I-85 construction closes exits, drivers detoured

SPARTANBURG COUNTY, SC (WSPA) – Drivers using Interstate 85 need to buckle up for a new traffic shift from Friday until spring 2018.

“Going to be a headache for a little while for sure,” said motorist Matthew Kuykendall. “I travel back and forth to Greenville so I try to stay away [from 85 NB] as much as possible.”

I-85 North Bound is only open to thru traffic from mile marker 68 to 77, using the single express lane.

No exits will be available to I-26, I-585, SC-9, and Business 85 South. The South Carolina Department of Transportation is rerouting that traffic to Business 85 North instead.

“Oh my God – that’s the fastest way to get anywhere,” said motorist Patty Laws about her initial reaction to the news. “My daughter – I talked to her and she said ‘Momma don’t go to 85.’ I said trust me, I’m not going to.”

Drivers are being urged to plan ahead and try to find alternate routes. We saw some cars heading towards the exits before noticing they were closed.

“I noticed it’s confusing people,” said Motorist Chrus Tamburro. “Coming up with this one lane thing is absolutely insane.”

The reason behind the revision is getting rid of the old to make room for the new.

“Rehabilitate an aging interstate,” said Joe Laws, SCDOT Resident Construction Engineer. “Re-grading the interstate and putting in a new concrete pavement.”

SCDOT says the closures will be until at least April of next year.

“Is that going to be worth it? I don’t think so,” said Tamburro.

Others say it’s about time.

“It’s going to be really really worth it – yes it is,” said Patty Laws. “85 is bam bam bam bam, you bounce!”

SCDOT has a tool where you can get updates to help plan your travel. The 5-1-1 travel system is constantly being updated at 511SC.org.