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US 78 (SC)

U.S. Highway 78 is an east–west United States highway that runs for 715 miles (1,151 km) from Memphis, Tennessee, to Charleston, South Carolina. Between Memphis and Birmingham, Alabama, it is being upgraded to become Interstate 22.

The highway's western terminus is at U.S. Route 70, Second Street in Memphis, Tennessee. Its eastern terminus is at U.S. Highway 17 in Charleston, South Carolina.

U.S. Highway 78 runs along Linden Avenue, Somerville Street, E. H. Crump Boulevard, and Lamar Avenue through Memphis, Tennessee. Between Memphis and Tupelo, Mississippi, the highway is designated Elvis Presley Memorial Highway. In Tennessee, U.S. 78 is historically known as Pigeon Roost Road, and some aborted sections of the highway in Mississippi also claim that name as well as Lamar Avenue.

U.S. Highway 78 is completely freeway from the Tennessee state line all the way to Graysville, Alabama. Although not currently a part of the U.S. Interstate system, it is now on its way to becoming Interstate 22, which will run from Memphis to Birmingham. At the time the highway was reconstructed to freeway standards, conversion to an interstate was not considered likely. As a result of that and the fact that Tennessee has never upgraded its portion from the state line to Interstate 240, at least two projects are required to raise Mississippi's entire U.S. 78 segment to interstate standards: reconstruction of a substandard interchange at New Albany and the addition of a new interchange at Byhalia to tie the freeway to another interstate, as well as an addition of asphalt to ensure the shoulder and travel lane widths on each direction comply to Interstate standards. According to information available at the Project Updates and Media Room sections of the Mississippi Department of Transportation's website (, this new interchange will be in Mississippi and operational once construction of the relevant segment is complete on the new Interstate 269.

Mississippi's portion of U.S. 78 is defined in Mississippi Code Annotated § 65-3-3.

US 78 is a major east–west state highway across the central part of the Alabama. It is internally designated "State Route 4" (SR-4) by the Alabama Department of Transportation. Due to the construction of Interstate 22 along the US-78 corridor west of Birmingham, part of US-78 is temporarily State Route 5 only, since that part of the new I-22/US-78/SR-4 is not completed. US-78 roughly parallels Interstate 20 from Birmingham east to the Georgia state line.

The only section of State Route 4 that is signed is along portions the completed sections of future Interstate 22 (Corridor X), mainly west of Jasper. As of December 2007, Corridor X is open from the Mississippi State line through the West Jefferson community, rejoining the old alignment near Graysville. As of January 2009, the old routing of US 78 west of Graysville to Jasper is now signed only as AL 5. There is a possibility that upon completion of I-22 that US 78 may be decommissioned west of Birmingham. The stretch from I-20/59 at the Arkadelphia Road exit in Birmingham to Jasper would continue to be signed as AL 5. West of Jasper, the old US 78 is already signed as AL 118 to Guin and then from Guin northward to I-22 at Hamilton is signed as US 43/US 278.

East of Birmingham, US-78 has been replaced as a major through route by Interstate 20. The two routes roughly parallel each other, with junctions at Leeds and Pell City.

Hwy 78 enters Georgia in Haralson County, and then proceeds through Carroll County and Douglas County. In Douglasville, located in Douglas County, Hwy 78 runs through the downtown, historical part of the city. It is the original thoroughfare for these Georgia counties.

There is another short freeway portion east of Atlanta, leading from just inside (west of) I-285 (the Perimeter) eastward to the suburb of Stone Mountain, Georgia. This portion is named the Stone Mountain Freeway, and has an excellent view of Stone Mountain while traveling eastbound.

The route then continues eastward through DeKalb, Gwinnett, Walton, and Oconee counties. In Oconee county US 78 leaves Moina Michael Highway at the Georgia 316 interchange, turning right and running concurrent with Ga. 316/US 29. (From this point, Moina Michael Highway is signed as US 78 Business, which follows the original route of US 78 through Athens, Ga.) At the terminal eastern interchange of Ga. 316 both US 78 and US 29 turn right and join with Ga. 10 Loop, a mostly interstate-grade bypass that rings Athens-Clarke County. US 78 exits the bypass and turns right at the Lexington Road interchange. From there US 78 passes through Oglethorpe, Wilkes, McDuffie and Columbia Counties into Augusta and then onto one of the twin bridges across the Savannah River into South Carolina.

