Interstate 85 in North Carolina


Begin Grover
End Wise
Length 233 mi
Length 375 km
South Carolina

2 Kings Mountain


5 Dixon School Road

8 Kings Mountain

10 Asheville

13 Bessemer City

14 East Bessemer City

17 → Hickory

19 Gastonia

21 Ranlo

22 Cramerton

23 Lowell

26 Mount Holly

27 Belmont

29 Sam Wilson Road

30 → Charlotte Beltway

32 Little Rock Road

33 Charlotte Airport

34 Freedom Drive

35 Glenwood Drive

36 Downtown Charlotte

37 Beatties Ford Road

38 → Columbia / Charleston

39 Statesville Avenue

40 Graham Street

41 Sugar Creek Road


43 University City Blvd

45 W.T. Harris Blvd

46 Mallard Creek Church Road

48 → Charlotte Beltway

49 Bruton Smith Boulevard

52 Poplar Tent Road

54 George W. Liles Parkway

55 Concord

58 Kannapolis

60 Dale Earnhardt Blvd

63 Lane Street

68 China Grove

70 Webb Road

71 Peeler Road

72 Peach Orchard Road

74 Julian Road


76 Albemarle

79 Spencer

81 Spencer

85 Clark Road

86 Belmont Road

87 → Winston-Salem

88 High Rock Lake

91 Lexington

94 Old US 64


102 Lake Road

103 Thomasville

106 Finch Farm Road

108 Trinity

111 Main Street

113 → Winston Salem


119 Groometown Road

120 → Rockingham

122 Greensboro

124 South Elm-Eugene Street

126 Siler City

128 Alamance Church Road

129 Youngs Mill Road

131 → Winston-Salem

132 McLeansville

135 Whitsett

138 Gibsonville

140 Elon

141 Huffman Mill Road

143 Downtown Burlington

145 Downtown Burlington

147 Graham

148 Chapel Hill

150 Haw River Roxboro

152 Trollingwood Road

153 Mebane

154 Mebane

157 Buckhorn Road

160 Efland


163 → Raleigh

164 Hillsborough

165 Chapel Hill


172 Downtown Durham

173 Cole Mill Road

174 Durham

175 Guess Road

176 Durham

177 Avondale Drive


179 East Club Boulevard

180 Glenn School Road

182 Red Mill Road

183 Redwood Road

186 Creedmoor

189 Butner

191 Creedmoor

202 Oxford

204 Oxford

206 Oxford

209 Poplar Creek Road

212 Ruin Creek Road

213 Henderson

214 Downtown Henderson

215 East Henderson

217 Satterwhite Point

218 → Raleigh

220 Middleburg

223 Manson

226 Ridgeway Road

229 Oine Road

233 Wise


According to act-test-centers, Interstate 85 or I -85 is an Interstate Highway in the U.S. state of North Carolina. The highway forms a diagonal east-west route across the state, from the South Carolina border at Kings Mountain through Charlotte, Greensboro, and Durham to the Virginia border at Wise. I-85 runs through or past most major cities in the state and, along with I-40, is often considered North Carolina’s primary highway connection. Interstate 85 is 375 kilometers long in North Carolina.

Travel directions

I-85 on the west side of Charlotte.

I-85 langs Durham.

Interstate 85 in South Carolina comes from Atlanta and crosses the border into North Carolina at Kings Mountain. US 74 joins at Kings Mountain, I-85 also has 2×3 lanes from here. The highway then leads past the small town of Gastonia, where there is a connection to US 321. Then one enters the urban area of ​​Charlotte. From Belmont, I-85 has 2×4 lanes and crosses the Catawba River.

Next, I-85 passes through west and north Charlotte, passing through the city, but not downtown. One crosses Interstate 485 twice, which forms the Charlotte ring road. The passage of I-85 through Charlotte has mostly 2×4 lanes. Just north of downtown is an interchange with Interstate 77.

Northeast of Charlotte follows a series of smaller towns, this area is relatively densely populated. On the 100-mile stretch between Charlotte and Greensboro, I-85 has 2×3 to 2×4 lanes. The highway passes Kannapolis and Concord and crosses the Yadkin River after Salisbury. At Lexington, Interstate 285 branches off to Winston-Salem. I-85 then has a wide median strip and both lanes intersect twice.

