I-285 is a 62.84 mile
highway that runs in a circle
around the Atlanta metro
Construction on I-285 began in early 1957. It was officially completed on October 15, 1969, and finally opened when Gov. Lester Maddux rode on the hood of a convertible through the opening ribbon. At the time of I-285's opening, most of Interstates 16, 20, and 95 had not yet been started. The original cost of I-285's construction ran a hefty $90 Million.
9 years after construction on I-285 was completed, it was already apparent it needed several upgrades. The arc on the northern side of 285 was expanded to 8 lanes, and the southern end eventually widened to 10 lanes.
I-285 was originally designed as an Atlanta by-pass, but it's now a busy main-highway for the area. In the past 20 years, nearly 40 million square feet of office space has established itself along the northern arc between exits 13 and 21.
I-285's reconstuction costs amounted to about $355 Million, which is almost 4 times its original cost.
God knows why I-285 is called an interstate, when all it does is encircle downtown Atlanta. Why not call it an "Intrastate"?
This brings up an interesting point. Why don't we have "Intrastate" highways? I'd imagine any highway contained within one state's borders can be considered an intrastate, but it makes no sense to call something like I-285 an "interstate" when it's just a highway that runs in a circle.
I-75 is an interstate, because it travels through multiple states. Should a highways like I-75 have the same designation as something like I-285? I don't think so.