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Interstate 985 Georgia

 

Routing

Interstate 985 is hidden Georgia 419, was formerly numbered as Georgia 365, and is silently merged with U.S. 23 for most of its route. The I-985 freeway links the Atlanta metropolitan area with Gainesville via Exit 113 of I-85 north. Heading northeast, the freeway sses a 70 mph speed limit and four overall lanes through to its terminus at Georgia 369 near Gainesville.

History

I-985 was approved as an Interstate Highway by AASHTO on December 7, 1984, but the freeway was constructed in the 1960s as a new alignment for U.S. 23.

According to Steve Williams, until 1985 the freeway was simply known as Georgia 365, despite the merge of U.S. 23 from the first exit (Georgia 20 - former Exit 1). Once the limited access portion ends in Gainesville, the highway was signed as U.S. 23 & Georgia 365 to Cornelia. GA 365 eventually splits north of Cornelia, joining GA 17 and U.S. 123 as it goes through Toccoa en route to the South Carolina line. Locals started referring to the limited access portion as "985" once it was signed accordingly.

Highway Guides

Southern Terminus - Interstate 85 - near Suwanee, Georgia
Perspective from Interstate 985 south
The final southbound interchange of Interstate 985 is Exit 4 with Georgia 20 and the split of U.S. 23 south toward Suwanee. Traffic wishing to access Interstate 85 northbound must depart Interstate 985 at this point onto Georgia 20 southbound to Exit 117 of that freeway. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca (02/23/03).
Mileage sign on Interstate 985 southbound after the merge of Exit 4 traffic onto the freeway. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca (02/23/03).
A look at the wye interchange of Interstate 85/985 from Interstate 985 southbound. Traffic defaults onto Interstate 85 southbound ahead. Exit 111 with Georgia 317 is the first Interstate 85 interchange encountered. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca (02/23/03).
Interstate 985 merges onto Interstate 85. Hidden Georgia 365 also comes to a close at this location. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca (02/23/03).
Next Three Interstate Junctions for Interstate 85 south
Interstate 285 18 miles at Doraville, GA
Interstate 75
overlap begin
28 miles in Atlanta, GA
Interstate 75
overlap end
36 miles in south Atlanta, GA
Perspective from Interstate 85 north
Four lanes of Interstate 85 progress northward toward Suwanee and the remaining far northeastern suburbs of Atlanta metro. Exit 113 of Interstate 985 is two miles to the north of this sign bridge. Photo taken 05/28/05.
Northbound Interstate 85 reaches Exit 111, Junction Georgia 317 north to Suwanee. The next exit is a rest area, followed by the Interstate 985 split. Photo taken 05/28/05.
This overhead displays the lane configuration of Interstate 85 at the split of Interstate 985 northbound/Exit 113. The left-lane becomes exit only, with two overall lanes for the beginning of the second highest Interstate number in the U.S. (only Interstate 990 in New York has a higher number). Photo taken 05/28/05.
Progressing to within one-half mile of the northbound beginning of Interstate 985. Although signage indicates that three lanes continue northward for Interstate 85, the freeway quickly reduces to four lanes overall to the northeast of this interchange. This is the last Atlanta metropolitan exit of Interstate 85 at the present time. There is no access to Interstate 985 from Interstate 85 south nor access to Interstate 85 north from Interstate 985 south. Traffic movements in these directions must use Georgia 20 which is the next interchange for both Interstates four miles to the north. The second photo shows the original button copy version of the above graphical overhead. Note that Interstate 985 was originally Exit 45. Photo taken 05/28/05 and vidcap taken 06/05/96.
Use Interstate 985 (secret Georgia 365) north to Buford Dam and Lake Lanier Islands. Interstate 985/Georgia 385 is known as the Lanier Parkway. The northern control city and Hall County seat of Gainesville is 22 miles away. Sixty-six miles separate Interstate 85 from the South Carolina state line at this point. Photo taken 05/28/05.
Split of Interstate 985 northbound (Exit 113) from Interstate 85. Note the warning sign in the background indicating that the right-hand lane of Interstate 85 will come to an end. The second photo shows the original button copy versions of the above signage complete with functional lighting assemblies. These panels were replaced by mid-1999. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca (02/23/03) and vidcap taken 06/05/96.
Next Three Interstate Junctions for Interstate 85 north
