Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Interstate 26 is an interstate highway in the southeastern United States. It goes from Colonial Heights, Tennessee at Interstate 81 to Charleston, South Carolina at the Savannah Highway. The section from Asheville to Colonial Heights was opened in September 2003, and includes half of Interstate 181 from Colonial Heights to Johnson City, Tennessee, and the western half of Interstate 240 in Asheville. The State of Tennessee had wanted to rename all of I-181, but it was decided that the part of 181 North of 81 could not be renamed since it did not connect to any other Interstate and therefore was a spur.
Like U.S. Highway 52 before it, Interstate 26 runs northwest-southeast. Unlike US 52, I-26 goes directly northwest from Charleston, rather than jogging around.
Major cities along the route
- Johnson City, Tennessee
- Asheville, North Carolina
- Spartanburg, South Carolina
- Columbia, South Carolina
- Charleston, South Carolina
Intersections with other Interstates
- Interstate 81 and Interstate 181 in Colonial Heights, Tennessee
- Interstate 240 in Asheville, North Carolina (concurrent for several miles)
- Interstate 40 in Asheville, North Carolina
- Interstate 85 in Spartanburg, South Carolina
- Interstate 385 in Clinton, South Carolina
- Interstate 20 in Columbia, South Carolina
- Interstate 77 in Columbia, South Carolina
- Interstate 95 near Harleyville, South Carolina
This is a diagonal Interstate that goes northwest-to-southeast, even though it is signed west-to-east. With the recent extension, it actually goes much further north and south than east and west.
Because of the awkward numbering, the mile-log numbers for each exit were increased by 30 or 31 in North Carolina. Small green signs attached to the top of the large green signs indicate what the old number was. Oddly, the part that it shares with I-240 has not had the numbers changed yet, as of September 2004, a year after the opening, although most of the markers now indicate I-26 instead of I-240.
The old divided highway which makes up the southern half of the extension is marked with an extra FUTURE sign above (and in the same style as) the EAST and WEST signs, probably indicating that it has not yet been upgraded to full AASHTO standards for Interstate highways.
Exit numbers in Tennessee are numbered backwards, going from east to west. This exit numbering will eventually flip-flop to the correct way once the dispute of Interstate 26 possible extension into Kingsport, Tennessee is resloved. Most I-181 signs along this section have been removed, except possibly for some "lost" ones on side streets.
- 2005 Rand McNally "The Road Atlas 2005" - newest feature- interstate mileage by state
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