User:Lordsutch/Draft:Georgia Highways

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This page describes (draft) Georgia-specific determinations for implementing US Highway Classification values. It is based on Alabama/Alabama_Highways.

General Guidance

As a matter of general principle, each level of the route classification hierarchy below "motorway," there should be a single connected network of routes of the same or higher classification. For example, all trunk routes should be connected to either a trunk route or a motorway; all primary routes should be connected to a primary, trunk, or motorway; etc.

As a result, the following best practices should be applied:

  • Classified routes (other than those classified as motorways) should not have sections that are not connected at both ends with routes of equal or higher classification. As an exception to this rule, a route can have a disconnected end or end connected to a lower-class route if (a) the designation of the route ends, the route physically ends, or public access ends at that point, (b) it is otherwise connected to routes of equal or higher classification, and (c) there is no logical continuation of the route. For example, the end of US 80 on Tybee Island can be primary, since it is connected to Truman Parkway further west, or a primary route can end at a (in-use) gate to a military base.
  • Routes should not abruptly change classification at jurisdictional boundaries (city limits, county lines, etc.) or arbitrary points other than intersections and interchanges. In particular, routes crossing state lines should be tagged consistently on both sides of the border.
  • All things being equal, routes with higher classifications should have higher capacity and higher speed limits than those with lower classifications.
  • Per OSM-US practices, while the functional classification of a route as designated by GDOT or the local MPO is a factor that should be considered in classifying routes for OSM, other factors including consistency with neighboring jurisdictions, logical connectivity, alternative routes, and appropriateness for through traffic should also be considered. Tagging routes solely because of their functional classification by GDOT or the local MPO is inappropriate.
    • Users who find this information valuable can tag the official functional classification of routes using the widely-used HFCS=* tag instead. See the documentation for that tag for a further explanation of why highway=* is not solely based on functional classification in OSM-US.


In Georgia, we use the same standard as defined on the 2021 US Highway Classification page.

The top category, highway=motorway should only be applied to roadways that are either signed Interstate highways or have full access control, typically including ALL of the following characteristics between two termini:

  • Grade separation of all cross-roads, pedestrian paths, and railroads
  • Limited access via on/off ramps
  • No at-grade intersections, stop signs, or traffic signals (although on-ramps may have yield signs, stop signs, ramp meters, and traffic signals)
  • Divided carriageways
  • Designed and maintained to support high speeds over long distances

In particular, roads which briefly exhibit motorway-like characteristics through a single interchange or for a short distance (less than approximately 5 miles/8 km) should not be tagged as motorways unless they are part of a longer route that is actively being extended or upgraded to freeway status; instead, the appropriate restrictions should be tagged separately.

Examples that should be motorways include GA 10 Loop in Athens, GA 13 north of downtown Atlanta, Ronald Reagan Parkway (except the at-grade section near its eastern terminus) in Gwinnett County, Veterans Parkway and GA 404 Spur in Savannah, etc.

Examples that should not be motorways in Georgia often include interchanges that were only/mainly constructed to facilitate an adjacent railroad grade separation, like GA 96 and Russell Parkway crossing US 129 in Warner Robins, or isolated interchanges on GRIP routes (like US 441's interchange with GA 540 south of Milledgeville).


Trunks are the most important non-motorway highways in an area. In Georgia, non-motorway routes connecting major settlements are considered trunk roads, or major inner-city roads. In most cases, these roads will be signed US or state highways (unbannered routes, truck routes, and bypass routes).

Important Regional Centers

The following cities in Georgia are considered important regional centers:

Inside Georgia
City Notes
Atlanta Includes immediate surrounding counties (Clayton, Cobb, DeKalb, Douglas, Fulton, Gwinnett, Henry, Rockwall)
Carrollton (Regional hub in Atlanta MSA)
Cartersville (Regional hub in Atlanta MSA)
Gainesville (Regional hub in Atlanta MSA)
Newnan (Regional hub in Atlanta MSA)
Peachtree City (Regional hub in Atlanta MSA)
Augusta Includes North Augusta (SC)
Columbus Includes Phenix City (AL)
Savannah Includes Pooler
Warner Robins
St. Mary's

Trunk Roads

highway=trunk status is generally reserved for highways that form part of the most logical routing for cars and trucks between nearby major population centers. If the most logical routing between a pair of cities is an Interstate highway or another trunk route, that would generally disqualify other closely parallel routes from trunk status.