Interstate 185 108 miles at Greenville, SC
Interstate 385 117 miles at Greenville, AL
Interstate 26 136 miles at Spartanburg, SC
Perspective from Interstate 985 north
The first northbound Interstate 985 reassurance shield. The overpass of Interstate 85 southbound can be seen in the background. The first northbound interchange (Exit 4) sees the merge of U.S. 23 northbound onto Interstate 985. The two highways will overlap for the duration of Interstate 985 to Gainesville. Photo taken 06/21/05.
After passing under the southbound lanes of Interstate 85, a mileage sign provides the distance to Buford (Junction U.S. 23, five miles) and Gainesville (23 miles, near the northern terminus of Interstate 985). Photo taken 06/21/05.
About three miles north is the first signage for the first interchange: Exit 4, Junction U.S. 23 south and Georgia 20 to Buford. From here, U.S. 23 merges onto northbound Interstate 985, only to separate at the point where Interstate 985 ends at its junction with Business U.S. 129 and Georgia 369. Photo taken 06/21/05.
Northern Terminus - Business U.S. 129 and Georgia 369 - just northeast of Gainesville, Georgia
Perspective from Interstate 985 north
After the U.S. 129 and Georgia 11 interchange, this is the final Interstate 985 north reassurance shield (posted under the Athens Street overcrossing). Photos taken 07/21/05 and 06/21/05.
Northbound Interstate 985, U.S. 23, and Georgia 365 approach Exit 24, Junction Business U.S. 129 to west Georgia 369, one mile. Photo taken 07/21/05.
Exit 24 (Junction Business U.S. 129 to west Georgia 369) is the final interchange along northbound Interstate 985. The freeway will continue northeast as U.S. 23-129 and Georgia 365. Photo taken 07/21/05.
Northbound Interstate 985 reaches Exit 24, Junction Business U.S. 129 to Georgia 369. The exit numbers of Interstate 985 continue on U.S. 23 northward around the Gainesville vicinity. Photo taken 07/21/05.
Northbound at the gore point for Exit 24 (end of Interstate 985). Unusual for GADOT, an end shield for Interstate 985 is omitted. Photo taken 07/21/05.
Crossing over Georgia 369, Interstate 985 ends. The freeway continues northeast around Gainesville. Photo taken 07/21/05.
Perspective from U.S. 23 and Georgia 365 north
Just beyond the Georgia 369/To U.S. 129 interchange, this North U.S. 23/Georgia 365 shield assembly (with no Interstate 985 shield) is the only indication that northbound travelers are no longer on Interstate 985. Although signed here, Georgia 365 is unsigned south of this location on its cosigned section with Interstate 985 all the way to Interstate 85. Photo taken 07/21/05.
The freeway soon ends, and the first traffic signal on the U.S. 23/Georgia 365 expressway is with White Sulphur Road. Photo taken 06/21/05.
Northbound U.S. 23/Georgia 365 meet White Sulphur Road at this traffic signal. The freeway ends. Photo taken 06/21/05.
Perspective from Georgia 369 south
Junction Interstate 985 and error Georgia 23 shield on Georgia 369 southbound. Photo taken 10/14/01.
Context shot of the Junction Interstate 985 and error Georgia 23 shield on Georgia 369 southbound. Photo taken 10/14/01.
These Interstate 985/U.S. 23 shields are located at the beginning of the on-ramp from Georgia 369 to Interstate 985 south. Photo taken 10/14/01.
Perspective from U.S. 23 and Georgia 365 south
Southbound U.S. 23 and Georgia 365 approach Exit 24, Junction Business U.S. 129 and Georgia 369. Exit 24 marks the transition from U.S. 23 onto Interstate 985 south. Photo taken 07/21/05.
Reaching Exit 24 (Junction Business U.S. 129 and Georgia 369), U.S. 23 and Georgia 365 transition directly onto southbound Interstate 985. Photo taken 07/21/05.
Interstate 985 begins at the Exit 24 gore point, but there is no BEGIN Interstate 985 shield, which is customary for most of Georgia's three-digit Interstates. Photo taken 07/21/05.
Perspective from Interstate 985 south
This is the first reassurance shield on Interstate 985 southbound past the Georgia 369 interchange (Exit 24). Photo taken 07/21/05.

Page Updated May 8, 2007.

 
Mileage

State Georgia
Mileage 24.04
Cities Gainesville
Junctions Interstate 85
Source: December 31, 2014 Interstate Route Log and Finders List
Aerial showing the wye interchange between Interstate 985 and Insterstate 85 east of Suwanee, Georgia
The interchange between Interstate 985 and Interstate 85 is surrounded by several large-scale subdivisions to the east and west while the industrial section of Suwanee borders the wye interchange to the south. The Mall of Georgia can be accessed by both interstates; Interstate 985 via Exit 4 (U.S. 23 and Georgia 20) and Interstate 85 via Exit 115 (Georgia 20 - Buford Drive).
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