CHEROKEE, SC (FOX Carolina)- The South Carolina Department of Transportation announces they're preparing to move traffic out of the first five miles of the I-85 chute tomorrow night.

Officials say that if the weather allows it, the shift will happen overnight on the evening of September 15, 2021. This is over thirty days ahead of their original schedule, according to officials.

The contractor expects to move the barrier wall and work on restriping the southbound lanes on this five-mile stretch tonight. The first five miles of the chute are between mile markers 81 and 86, according to officials. 

Once crews remove the first five miles of the chute, officials said the contractor will focus on removing the next five miles. The preparation for this removal will take around 90 days, according to officials. They believe that this process will finish before the end of the calendar year. 

Secretary of Transportation Christy A. Hall said in a statement:

“We want to thank the contractor for getting this critical work done ahead of schedule and we look forward to his continued commitment to expeditiously removing the remaining portions of the chute.  We also want to thank the motoring public for slowing down and being more cautious through the work zone.  We have seen speeds drop by nearly 10 mph over the past few months which is helpful in our collective efforts to improve safety in this complex I-85 work zone.  We continue to urge motorists to slow down, pay attention and drive carefully while we work to complete the widening work and other improvements to this vital corridor through the Upstate. ”   

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