For example, US 80 between Dublin and Macon would not be trunk, because I-16 is the logical direct route between the cities. Similarly, US 80 connects Columbus and Macon, but the portion not coinciding with the GA 540/Fall Line Freeway would not be trunk because the FLF provides a four-lane, mostly divided route with typical speed limits of 60–65 mph between the two cities, bypassing most of the settlements on its path, while US 80 is a 55-mph two-lane route for most of its length and lacks bypasses around intermediate towns.

Note: Business routes and other routes through built-up areas should generally not be tagged as trunk routes, unless there is no suitable bypass for the through route. If a bypass route exists, it should receive trunk status and the through-town route should lose its trunk status. Conversely, a route should not drop its trunk status solely because it transitions from a divided highway to an undivided highway or it enters a built-up area.

The U.S. highways listed below have been designated as trunk routes, in coordination with mappers in neighboring states. Locations in parentheses are not on the important population centers list but represent either intersections or termini with other trunk routes. Many but not all of these are GRIP (Governor's Road Improvement Program) corridors; some were upgraded before GRIP was created.

Route Population Centers Served Notes
US 1 Jacksonville (FL), (Folkston), Waycross, (Alma), (Baxley), (I-16), (Wrens), Augusta (at I-520) GRIP corridor (US 1/SR 17 and Fall Line Freeway); excludes urban section in Augusta inside I-520.
US 19 Perry (FL), Thomasville, Albany, (Americus), (Butler), Griffin, Atlanta, Sandy Springs, Cumming, (Dahlonega) GRIP corridor (I-75 to state line). Portion south of East-West Highway GRIP corridor, excludes urban section between I-285/SR 400 interchange and I-75 south in Clayton County.
US 23 Jacksonville (FL), (Folkston), Waycross, (Hazlehurst), (McRae-Helena), (Eastman), Macon

Gainesville, (Cornelia), Franklin (NC)

Only portions south of I-16 in Macon (except Eastman bypass: trunk follows US 341 and SR 87 Connector), and from end of I-985 to North Carolina border (incl. GRIP US 441)
US 25 I-16, Statesboro, (Millen), Augusta GRIP Savannah River Parkway west fork (I-16 to I-520)
US 27 Tallahassee (FL), (Bainbridge), Columbus

LaGrange, Carrollton, Rome, Chattanooga (TN)