According to liuxers, I-85 then bypasses Thomasville and High Point, then interchanges with Interstate 74. I-85 then enters the urban area of ​​Greensboro. I-85 thereafter forms Greensboro’s southern bypass, which connects to Interstate 840, which forms the remainder of the Greensboro beltway. The Greensboro bypass has 2×4 lanes. There will be an interchange with Interstate 73.

East of Greensboro, a 50-mile double-numbered intersection begins with Interstate 40 until just before Durham. This route also has 2×4 lanes and leads past Burlington. At Hillsborough, the two routes split again, I-40 heads southeast past Durham toward Raleigh, while I-85 forms Durham’s northern bypass. After the fork, I-85 briefly has 2×2 lanes, but 2×4 lanes are available again past Durham. Interstates with State Route 147 and Interstate 885 follow here.

After this, I-85 narrows again to 2×2 lanes and then continues northeast through rural areas. The route to the border with Virginia is still almost 80 kilometers long. At Henderson the US 1 connects from Raleigh. Shortly afterwards the border with Virginia follows . Interstate 85 in Virginia then continues towards Petersburg and Richmond.


Before I-85 was built, the dense network of US Highways was North Carolina’s major highway network. US 29 was the through route between the South Carolina and Greensboro border. The route from Charlotte to Greensboro already had 2×2 lanes in its entirety in the 1950s. Between Greensboro and Durham, I-85 has been constructed in the corridor of US 70. Between Durham and Oxford this was US 15 and from Henderson to the border with Virginia the US 1. The reason I-85 runs along many different US Highways is because I-85 was planned as a diagonal route through the grid -numbered network of roads.

Construction history

The first section of I-85 opened as US 29 in 1949 around Lexington. In 1955 this was extended to Greensboro, which was not a full-fledged highway but a substandard expressway. The first official section of I-85 opened in 1958 in the city of Charlotte. In 1960, more sections of I-85 opened, such as the part near the Virginia border, the double-numbering I-40, and sections between Salisbury and Greensboro and a section in Charlotte. In 1965, the stretch opened from the South Carolina border to Charlotte. It took until 1973 for the entire highway to be completed.

Later, two major route changes were carried out. I-85 was originally signposted as ‘Temporary I-85’ on US 29 from before Lexington to past High point. This route was 31 miles (31 km) long, but substandard, and was considered problematic when I-85 was completed in 1973. At that time it was decided to build a new route of I-85 that runs outside Lexington, Thomasville and High Point. This highway was built between 1980 and 1984. This made the entire I-85 a modern Interstate Highway.

At Greensboro, I-85 and I-40 originally converged on the south side of Downtown Greensboro. They wanted to realize a ring road around Greensboro, the Greensboro Urban Loop. It was decided to run I-85 over the Southeast Beltway, this route was barely longer and relieved the passage of Greensboro of through traffic. The 19 km long southeastern ring road was opened in 2004. The old route has since been signposted as Interstate 85 Business, US 29, and US 70.

Opening history

The dates below are indicative, and are more of an impression of when a piece was completed, than exact opening dates.

Van Unpleasant Length Datum
Exit 26 Exit 43 27 km 09-09-1958
Exit 2 Exit 10 13 km 00-00-1960
Exit 68 Exit 85 27 km 00-00-1960
Exit 131 Exit 161 48 km 00-00-1960
Exit 218 Exit 233 24 km 00-00-1960
Exit 161 Exit 174 21 km 00-00-1961
Exit 0 Exit 2 3 km 00-00-1965
Exit 10 Exit 26 26 km 00-00-1965
Exit 43 Exit 68 24 km 00-00-1973
Exit 85 Exit 131 74 km 00-00-1973
Exit 174 Exit 218 71 km 00-00-1973
Exit 87 Exit 118 (new route) 50 km 00-00-1984
Exit 121 Exit 131 (new route) 19 km 21-02-2004


North Carolina is a fast-growing state and I-85 connects the three largest metropolitan areas; Charlotte, Winston-Salem/Greensboro and Durham/Raleigh. Large parts of I-85 have therefore been widened to 2×3 and 2×4 lanes.

