchange with flyovers, while widening Bobby Jones Expressway southward with c/d roadways to a reconfigured interchange with Wheeler Road. The work was originally scheduled for completion on July 31, 2010,9 but was formally completed after a ribbon cutting ceremony held on November 12, 2009. Adjacent work expanded I-20 from a point east of Warren Road to the Savannah River.10

Further expansion of Interstate 520 took place between March 2012 and January 2015. Work totaling $33-million added a lane in each direction between U.S. 78 & 278 (Gordon Highway) and U.S. 1 (Deans Bridge Road) while also removing loop ramps at the respective cloverleaf interchanges.11

Route Information

  • East End – North Augusta, SC
  • West End – Augusta, GA
  • Total Mileage – 23.34 (23.61#)

Georgia – 16.14 (15.40*)

  • Cities – Augusta

  • JunctionsI-20

South Carolina – 7.20 (7.99#)

  • Cities – North Augusta

  • JunctionsI-20

Source: December 31, 2018 Interstate Route Log and Finders List
* – GDOT State Functional Classification Map
# – SCDOT Maintained Roads Web Appbuilder for ArcGIS

I-520 Average Annual Daily Traffic (AADT)

Bobby Jones Expressway initially opened as a spur south from Interstate 20 to Wrightsboro Road. This segment was completed by 1967 per the Official Georgia Highway Map.

Interstate 20 opened in conjunction with the SR 232 freeway west to SR 383 (Exit 194) and east to SR 28 (Exit 199) in 1967.

Construction in 1972 was underway to extend Bobby Jones Expressway southward to U.S. 1 (Deans Bridge Road). This stretch opened by 1975.

SR 28 leading east from Interstate 20 was eventually upgraded to the John C. Calhoun Expressway. Work broke ground on the controlled access route in February 1974 at Greene Street and Milledge Road. The road was built in two phases. The western section opened first eastward to a temporary end at 15th Street. Completion of phase two in the early 1980s took the expressway along an elevated roadway over Augusta Canal to Greene Street ahead of Downtown Augusta.

East End I-20 – North Augusta, South Carolina

East at I-20

I-520 east at I-20 - North Augusta, SC

Interstate 520 advances two miles miles north from the exchange with S.C. 126 to I-20. Photo taken 05/24/19.

I-520 east at I-20 - North Augusta, SC

U.S. 25 Connector, a 0.550-mile route, links the east end of I-520 with adjacent U.S. 25 & S.C. 121 at Exit 22. Photo taken 05/24/19.

I-520 east at I-20 - North Augusta, SC
I-520 east at I-20 - North Augusta, SC

Traffic separates into single lane ramps for I-20 west back to Augusta and I-20 east for the rural drive to Lexington and Columbia. Photos taken 05/24/19.

I-20 East at

I-20 east at I-520 - North Augusta, SC

Traveling just north of Belvedere, eastbound I-20 passes under W Five Notch Road (Road 45) two miles ahead of Interstate 520 (Palmetto Parkway). Photo taken 05/24/19.

I-20 east at I-520 - North Augusta, SC

Exit 6 to I-520 (Palmetto Parkway) west departs from I-20 eastbound within an elongated diamond interchange (Exit 5) with U.S. 25 & S.C. 121 (Edgefield Road). Photo taken 05/24/19.

I-20 east at I-520 - North Augusta, SC
I-20 east at I-520 - North Augusta, SC

I-20 leaves the North Augusta area for a five mile exit less stretch beyond Interstate 520. Photos taken 05/24/19.

I-20 West at

I-20 west at I-520 - North Augusta, SC

Two miles ahead of the directional T interchange (Exit 6) with Interstate 520 on I-20 west by Hightower Creek. Photo taken 04/16/12.

I-20 west at I-520 - North Augusta, SC

Back to back ramps depart in one mile for Interstate 520 west to North Augusta and U.S. 25 & S.C. 121 to Edgefield. Photo taken 12/31/12.

