SPARTANBURG, S.C. (WSPA) – The South Carolina Department of Transportation is delaying the reopening of Business 85 through the end of the year.
In late September, SCDOT officials expected the project to be completed in October.
Now SCDOT officials are saying it will add some additional paving and guardrail work to the project and extend the amount of time needed to complete the project.
The project started in 2021 and includes the replacement of three bridges along the corridor in addition to pavement and safety improvements.
Those 7NEWS spoke to said they want to see it reopened.
“It has created some issues for us, because we were hiring and training based on what they told us, and so now I’ve carried a couple extra people on my payroll. Just to be ready for it when it does open, because we will be busier,” said Michael Hicks.
Michael Hicks has owned Carolina BBQ for 24 years.
He said his fingers are crossed the project is completed soon.
“It has reduced our sales by about 25% since it started,” he said. “Of course, we’ve been able to maintain, but we’re kind of hoping for the light at the end of the tunnel.”
The restaurant owner said the deadline being pushed back again is stressful.
“I just turned 65, so I’m planning on putting the business on the market the first of the year. So, now I guess I’ll be pushing that back,” stated Hicks.
He said the construction creates problems for customers getting in and out.
If you drive around the area, you see detours, cones, road closed signs, and traffic.
“On the weekdays, we get a lot of traffic around here,” said Asia Anderson.
Drivers, like Asia Anderson, said she has to head out to work even earlier.
“It’s tiring but hopefully, we get it done soon, because in the mornings, I have to leave a little bit earlier from the house, because it takes longer to get here,” she said.
The Spartanburg resident said she has lived in Spartanburg the entire time Business 85 has been shut down.
“It’s just a lot of crazy drivers, but other than that, it’s not too bad with traffic, unless it’s early morning or towards 3,” said Anderson.
According to SCDOT, the extra works delays the project, but there will be a better and safer result in the end.
Officials said it could reopen as early as the end of the year, but no date has been set yet.
Officials ask that drivers in the area slow down and stay alert for crew working alongside the roadway.
For updates on detours and reopening information with SCDOT, click here.