SPARTANBURG, SC (FOX Carolina) - Spartanburg County Emergency Management announces I-85 Business Loop from Exit 3 to 4B will close in July for bridge replacements.
Officials announced the news via Facebook on Monday.
The SCEM said Northbound thru-traffic will stay on 85 at the split near Highway 129, and I-26 can also be used as a detour. They go on to say Fairforest Road and New Cut Road exits will be for local access only. Southbound traffic will stay on I-85 at the north split near Highway 221 and can also use Highway 585/176 as detours.
SCEM also said Bryant Road, Highway 9, and Hearon Circle exits will be for local access only.
SCDOT communications director Pete Poore says the work is expected to start on July 12.
Since the announcement, drivers have had questions about the timeline and its impacts.
Poore says the reason the construction is taking two years is because they are raising two bridges five feet higher to accommodate truck traffic.
Victoria Benefield is concerned the work will take longer than crews anticipate.
"They did regular 85 for several years. So, I'm expecting this to take several years as well," Benefield said.
Chris Owens isn't buying the timeline either.
"It's going to take longer. We just got finished with the Gateway Project. They just got it finished. And before they finished it, they started this up on 85. So, therefore, we're running in from one. We're going into another," Owens said.
SCDOT about 24,000 vehicles travel this road everyday, and seven percent of them are trucks.
Owens is one of them, but feels the construction is causing more chaos for truck drivers; especially because they'll have to take I-85 despite the road conditions.
"The two lanes that we have to drive in everyday for the next couple years until this project is done, why didn't you go down through there and re-do those two lanes?" Owens said.
Owens was hoping I-85 would be fixed first before SCDOT began a new project.
Poore says he's confident the work will be done by July 2023, of course, barring no extreme weather; such as a major snowstorm.
"I'd like to see that they get it done. And then, hopefully, no more construction on the interstates anytime soon, just for traffic's sake," Benfield said.
Benefield plans to avoid the interstate during her commute to Spartanburg to get to her job.
"Occasionally, I do take the interstate to get to work. And it will probably take a lot longer to get to Spartanburg than it would normally—just because all of the traffic is going to have to go over regular 85. So, if there's an accident on regular 85, people can't detour to Business 85," Benefield said.
And a third bridge will be getting some work as well. Poore says it still won't slow down work on the other two bridges.
Anyone with questions is encouraged to contact SCDOT at 864-587-4720 or scdot.org/scdotcontactus.