I-85 Continues to Power Upstate Growth


When Interstate 85’s four lanes quietly opened on Sept. 8, 1964, South Carolina’s first interstate highway drew little fanfare.

Miles from downtown Anderson, the road opened without ribbon-cutting, political speeches or extensive news coverage. It was described as “a supermodern, controlled-access highway” that would someday spread to 668 miles in length. But when highway patrolmen removed the barricades at 8 a.m. that Tuesday, Anderson residents were more concerned about Hurricane Dora.

Spinning near the Florida coast, the storm threatened to follow the path of Hurricane Cleo, which just a month earlier had dumped 3.15 inches of rain on Anderson in one day – part of a record-high 77.4 inches that soaked the city that year.

Fifty years later, Dora and Cleo are long forgotten. But I-85 continues to mold the future of Anderson.


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