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Old 10-22-2015, 04:39 PM   #1
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Questions about route from KC to GA

Everyone was so helpful last year when we had questions about traveling from the midwest to the Georgia coast. After a couple trips back and forth, we discovered that driving through MO is not very pleasant. It's so hilly that our Class C RV couldn't get enough steam to get up the hills, and for the times we did have enough lead time to kick up the speed to get us up the next hill without crawling, someone would undoubtedly pull in front of us, causing us to have to slow down - losing our momentum.

I am looking at alternate routes for this next trip - considering this one:
I-49 South from KC, KS to Fort Smith, AR (or thereabouts) to pick up I-40
I-40 East from Fort Smith, to Memphis, TN
HWY 78 South-East from Memphis to Birmingham, AL - it appears to become I-22 at the Alabama border
I-20 East from Birmingham to Atlanta and then I-16 to the coast

For those of you who have traveled this route, is HWY 78 very narrow? How long until it's Interstate again? We've swapped out our Class C for a TT and are new to towing, not to mention, some hi-ways are dark at night and we don't know what time we'll be driving through. We tend to stick to Interstates so we have a Walmart close by to stop and grab a couple hours of shut-eye.

Another option I am looking for is to avoid a lot of I-16 without adding too many hours to the route. Every time we've traveled it, we've been held up due to numerous accidents. Yes every time. We're headed to Tybee Island which is North in GA so coming up from Florida is out of the way.

Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks!
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Old 10-22-2015, 08:53 PM   #2
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Good News!!!

US78 from Memphis to Birmingham meets all Interstate Highway standards. In Birmigham you must exit onto Coalburg Road since the interchange with I65 is not completed but the route to I65 is 4 lane.

Now the bad news. I16 is under construction for about 10 miles near Dublin with single lane traffic. Also I75 south of Atlanta has construction through Henry county that backs up traffic south of I285.

An alternative is to continue on I20 to August and take I520 to US25 (4 lane) and run it south to I16 (south of Statesboro). From the US25 interchange you only 35 miles into Savannah.

Good luck and welcome to Georgia
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Old 10-23-2015, 02:19 PM   #3
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Midwest to GA Coast

Xydial,

Thanks! That looks to be a better route. Google maps puts it at only an additional 30 minutes and I can just about guarantee that trek through construction on I-75 and especially I-16 is going slow us up longer than that. We never had issues driving over Monteagle, TN. From what I can tell from google earth, there aren't any steep grades on this new route either. The 'high way' time appears to be under two hours as well. Do you know if that highway is fairly populated? I am always leery of highways at night - one of our trips earlier this year we missed an exit out of St Louis. We thought we'd find the interstate again fairly quickly but ended up traveling on dark narrow roads around Cairo, IL late at night. It may have been fine during the day, but I was never so happy to get back on I-24 around Paducah!
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Old 10-23-2015, 02:42 PM   #4
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If you want to bypass Atlanta you can take I-65 from Birmingham to Montgomery and then catch I-85 E. When you get to Opelika, AL take 280/431 to Phenix City and take US 80 to GA 96 to I-16. It is all 4 lane except for some sections of GA 96 which is under construction being widened to 4 lane.

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Old 10-23-2015, 02:48 PM   #5
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When you get to West Memphis I would take 55 South across the old bridge. After you cross the bridge stay right on I-55 South to Church road. Take Church road East to 78 this bypasses all of Memphis.
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Old 10-24-2015, 05:11 PM   #6
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Those options sounds like a great plan! Atlanta itself was never a problem (at least for us) because traffic was all moving. It was the stretch of I-16 we got stuck on each time. I haven't driven through Memphis because we've followed the standard google route, and was wondering if there was a way to bypass that as well. Thanks for the suggestions everyone!
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Old 10-26-2015, 09:06 AM   #7
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Memphis will put on 4 lane surface streets for approximately 2 miles as you approach US78. Never had a problem with Memphis. I75 south of Atlanta is a different cup of tea.

Ran I16 yesterday. Single lane for approximately 10 miles. No traffic backups but beware of I16 on Friday afternoons and on Sundays.

For the US25 route, there are bypasses around Waynesboro and Statesboro. You will go through Millen (pop 2,500). Mainly peanut and cotton fields.
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Old 10-26-2015, 12:03 PM   #8
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I-16 runs from Macon to Savannah, does not go to Atlanta. I-75 south from Atlanta to Macon and catch I-16 east to Savannah


For what it is worth, I-20 from Birmingham to the Georgia line has been resurfaced nearly all the way and is nothing like it was a few years back. Still a PIA at Atlanta By-Pass (I-285) and I-20 on the west side. Probably better to take your time and go straight thru to I-75 intersection downtown
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Old 11-03-2015, 10:11 AM   #9
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When you get to West Memphis I would take 55 South across the old bridge. After you cross the bridge stay right on I-55 South to Church road. Take Church road East to 78 this bypasses all of Memphis.