I-20 west at I-520 - North Augusta, SC

A third westbound lane opens ahead of the off-ramp (Exit 6) for Interstate 520 west as I-20 passes by the Laurel Lakes Estates subdivision. I-520 south to U.S. 1-78-278 provides a direct route to Downtown Augusta, Georgia. Photo taken 12/31/12.

I-20 west at I-520 - North Augusta, SC

Three interchanges serve North Augusta along Interstate 520 south from I-20 between Exit 6 and the Savannah River at East Augusta. Photo taken 04/16/12.

Former Eastern Terminus – Georgia 28 / Laney-Walker Boulevard – Augusta, Georgia

I-520 temporary end at SR 28 - 2003
I-520 temporary end at SR 28 - 2003
I-520 temporary end at SR 28 - 2003
I-520 temporary end at SR 28 - 2003

I-520 (Bobby Jones Expressway) ended at a half diamond interchange (Exit 16) with Laney-Walker Road and SR 28 (Sand Bar Ferry Road) from 1998 to 2004. Photos taken by Chris Patriarca (04/08/03).

Laney-Walker Blvd east at I-520 - 2003

Laney-Walker Boulevard east at what is now a split diamond interchange joining Interstate 520 with SR 28 (Sand Bar Ferry Road). Photo taken by Chris Patriarca (04/08/03).

Laney-Walker Blvd west at I-520 - 2003

Laney-Walker Boulevard north at the westbound service road linking SR 28 (Sand Bar Ferry Road) with the temporary beginning of I-520. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca (04/08/03).

SR 28 at I-520 temporary east end - 2003

Construction for the Interstate 520 extension across the Savannah River from SR 28 (Sand Bar Ferry Road). Photo taken by Chris Patriarca (04/08/03).

SR 28 at I-520 temporary east end - 2003

Following the westbound service road from SR 28 to the I-520 entrance ramp at Laney-Walker Boulevard. The span wire sign here erroneously displayed U.S. 520 in 2001. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca (04/08/03).

Former Eastern Terminus – US 1 US 78 US 278 – North Augusta, South Carolina

US 1/78/278 east at I-520 - North Augusta, SCUS 1/78/278 east at I-520 - North Augusta, SC

U.S. 1 north & U.S. 78/278 east at I-520 two weeks after Palmetto Parkway opened north from the Savannah River. Photos taken by Carter Buchanan (07/07/04).

US 1/78/278 east at I-520 - North Augusta, SC

Entering the parclo interchange with I-520 along U.S. 1 north & U.S. 78/278 east in the city of North Augusta. Photo taken 06/01/07.

West End I-20 Georgia 232 – Augusta, Georgia

West at I-20 Georgia 232

I-520 west at I-20/SR 232 - Augusta, GA

Traveling north from Wrightsboro Road (Exit 2), Interstate 520 enters the final two miles. Photo taken 12/31/12.

I-520 west at I-20/SR 232 - Augusta, GA

Widening of Interstate 520 leading west to I-20 added a second lane for Exit 1C and replaced the loop ramp (Exit 1A) to I-20 west with a high speed flyover. Photo taken 12/31/12.

I-520 west at I-20/SR 232 - Augusta, GA

A collector distributor roadway separates traffic along I-520 to SR 232 and Gonzalez from ramps with Wheeler Road. A two lane slip ramp follows for Interstate 20 (Exits 1A/B). Photo taken 12/31/12.

I-520 west at I-20/SR 232 - Augusta, GA

SR 232 extends Bobby Jones Expressway 1.37 miles north from the end of I-520 along a commercial arterial to SR 104 at Martinez. SR 232 combines with SR 104 west paralleling I-20 to U.S. 221. Photo taken 05/24/19.

Georgia 232 South at I-20

SR 232 south at I-20/520 - Augusta, GA

A folded diamond interchange replaced the signalized intersection at SR 232 (Bobby Jones Expressway) and Scott Nixon Memorial Drive during the project to upgrade the I-20 and I-520 exchange. Photo taken 12/31/12.