GRIP corridor; excludes portion of US 27 parallel to I-185 between US 280/Fort Benning and I-85/LaGrange. Also excludes portion inside Carrollton loop (GA 166/166 Connector)
US 27 Altermate Carrollton, Newnan Connection between Atlanta exurbs. Excludes portion from south of Newnan bypass to Columbus.
US 78 Athens, (Washington), I-20 (north of Thomson), Augusta (via I-20) Only portion not closely parallel to I-20 or SR 316; overlaps GRIP US 1/SR 17 between Washington and I-20
US 80 Phenix City (AL), Columbus, (Geneva) Only part west of Geneva concurrent with J.R. Allen Parkway and GRIP Fall Line Freeway (SR 540), NHS High Priority Corridor 6; also short concurrency with FLF in Macon east of I-16.
US 82 (Dawson), Albany, Tifton, Waycross, Brunswick Only portion concurrent with GRIP South Georgia Parkway (SR 520)
US 84 Dothan (AL), (Bainbridge), Thomasville, Valdosta, Waycross, Hinesville, Savannah (via I-95, SR 204) GRIP corridor
US 129 Macon, (Gray), (Eatonton), (Madison), Athens, Jefferson, Gainesville Portion between Athens and Eatonton is concurrent with GRIP US 441. US 341 concurrency in Hawkinsville is trunk as well.
US 278 Gadsden (AL), (Cedartown), (Austell), Atlanta (via SR 6, I-20) Only portion west of US 78/278 split in Austell not closely parallel to I-20
US 280 Columbus, (Americus), (Cordele), Savannah (via I-16) GRIP corridor, partially concurrent with GRIP South Georgia Parkway (SR 520)
US 319 Tallahassee (FL), Thomasville, Tifton GRIP corridor (only south of Tifton)
US 341 (GA 224 north of Hayneville), (Eastman), (McRae-Helena), (Baxley), Brunswick Only portion concurrent with GRIP Golden Isles Parkway (from SR 224 intersection south to I-95); trunk follows SR 224 to I-75
US 411 Rome, Cartersville Portion east of US 27, including future Rome-Cartersville Development Corridor from US 41 to I-75. Part of NHS High Priority Corridor 7.
US 441 Lake City (FL), (Homerville), (Pearson), (McRae-Helena), Dublin, Milledgeville, (Madison), Athens, (Commerce), (Cornelia), Franklin (NC) GRIP corridor; trunk follows bypasses as appropriate (Dublin, Milledgeville, Madison, etc.). NOTE: Trunk status south of US 84 should be coordinated with Florida.

The following state routes (generally those without a multiplex with a U.S. highway) are principal roads between important population centers not serviced by interstates.

Route Population Centers Served Notes
GA 1 Loop Rome GRIP US 27 - NE and SW quadrants of future Rome bypass from US 27 to GA 20 open at present
GA 6 (Austell), (I-20), (I-285), Atlanta From I-85 at ATL Domestic Terminal to Austell - Camp Creek Parkway/Thornton Road
GA 15 US 1, I-16, (Sandersville), I-20, Athens GRIP - From its intersection with US 441/SR 24 at Watkinsville to its intersection with US 1 in Toombs County
GA 17 (Louisville), (Wrens), ..., (Washington), (Elberton), (US 23 & US 441 west of Toccoa) Portion north of Louisville to US 23/441 concurrent with GRIP US 1/SR 17
GA 21 Savannah, (Millen), Augusta (via US 25) GRIP Savannah River Parkway east fork (I-95 to I-520)
GA 22 Macon, (Gray), Milledgeville Fastest route from Macon to Milledgeville, incl. Gray Bypass
GA 32 (Dawson - South Ga. Parkway), (Leesburg), (I-75), (Ocilla), (Douglas), (Alma), (Patterson), Brunswick GRIP SR 32
GA 34, GA 54 Newnan, Peachtree City Portion of GA 34 east of I-85 to end at GA 54, continuing to GA 74 intersection - connects Peachtree City to I-85 for traffic from south
GA 40 (Folkston), St. Mary's GRIP SR 40 (from US 1 east to I-95)
GA 62 Dothan (AL) via AL 52, Albany STRAHNET Route
GA 72 Athens, (Elberton), Greenwood (SC) GRIP SR 72
GA 74 Peachtree City Portion between I-85 and GA 54 intersection in Peachtree City connecting the city to Atlanta
GA 87 Connector (Northwest Eastman bypass from US 341 to US 23) Part of through route from Brunswick and Waycross to Macon
GA 96 Columbus (via US 80/GA 540), (Geneva), Warner Robins, Dublin (via GA 358 & I-16) STRAHNET Route, portion part of NHS High Priority Corridor #6, portion part of Fall Line Freeway/Future I-14 Corridor
GA 125 Tifton, SR 32, (Fitzgerald) GRIP corridors - SR 125 from Fitzgerald to I-75 ("truck access route"), and from its intersection with SR 107 in Ben Hill County (Fitzgerald Bypass) to its intersection with SR 32 in Irwin County
GA 133 Valdosta, Moultrie, Albany GRIP SR 133
GA 166,