I can see I-55 south that runs into I-240 just south of Memphis. That meets HWY 78. Is that the route you are referring to?
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Old 11-03-2015, 10:28 AM   #10
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I-16 runs from Macon to Savannah, does not go to Atlanta. I-75 south from Atlanta to Macon and catch I-16 east to Savannah


For what it is worth, I-20 from Birmingham to the Georgia line has been resurfaced nearly all the way and is nothing like it was a few years back. Still a PIA at Atlanta By-Pass (I-285) and I-20 on the west side. Probably better to take your time and go straight thru to I-75 intersection downtown
Thanks for the suggestion - we plan to come in from Birmingham on I-20 from the east side of Atlanta and take I-20 through to Augusta to avoid some of I-16. Are you saying that you recommend we pick up I-85 south in downtown Atlanta and take it south until we can pick up I-285 to take us back up to I-20? I really don't know Atlanta and appreciate the help!
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Old 11-04-2015, 07:49 AM   #11
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I can see I-55 south that runs into I-240 just south of Memphis. That meets HWY 78. Is that the route you are referring to?
Partly, but where 55 & 240 split I would stay on 55 South to Church Rd., approx. 6-7 miles, then take Church road East to 78. Otherwise you will have to take Lamar ave., same as highway 78, off 240 through a lot of not so great neighborhoods and a lot of stop lights. Either way will get you there, but I use to work for FedEx and lived just off church road. In my opinion Church is the better way to go.
To answer one of your earlier questions hwy. 78 is all four lanes from Memphis to Birmingham. It is not narrow, but can have some rough spots sometimes. Then again don't they all.
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Old 11-04-2015, 07:57 AM   #12
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Thanks for the suggestion - we plan to come in from Birmingham on I-20 from the east side of Atlanta and take I-20 through to Augusta to avoid some of I-16. Are you saying that you recommend we pick up I-85 south in downtown Atlanta and take it south until we can pick up I-285 to take us back up to I-20? I really don't know Atlanta and appreciate the help!
You want to stay on I20 straight through Atlanta. Not as busy as I285 and a whole lot shorter.

As in all big cities avoid the rush hours (7-9am and 4-7pm) and you should be fine. Have run from Statesboro to Birmingham a number of times using this route, driving my 40ft class a.
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Old 12-01-2015, 09:29 AM   #13
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Trip report -

The trek on I-29 from Kansas City and then the hi-way 7/52/13 through Clinton Mo, into Springfield. Mo was pleasant. Having to slow down here and there wasn't an issue. Hi-way 60 outside of Springfield through Mountain Grove, MO was pleasant as well. We stayed overnight in the Walmart parking lot in Mountain Grove - the lot was really uneven BTW.

Hi-way 63 south through Mammoth Spring, into Arkansas and then Tennessee was a path I would never want to take again. Most of it was 2 lane, having to slow down for small cities often and the worst part was that it was full of twists, turns and inclines - so it felt like a slow, never ending roller coaster. No way to pick up any speed. There were long stretches of nothing, with no shoulder to pull over if you ran into any engine issues. It seemed to take forever to get to Memphis, where I finally felt that I was back in civilization.

Hwy 78 (4 lane) outside of Memphis which became I-22 somewhere along the line, was a breeze. Someone here gave me a quick alternate route around Memphis but once we got there, I noticed that I had extra loops in the map I had charted out and decided not to trust my own route - so we followed the signs and went through Memphis. It wasn't a problem.

Although google map shows that I-22 doesn't start until the Alabama border, there were interstate signs along that route depicting I-22/Hwy 78 way ahead of the border. It was a great road.

After Birmingham, it was all interstate (I-20) and it was the easiest way I have ever driven through Atlanta IMO. Taking another suggestion from people here on the forums, we took I-20 all the way to Augusta. Fearing Hwy 25 from Augusta to Statesboro (and I-16) would be another slow trek, we trusted what someone told us on this forum and took that route. While there were not a lot of large gas stations (in fact I don't remember any) for RV'ers, it really was a great route. It was all 4 lane with not too many slow downs. This brought us to the tail end of I-16, which is what we were trying to avoid and that was the highlight of the trip. Jumped over to I-16 at Statesboro and then it was just a quick trek across to Savannah with no traffic tie ups.

Thanks to everyone for all the suggestions!
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Old 12-01-2015, 05:43 PM   #14
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One thing about both cities and construction areas....

I recall once leaving out of Michigan and I-75 was being rebuilt.. Well I timed it to make very sure I missed the Rush hour. I think I slowed about 5 MPH below posted in one spot for about half a mile, but for the most part.. I think the construction delayed me by about sixty seconds.. This was like a 10 mile zone. All in the timing..

Same with ciites. Atlanta GA off peak,m 30 mninuts from point A to point B. On peak 3 hours same trip.
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