GREENVILLE, SC ( Fox Carolina.com)
Brenda Earls helps run The Peach Shed off I-85 in Gaffney. "We're very active, people going on vacation means a lot of traffic,” explained Earls. She not only works there, but drives I-85 both directions every day. "It's very busy,” explained Earls, “It's very backed up."
Traffic may get a little worse starting Sunday. While construction crews get ready for the I-85 reconstruction and widening project. The left lane headed southbound will be closed in Spartanburg County starting at mile marker 77 to 80. Joshua Glunt is a project engineer for the massive project. "Reconstruction where they're going to take up the existing asphalt and replace it with concrete,” described Glunt. The remaining stretch of the project from mile marker 80 to 98 headed into Cherokee County will take years to complete. "The last 18 miles of the project is currently a 4 lane section,” said Glunt, “They'll be adding a lane in each direction."
SCDOT says three total lanes on each side will help with the increasing number of drivers coming through the upstate. During this project the speed will decrease to 60 mph and there will be marked detours in place while construction crews work to correct unsafe interchanges and replace bridges.
Glunt says it may seem untimely to some drivers, but he says if this corridor isn't addressed now it will only cause more problems for drivers. “Becuase we're already behind the 8 ball,” said Glunt, “There is such a need throughout the state but particularly along the 85 corridor for improvements. Traffic capacity is an issue, safety is an issue up and down the corridor."
Earls hopes people will share her outlook on the 4-year long project. "That is the most positive thing that could have happened for our community."
For more information about this project on the SCDOT website click here.