GREENVILLE, S.C.(WSPA-TV) – If you were on Woodruff Road, Thursday, doing some holiday shopping, you probably noticed even heavier traffic than usual. Traffic had to be shut down in all directions to make way for massive girders for the 385/85 Gateway Project in Greenville County.
DOT’S Resident Construction Engineer, Jack Valetti, said it wasn’t ideal to shut down Woodruff Road for a few minutes, especially 10 days out from Christmas, but this was a unique and very visible update to this lengthy project.
“These are 150 foot long. They’ll come in on their own trucks, so one per truck,” said Valetti.
Spanning the length of the Woodruff Road overpass, the girders were visible proof that the expansive Gateway project is up and running. Troopers stalled and guided traffic, as the massive items made the way to their resting place, eventually to be part of the first project bridge.
“It is 13 bridges total. This is first of 13,” he explained.
Needless to say, Greenville drivers might have to get used to some traffic disruption in the next few years, according to Valetti.
“There will be impacts throughout the project for girders. I think this one is just a little more unique than the others,” he said. “If we had an alternative, we would have opted to probably do it.”
Valetti said the project, when it’s done, will change the way Greenville drives and will make room for nearly 200,000 vehicles who drive the 385/85 interchange daily.
Right now, the project is 150 days behind schedule.
“We’re set for a May of 2019 completion,” said Valetti.
Since summer, Valetti said they’ve worked to end morning traffic stalls along I-85. Now, he said cooler weather will pose its own set of challenges for laying asphalt.
In the meantime, he asks drivers to remember they are there for the long haul until 2019.
“Just stay alert. We are trying to get this done,” said Valetti.
You can follow the project progress on their WEBSITE and their TWITTER feed.