SR 232 south at I-20/520 - Augusta, GA

SR 232 ends at the ramps joining Interstate 520 east with I-20 west to Thomson, Greensboro and Atlanta and I-20 east to North Augusta, Aiken and Columbia, South Carolina. Photo taken 05/24/19.

SR 232 south at I-20/520 - Augusta, GA

SR 232 ends at the ramps joining Interstate 520 east with I-20 west to Thomson, Greensboro and Atlanta and I-20 east to North Augusta, Aiken and Columbia, South Carolina. Photo taken 05/24/19.

I-20 East at Georgia 232

I-20 east at I-520/SR 232 - Augusta, GAI-20 east at I-520/SR 232 - Augusta, GA

Interstate 20 enters Augusta-Richmond County and expands to an eight lane freeway ahead of I-520 east (Exit 196A) and SR 232 north (Exit 196B). Photos taken 05/24/19.

I-20 east at I-520/SR 232 - Augusta, GA

Lowering toward the directional cloverleaf interchange (Exits 196A/B) with Bobby Jones Expressway on I-20 east. Photo taken 05/24/19.

I-20 east at I-520/SR 232 - Augusta, GA
I-20 east at I-520/SR 232 - Augusta, GA

A collector distributor roadway takes drivers to both I-520 east and SR 232 north as the I-20 mainline continues east with three through lanes. Photos taken 05/24/19.

I-20 West at Georgia 232

I-20 west at I-520/SR 232 - Augusta, GA - 2012

Advancing west from SR 28 (Washington Road), Interstate 20 expands to a six lane freeway ahead of Bobby Jones Expressway (I-520 west / SR 232 north). Photo taken 12/31/12.

I-20 west at I-520/SR 232 - Augusta, GA - 2012

A two lane distributor roadway separates for Walton Way Extension, SR 232 north to Martinez and I-520 east toward Fort Gordon in one mile. Photo taken 12/31/12.

I-20 west at I-520/SR 232 - Augusta, GA - 2012

Two lanes continue through the exchange with Bobby Jones Expressway along Interstate 20. Motorists joining I-520 southward follow a c/d roadway to the commercialized exit with Wheeler Road (Exit 1C). Photo taken 12/31/12.

I-20 west at I-520/SR 232 - Augusta, GA - 2012

An unnumbered half diamond interchange with Walton Way Extension, an arterial route running through an adjacent retail area, precedes Exit 196B for SR 232 to Martinez and Exit 196A for I-520 east. Photo taken 12/31/12.

East End Throwback

West at I-20 Georgia 232

I-520 west at I-20 - 2007I-520 west at I-20 - 2007

2007-09 construction relocated the off-ramp (Exit 1C) for Wheeler Road to adjacent Marks Church Road. This exchange was added after Bobby Jones Expressway opened to traffic. Photos taken 06/01/07.

I-520 west at I-20 - 2007

The entrance from Wheeler Road previously formed an auxiliary lane to Exit 1B for Intestate 20 east. Reconstruction of I-520 in 2000 both resurfaced pavement and added sound barriers between U.S. 1 (Deans Bridge Road) and I-20. Photo taken 06/01/07.

I-520 west at I-20 - 2007I-520 west at I-20 - 2007

Interstate 520 at the previous full cloverleaf interchange with I-20 and SR 232. Photos taken 06/01/07.

I-520 west end in 2000 - Augusta, GA

Button copy signs for the west end of Interstate 520 at Exit 1A. These signs were removed during resigning of Bobby Jones Expressway in 2000. A replacement end shield assembly for I-520 was posted below by February 2001. Photo taken 08/05/00.

Georgia 232 South at I-20

SR 232 south at I-20/520 - Augusta, GA 2001

SR 232 (Bobby Jones Expressway) proceeded north from the intersection with Scott Nixon Memorial Drive to I-20 and I-520 beyond this former guide sign. Interstate 20 is the Carl Sanders Highway between Atlanta and the South Carolina state line. Photo taken 04/21/01.

SR 232 south at I-20/520 - Augusta, GA 2007

Southbound SR 232 reached Exit 1A for I-20 west. Interstate 520 quickly widened to six lanes as it led south to Wheeler Road. Photos taken 06/01/07.

