UPDATE 10:30 a.m.: The South Carolina Department of Transportation held a ribbon cutting ceremony Friday morning before officially opening the final bridge in the I-85/I-385 Gateway Project.
GREENVILLE, S.C. (WSPA) – The SC Department of Transportation has opened the final bridge in the I-85/I-385 Gateway Project to traffic on Friday.
The new bridge moves the Woodruff road exit on I-385 Southbound, about three-quarters of a mile closer to Downtown Greenville from its current location.
This completes the Gateway Project, and the official entrance to Greenville.
“How you approach an area, what you see first determines how you will think about that particular area,” said City Councilwoman Lillian Flemming.
The multi-million dollar project has been underway since 2016 as the reconfiguration of the bridges were built to make travel easier and safer for upwards of 200,000 vehicles a day.
“It was very exciting and challenging and working to get the motorists what they need,” Kimberly Bishop, resident construction engineer.
Bishop worked on the project and says living in the area and says she saw the benefits of the construction first hand.
“I see it every day when I drive into work I see open lanes it makes traffic traveling easier with less congestion, more safe,” said Bishop.
Secretary of Transportation Christy Hall says this interchange is the first of its kind in South Carolina. The Gateway will open up not only Greenville, but also create more mobility across the state.
“This is the first of three key interstate connections that we want to address with our ten year plan,” said Hall.
Drivers may see some additional work even though the bridges are completed and open.
“There’s still some paint work that needs to happen on the bridge, some paving work that needs to be completed along certain pieces of the highway,” said Hall.
But it was the collaboration across the city, county and state that made everything possible.
“I think communication and teamwork is key to getting these types of projects completed,” said Bishop.
Many saying not only does this pave the way to Greenville but also builds a bridge to continued growth in The Upstate.
“At one time people passed by. They won’t pass by anymore,” said Flemming.
Anyone traveling on I-85 Southbound and I-385 Southbound will now have access to the Woodruff Road exit.