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Interstate roadwork isn’t going away soon

Staff //March 9, 2018//

Interstate roadwork isn’t going away soon

Staff //March 9, 2018//

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Motorists can expect several more years of roadwork along Interstate 85 in Greenville, Spartanburg and Cherokee counties, according to the South Carolina Department of Transportation.

The 85/385 Gateway Project in Greenville has reached its halfway point, with two years down and two more to go. The $231 million project is redesigning exit lanes and widening lanes around the Woodruff Road exits along I-85.

Kimberly Bishop, resident construction engineer for S.C. DOT, said “throughout the life of the project, one of the challenges is minimizing the impact to traffic.” She said the DOT meets that objective by restricting lane closures to nighttime hours.

Bishop said crews are currently working on installing concrete pavement along I-385 southbound, and that the contractor will switch traffic to the newly-constructed pavement once it’s completed. And work continues on Roper Mountain Road, with the placement of girders for the new Roper Mountain Road bridge starting over the next couple months, she said.

The I-85/385 Gateway Project began as the second largest for S.C. DOT, at $231 million, behind the Cooper River Bridge Replacement Project at $675.2 million. However, the road work on Interstate 85 between mile markers 77 and 98 now is the second largest S.C. DOT project at $435.5 million, according to Shane Parris, S.C. DOT resident construction engineer for the project.

The work in Spartanburg and Cherokee counties, referred to as the I-85 Widening Project, includes pavement rehabilitation from mile marker 77 to mile marker 80, Parris said. Existing asphalt lanes will be replaced with new concrete lanes in that section.

The widening work will begin at mile marker 80 and end near mile marker 98.

“This section is currently four asphalt lanes and will be replaced with six concrete lanes, three northbound and three southbound,” he said.

Complete intersection reconstruction will take place at exits 83, 87, 95 and 96, he said.  The CSX Railroad Bridge over I-85 also will be replaced.

The design phase of the I-85 Widening Project began in January 2017. Parris said project completion is expected in July 2021, weather and circumstances permitting.