SR 232 south at I-20/520 - Augusta, GA 2007

The previous end SR 232 / begin I-520 shield assembly at the loop ramp (Exit 1B) for I-20 east to Columbia, South Carolina. Photo taken 06/01/07.

I-20 West at Georgia 232

I-20 west at I-520/SR 232 - 2007

Two miles east of Interstate 520 and SR 232 on I-20 west. The freeway is now six lanes wide along this stretch with a concrete barrier median and sound walls. Photo taken 06/01/07.

I-20 west at I-520/SR 232 - 2003

Former overhead posted one mile east of the cloverleaf interchange (Exits 196B/A) with I-520 east and SR 232 north. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca (07/06/03).

I-20 west at I-520/SR 232 - 2007

Pleasant Home Road, which spanned I-20 at Exit 196B, was replaced by Walton Way Extension during the I-520/SR 232 interchange reconstruction project. Photo taken 06/01/07.

I-20 west at I-520/SR 232 - 2007

This loop ramp (Exit 196A) for I-520 east was replaced with a flyover ramp opened in July 2009. Photo taken 06/01/07.

I-20 East at Georgia 232

I-20 east at I-520/SR 232 - 2004I-20 east at I-520/SR 232 - Augusta, GA - 2012

The first sign for I-520 on Interstate 20 was posted 1.25 miles west of Exit 196 at the Wheeler Road overpass. A diagrammatic overhead replaced this assembly when the c/d roadway for I-520/SR 232 was added in 2009. Photos taken 07/07/04 and 04/13/12.

I-20 east at I-520/SR 232 - 2004I-20 east at I-520/SR 232 - Augusta, GA - 2012

The Wheeler Road entrance ramp formed an auxiliary lane eastbound to Interstate 520 east (Exit 196A). I-20 was subsequently expanded to four eastbound lanes on this stretch. Photos taken 07/07/04 and 04/13/12.

I-20 east at I-520/SR 232 - 2004

Interstate 20 west at the former full cloverleaf interchange with I-520 west and SR 232 west. Photo taken by Carter Buchanan (07/07/04).

I-20 east at I-520/SR 232 - Augusta, GA - 2012

An Arrow Per Lane (APL) overhead replaced this set of guide signs for the c/d roadway from I-20 west to I-520/SR 232. Photo taken 04/13/12.

Sources:

  1. “Expressway Set – For Construction.” Augusta Chronicle, The (GA), November 1, 1997.
  2. “Drivers Will See New Signs – Changed Exit Numbers Will Be Based On Mile Based Markers Instead of Previous Sequential System.” Augusta Chronicle, The (GA), January 11, 2000.
  3. “Road Ready – Bobby Jones Extension To Open Last Stretch Of Expressway In County Can Be Traveled Friday, Could Bring More Development.” Augusta Chronicle, The (GA), July 29, 1998.
  4. “Officials Dig In To Road Plan.” Augusta Chronicle, The (GA), November 13, 2002.
  5. “Parkway Now Open For Business.” Augusta Chronicle, The (GA), June 23, 2004.
  6. “State Funds Speed Plans.” Augusta Chronicle, The (GA), March 25, 2005.
  7. “Palmetto Parkway set to be complete by 2009.” Augusta Chronicle, The (GA), May 27, 2007.
  8. “Added projects to delay process.” Augusta Chronicle, The (GA), January 23, 2008.
  9. “Parkway eases traffic.” Augusta Chronicle, The (GA), December 23, 2009.
  10. “Crews aim to finish work – Heavy rain caused delays in road projects.” Augusta Chronicle, The (GA), October 31, 2009.
  11. “I-20 moment briefly stops traffic – Flyover ramp is site for ribbon-cutting.” Augusta Chronicle, The (GA), November 13, 2009.
  12. “Bobby Jones Construction Nearing End.” Augusta Chronicle, The (GA), December 27, 2014.

Page updated May 28, 2019.