State Board Will Give I-85/I-385 Interchange Project the Green L - WSPA.com

State Board Will Give I-85/I-385 Interchange Project the Green Light

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A state board says it will give Greenville's I-85 and I-385 Interchange upgrade the green light. A state board says it will give Greenville's I-85 and I-385 Interchange upgrade the green light.

A state board says it will give a major Upstate road project the green light.

The State Infrastructure Bank said Thursday the South Carolina Department of Transportation’s upgrade to the I-85 and I-385 Interchange in Greenville will be able to move forward.

It’s a top priority on SCDOT’s list.

Just off the I-85/385 Interchange, Michael's Wholesale Flooring salesperson Chris Reihl said he gets a lot of complaints from customers.

“There are times when the traffic is so bad that they can't come in here. They just give up trying to come in," said Reihl.

But it's about to become a thing of the past.

“We're going to have to move," said Reihl.

SCDOT plans to buy Michael's Wholesale Flooring and level it. The planned new right-of-way goes right through the building.

“Being right on top of 85, there's a lot of people that see us. There's a ton of traffic that goes right over that bridge there. They see us every day. That part of it's going to hurt a little bit," said Reihl.

One thing he won't miss are the back-ups on his daily commute.

SCDOT's planned $270 million upgrade aims to make the interchange a smoother, safer ride by adding lanes and replacing abrupt loop ramps with more efficient fly-over ramps.

“They're fairly tight turns,” said SCDOT program manager Tommy Elrod. “We periodically have trucks turn over there."

There are about 120 crashes on this interchange a year.

Reihl said he's had his share of close calls.

“If you're not careful, you can have road rage on a daily basis," said Reihl.

But SCDOT engineers said it's unlikely you'll get road rage during the construction phase. Most lane closures will happen late at night. So unless you're a night owl, it's unlikely to slow down your commute any more than the interchange already is.

You won't notice any big changes right away. It is unlikely construction will actually start until early 2015. SCDOT estimates construction will take about three years to complete.

About 200,000 cars a day go through the interchange.

Related links:
Interchange at I-85 and I-385 is Top Priority for New SC Road Money
Crowd Gathers to Hear Improvements for I-85/I-385 Corridor
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