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Interstate 385 South Carolina

Started by Alex, September 26, 2009, 12:05:09 AM

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Companies fear I-385 lane closings will be roadblock to business

QuoteA plan to close the northbound lanes of Interstate 385 in January and detour traffic between Columbia and Greenville through Spartanburg County has alarmed business and elected officials who fear it would result in higher costs for consumers and businesses during an economic slump when they can least afford it.

The concern could grow as more people become aware of the state Department of Transportation's plan to close 15 miles of I-385 northbound from the I-26 junction to Gray Court for eight months and detour traffic onto I-26 and I-85.

The department chose to add 10-12 inches of concrete rather than asphalt because it would last 30-40 years with minimal maintenance versus a 15-year lifespan with asphalt, Perry said. The agency would have to pour 10 inches of concrete at one time, which would make single-lane closures impractical, Perry said.

The work also includes expanding medians, elevating six bridges and replacing a bridge that connects I-26 and I-385 northbound.

Southbound traffic would remain open until construction is finished on northbound lanes, then would transfer to the northbound side of I-385 for one-way traffic south while crews reconstruct the southbound side. I-385 would be closed to northbound traffic the entire time.


SCDOT to widen I-85, I-385 interchange in Greenville County

Published: Thursday, August 26, 2010 at 3:15 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, August 26, 2010 at 12:30 a.m.

The South Carolina Department of Transportation is moving ahead with a $230 million project aimed at improving traffic congestion at the I-85 and I-385 interchange in Greenville County.

SCDOT said about 200,000 cars use the interchange daily and local citizens have voiced their concerns about safety. The agency will hold public information meetings in the coming months to receive input from residents.

The project will commence during the first half of 2012 with SCDOT spending $20 million to widen I-85 at the interchange. Work on the interchange is expected to begin in 2013 and the project should be completed in 2016.

"We're very excited about this project,"  said Tommy Elrod, project manager for SCDOT. "It's going to be a challenge to figure out how to best use that money to make the most improvements for the public. But we think it's going to alleviate a lot of those concerns."

Elrod said his agency conducted a feasibility study on the project in 2009 and identified eight deficiencies associated with the interchange. Some of the deficiencies were focused on congestion, safety and cars weaving back and forth.

He said the pavement added to I-85 during the widening phase of the project will be used as auxiliary lanes to help traffic flow while work is conducted on the interchange. No lanes will be closed during the daytime.

SCDOT will also complete its I-385 widening project in 2013, Elrod said. The agency will add two additional lanes to the six-mile stretch of interstate between Woodruff and Roper Mountain Roads.

Rosylin Weston, spokeswoman for the Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport, compared the interchange to the heavily trafficked intersection of I-85 and I-285 near Atlanta, which locals there refer to as "Spaghetti Junction."

Weston said improvements to the Upstate interchange should have a positive impact on area businesses and make travel easier for folks driving north toward Spartanburg.

"The end result, when you make access easier, you make life easier in general, particularly for local residents,"  she said. "In the long run, when it's finished, it will certainly be a positive for us and our customers traveling to and from Greenville."

Elrod encouraged local residents to e-mail their questions or concerns to him at

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Meeting tonight to preview I-385 widening project

By Nathaniel Cary - Staff Writer - Published: November 04. 2010 2:00AM

Drivers on Interstate 385 between Simpsonville and Woodruff Road may have noticed orange-vested workers or orange barrels dotting the side of the roadway.

It's a sign of quickly approaching construction as the state Department of Transportation works to widen I-385 to six lanes for about 5.5 miles from Woodruff Road to just south of I-185 near Exit 30.

Transportation officials, engineers and representatives from Lane Construction Corp., the contractors hired to design and build the $70 million project, will hold a public information meeting from 5 until 7 p.m. today at the Mauldin Middle School cafeteria, 1190 Holland Road, Simpsonville.

The drop-in format for the meeting will include aerial photos of the project, initial design plans and a description of the project. The public also can ask questions.

The contractors will begin moving equipment into place and may start work to shore up shoulders along the existing roadway before the year's end, said Dan Chism of Davis and Floyd, the engineering company representing the transportation department on the project.

Major construction would start in early spring and could last until late 2012, Chism said.

The interstate will be widened to three lanes in both directions, including the bridges at exits 30 and 31. The majority of the widening will take place in the grassed median, and a median barrier wall will be installed. The department plans to use concrete instead of asphalt along the widened section, Chism said.

In addition, I-385 from Woodruff Road to just north of I-85 will be resurfaced.

There will be no lane closures during the day, but single lanes could be closed at night, Chism said.

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