The I-85/385 Gateway Project in Greenville is several months behind schedule, and the I-85 widening project in Spartanburg and Cherokee counties is further behind than that, according to S.C. Deputy Secretary of Transportation Jim Feda.
A Flatiron Zachry joint venture, the $241.6 million Gateway Project was originally scheduled to be finished in April. The completion date has since been adjusted to Jan. 24, 2020, Feda said.
“The contractor was given 240 days' extension due to a lot of impacts beyond their control,” Feda said during a GSA Business Report Power Event Thursday. “There was a wetland permit appeal and they had to replace the bridge on 385 over Garlington Road, which was not part of the original project.”
Feda said two hurricanes — Matthew and Irma — caused delays, as did the 2017 total eclipse and a presidential visit, both stopping work for one to four days.
“There were also some traffic control changes and delays that cost them five days,” Feda said.
Should the Gateway Project go beyond its adjusted completion date, the contractor will be charged $25,000 for each day beyond the date. But Feda warned the completion date could be adjusted again should circumstances arise that are beyond the control of the contractor, such as hurricanes.
Looking ahead, Feda said this last year of work along I-85 and I-385 will bring more lane closures as the new system is tied into the old system.
The other big job along I-85 is the widening project in Spartanburg and Cherokee counties. The joint venture of Blythe Construction Inc. and Zachry Construction Corp. will rehabilitate the existing six-lane interstate beginning at mile marker 77 to mile marker 80 in Spartanburg County and widen the existing four-lane interstate to six lanes between mile marker 80 and mile marker 98 in Cherokee County, according to the project website.
“There are several interchange reconstructions that will go along with that,” Feda said.
The four-year project, which is about a year behind schedule, is slated to be finished in July 2021, Feda said, adding that the project is about 20% complete.
The $435.6 million I-85 Widening Project is the second most expensive S.C. Department of Transportation project, behind the Cooper River Bridge Replacement Project at $675.2 million. Feda said those numbers could be eclipsed by future work on I-26.
Should the widening project work go beyond its adjusted completion date, Feda said the contractor would be charged $15,000 per day.