From the Savannah River bridge opposite Augusta, Georgia, the route continues eastward through Aiken, Barnwell, Bamberg, Orangeburg and Dorchester Counties into Charleston County, terminating in the City of Charleston.

In western Alabama, the historical name of U.S. 78 is the Bankhead Highway. It is also known by this name in portions of Georgia, including Atlanta, and the Bankhead neighborhood takes its name from that stretch of road. Also, the old section of U.S. 78 (now MS-178) that runs through downtown New Albany, Mississippi is named as Bankhead Street.

There is a freeway portion of US 78 that begins from the Tennessee / Mississippi border near southeast Memphis and continues through Mississippi to Graysville, Alabama, and the freeway is under construction all the way to Birmingham, Alabama, where it will junction with Interstate 65 and U.S. Highway 31. Although there are major Interstate highways near this freeway's endpoints, it is a discrete segment of controlled-access freeway. This will change over the next few years as it is upgraded to become the new Interstate 22. It is uncertain whether US 78 will be decommissioned west of Birmingham or the old route recommissioned as US 78 upon completion of Interstate 22.

If the old route is recommissioned as US 78 after the opening of I-22, parts of I-22 and US 78 would be forced to overlap. A stretch from just west of Hamilton, Alabama to the first exit in Mississippi, as well as a stretch from MS 25 in Fulton, Mississippi to the next exit west of Fulton after crossing the Tennessee-Tombigbee waterway will overlap. The Hamilton area overlap would be due to the old US 78 routing no longer exists west of Hamilton having been upgraded to I-22 from Weston westward into Mississippi. The second overlap would be necessary because the old US 78 no longer exists west of downtown Fulton, Mississippi due to the Tennessee-Tombigbee waterway and no bridge in place to carry US 78 traffic on the former route.

In Mississippi, the old routing is numbered as Mississippi State Route 178. In Alabama, the old routing is numbered as Alabama State Route 118 (west of Jasper) and Alabama State Route 5 (east of Jasper to Graysville where US 78 is co-signed with Alabama 5 into Birmingham.

U.S. Highway 78 Business in Athens is a Bannered U.S. Highway in Athens, Georgia, concurrent with S.R. 10, with its western terminus beginning at S.R. 316 in Oconee County, Georgia, and its eastern terminus at S.R. 10 Loop.

Prior to the completion of the Paul Broun Parkway/Athens Perimeter and Georgia 316, the Broad Street and Atlanta Highway portions of Highway 78 Business carried U.S. Highways 78 and 29 through Athens' downtown and commercial west side. US 29 entered Athens via North Avenue and Thomas Street, joining US 78 at the Broad Street-Thomas Street-Oconee Street intersection downtown. The combined highways continue to the Pepsi bottling plant in Bogart, where US 78 turned left onto the Moina Michael Highway and US 29 continued straight into Bogart.

When the 10 Loop was completed, US 29 was routed along the north side of the loop while US 78 was routed along the south side, with 78 Business being established inside the loop. (North Avenue and Thomas Street had their state route designation removed.) Georgia 316 (also carrying US 29) had been completed only up to Moina Michael Highway, so the stretch of highway from there to Georgia 10 Loop (sections of Moina Michael Highway and Atlanta Highway) continued to carry US 29 and US 78 designations. Once Georgia 316 was completed to 10 Loop, US 29 and 78 were moved to Georgia 316 and US 29 was switched from the north side of the loop to the south side of the loop while US 78 Business was extended over Atlanta Highway and Moina Michael Highway to its present state. (Some maps still show US 29 along the north side of Georgia 10 Loop but that is incorrect; all signage is consistent with US 29 being routed on the south and east sides of the loop.)

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