GA 166 Connector

Carrollton partial loop Eastern portion functions as US 27 bypass
GA 204 I-95, Savannah Non-freeway portions from I-95 interchange east to Truman Parkway
GA 224 (I-75 at Perry), (US 341 north of Hayneville) GRIP Golden Isles Parkway - portion not concurrent with US 341 bypassing Perry to south
GA 300 Albany, (Cordele), Warner Robins (via I-75) Georgia-Florida Parkway route from Albany bypass to I-75 south of Cordele
GA 316 Atlanta (via I-85), Athens Fastest route from metro Atlanta to Athens
GA 358 Warner Robins (via GA 96), Dublin (via I-16) STRAHNET Route, Part of NHS High Priority Corridor #6 - cutoff from GA 96 to I-16
GA 400 Atlanta, Sandy Springs, Cumming, (Dahlonega via US 19) See US 19 above
GA 515 Atlanta (via I-575, I-75) GRIP Appalachian Development Highway, extending from end of I-575 to NC border
GA 520 Columbus, Albany, Tifton, Waycross, Brunswick GRIP South Georgia Parkway
GA 540 Columbus, (Butler), (Fort Valley), Warner Robins, Macon, Milledgeville, (Sandersville), (Wrens), Augusta GRIP Fall Line Freeway (Future I-14 corridor) - concurrent with I-75, I-16 through Macon unless rerouted in future.
? GRIP East-West Highway

*This table may not include all major routes between Population Centers.

Other trunk routes:

Name Population Centers Served Notes
Jimmy Deloach Parkway Port of Savannah, Pooler Non-freeway portions, may eventually form part of I-516


highway=primary routes are routes connecting small incorporated settlements, or linking other primary, trunk, or motorway roads to other roads or places. Use this tag on main state highways or US routes connecting multiple incorporated settlements or other important roads, but not important enough to receive trunk classification. The principal U.S. and state highways directly connecting neighboring county seats should be primary (or higher).

This tag can also be used on the most important city roads.

Examples of primary roads include US 41, Alternate US 27, GA 16, GA 34, or South Fulton Parkway.


highway=secondary routes are less important state highways (including most business routes, connectors, spurs, and loops) and most important county roads that link many smaller county roads or small settlements. Often secondary roads will be slower alternative routes to nearby primary/trunk/motorway routes.

Signed state highways should be tagged as at least secondary.


highway=tertiary routes can be county or city roads; in cities, this is generally the lowest classification that a through street (typically, those streets that have a painted center line and have priority at most intersections) should receive.

A county road that serves as any sort of through route should be considered a tertiary road regardless of paved status; however, you should not tag an unpaved route as tertiary or higher without also tagging an explicit surface=* type to warn data users that it is unlikely to be an appropriate through route except as a last resort.


Avoid the highway=unclassified classification, which is an artifact of how British roads are legally categorized; many were created by the import of frontage roads from TIGER. Either promote the route to tertiary if it's a through route, or demote to residential if it's a dead-end, "no outlet," or otherwise inappropriate for through traffic.


Use the highway=residential road tag strictly for roads that are not through routes, such as roads in industrial parks and subdivisions, or dead-end county roads that serve houses. This includes named residential streets in gated communities and low-quality/narrow streets (use narrow=yes if appropriate instead).


highway=service should be used for non-public roads such as driveways, parking aisles, drive-through lanes, etc. Only use access=private if there is an absolute prohibition on general public use (for example, driveways to individual homes and areas behind gates); access roads to customer/public parking should either lack an access tag or use access=customers.

Alleys, even if named, are tagged as highway=service + service=alley.


highway=track routes are roads that are mainly used for forestry and agriculture. Track roads are not maintained by the city or state for traffic to travel on. These would be roads serving: A managed forest used for forestry, A national forest or Wildlife Management Area, or a farmer's field. If it's paved, it's probably not a track.


This page is discussed on the #local-georgia Channel of the OSMUS Slack.