Gateway Project
The I-85/385 Gateway Project is expected to transform the Upstate’s driving experience, as it includes much-needed additions to the overall regional transit structure. Photo provided.

The I-85/385 Gateway project is one step closer to completion.

Construction crews recently completed one bridge in the main interchange. The project, which was approved by the South Carolina Department of Transportation in 2012, is expected to transform the Upstate’s driving experience, as it should revamp the traffic-laden interchange and make much-needed additions to the overall regional transit structure.

The $231 million project is being financed through Act 98 of 2013, which provided additional funding to SCDOT for bridge, resurfacing, and mainline interstate projects. Additional funding is being provided by the Federal Interstate Improvement Program and Greenville-Pickens Area Transportation Study Committee.

The project, which is scheduled for completion by 2020, also includes:

  • The extension of the fourth auxiliary lane on I-85 northbound and the addition of another lane southbound between I-385 and Pelham Road. This means the road will be four lanes wide between these two exits.
  • The widening of I-385 from four to six lanes between Butler Road and Roper Mountain Road.
  • The construction of 12 new interchange bridges, including two flyovers that will replace the existing loop ramps that tie I-85 from and to I-385.
  • The reconstruction and enhancement of the traffic signal system on Woodruff Road between Ketron Court and Highway 14. Also, flood warning signs will be added on I-85 near Rocky Creek.
  • The construction of additional turn lanes and reconstruction of three intersections on Woodruff Road between I-85 and I-385.

Construction is being done by Colorado-based Flatiron Construction Corp., an infrastructure contractor, and Texas-based Zachry Construction Corp. Both companies previously worked on landmark transportation projects in South Carolina.

Flatiron, for instance, completed the Ravenel Bridge over the Cooper River in Charleston in 2005 and Carolina Bays Parkway in Myrtle Beach in 2002. Zachry Construction Corp. is best known for completing the Interstate 20 widening project in Richland County in 2014.

The companies plan to begin construction on a second bridge in the main interchange of the I-85/385 Gateway project soon. SCDOT has added these traffic detours for upcoming construction:

  • I-85 northbound: All lanes closed and traffic detoured to the exit lanes. Drivers may continue through and back onto I-85 northbound.
  • I-85 southbound: Left lane closed at the I-385 bridge over I-85.
  • I-85 southbound: Exit lanes closed and traffic detoured to Roper Mountain Road with return via 385 southbound.
  • I-385 northbound: Exit lanes closed to I-85 southbound and traffic detoured to Roper Mountain Road.
  • I-385 southbound: Right lane closed near Woodruff Road.

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