SPARTANBURG CO., SC (WSPA) – The South Carolina Secretary of Transportation says the first step in the process to remove the construction “chute” along Interstate 85 will begin Wednesday night.
According to Secretary of Transportation Christy Hall, work on the widening process will begin after rush hour near Battleground Road (Exit 83) in Spartanburg County.
The southbound on-ramp and off-ramp at exit 83 will be closed while work is completed.
The Department of Transportation outlined a two-stage process Saturday to remove the chutes. The process required negotiations with the I-85 widening project’s contractor to modify their construction operations.
Each stage would last less than 90 days.
The first stage would complete widening in the southbound lanes between mile markers 81 and 86 which would allow the chute to be removed in that five-mile section.
The second stage would do the same but for the area between mile markers 86 and 91.
The SCDOT also lowered speed limits on I-85 to 45 mph in the construction zone and 35 mph inside the chute.
Improved signs will also be placed beginning at the North Carolina state line warning trucks to stay out of the chute, according to the SCDOT.
The changes come amid increased scrutiny regarding the safety of the chutes following a crash on July 15 inside the construction chute in Cherokee County which killed 3 people and injured 6 others.
The Cherokee County Coroner later referred to the chute as a “death trap.”