Verbreding Lexington – Greensboro

The section along Lexington and High Point was constructed between 1980 and 1984 over a distance of 50 kilometers on a new route. The original route was on US 29 and was a substandard expressway signposted ‘Temp I-85’. This new route was opened directly in 1984 with 2×3 lanes. What was special was that the lanes intersect between Lexington and Thomasville. Traffic here drives on the ‘wrong’ side for some distance, but cannot see traffic on the other lane due to the dense forest. The section between High Point and Greensboro was probably also widened to 2×3 lanes at the time or shortly afterwards. As part of the construction of the ‘Greensboro Urban Loop’

Widening in Charlotte

In Charlotte, the first section was widened to 2×3 to 2×4 lanes in the late 1980s, initially just 10 miles between the Brookshire Freeway west of Downtown Charlotte and the I-85 Connector to NC-49 on the east side of Charlotte. In the first half of the 1990s, a section west of Charlotte was also widened, a 10-mile stretch from Lowell to Charlotte Airport. A small portion of this has been widened directly to 2×4 lanes around the Catawba River. Subsequently, the missing section between the airport and the Brookshire Freeway was widened from 2×2 to 2×4 lanes in the mid-1990s, while a longer section between the west side of Gastonia and Lowell was also widened to 2×3 lanes over a length of 15 kilometers. With this, more than 40 kilometers of I-85 in the Gastonia-Charlotte region had 2×3 to 2×4 lanes and was one of the longer stretches of widened Interstate Highway in North Carolina at the time. Presumably in the early 2000s, I-85 was further widened to 2×3 lanes between US 74 in Kings Mountain and Gastonia.

Verbreding Greensboro – Hillsborough

The 2×4 lane I-40/85 at Burlington.

Another eye-catching widening was the 35-mile double-numbering with Interstate 40 between Greensboro and Hillsborough, which was immediately widened from 2×2 to 2×4 lanes in the 1990s. Work started in 1989, although work on most of the route did not start until after 1993. The widening was completed in 1996, costing $175 million at the time. At the time, this was one of the few rural stretches in the southeastern United States to have 2×4 lanes.

Widening along Durham

The passage along Durham has also been widened. First, in 1998, a small section of I-85 around the NC-147 interchange was widened to 2×3 lanes. This coincided with the construction of NC-147 to the west of Durham. However, this wider part was only 3 kilometers long. Work began in 2002 to widen the actual passage from Durham to 2×4 lanes between NC-147 and US 70. This project was 9 kilometers long and was completed in 2006.

Verbreding Charlotte – Lexington

In the first half of the 2000s, a 13-kilometer stretch between China Grove and Salisbury was widened from 2×2 to 2×4 lanes. Subsequently, between 2010 and 2013, the 15-kilometer section between Salisbury and Lexington was widened from 2×2 to 2×4 lanes, with a route realignment at the Yadkin River. Around 2004, a seven-mile stretch in northeast Charlotte was widened from 2×2 to 2×4 lanes, between the I-85 Connector and a major shopping mall just in Cabarrus County. In 2014, the widening was extended to NC-73 at Concord, the connection with NC-73 was also converted into a diverging diamond interchange. Subsequently, in 2017, the last section from Concord to China Grove was widened from 2×2 to 2×4 lanes, a 22-kilometer stretch around the city of Kannapolis. In 2019-2020, the remaining section between Kannapolis and China Grove has been widened to 2×4 lanes.

Traffic intensities

Some 42,000 vehicles cross the border into South Carolina every day, increasing rapidly eastwards to 125,000 vehicles at Gastonia. The section through Charlotte is even busier with a maximum of 160,000 vehicles per day. At Kannapolis there are 94,000 vehicles per day, and at Salisbury there are 75,000 vehicles. There are 64,000 vehicles at Lexington and 52,000 at High Point. At Greensboro, that’s a maximum of 101,000 vehicles, rising to 110,000 on I-40/I-85 at Burlington. North of Durham, intensities drop from 80,000 to 41,000 vehicles, with 25,000 vehicles crossing the Virginia border daily.

Interstate 85 in North Carolina

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