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November 19
SCDOT Begins Design Work on the I-85/I-385 Interchange Project

The South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCDOT) has issued the first of two  “Notice to Proceed” (NTP) orders to Flatiron-Zachry. Flatiron-Zachry is a joint venture of Flatiron Constructors, Inc. and Zachry Construction. The NTP order was issued on October 30, 2014. The order marks the beginning of the 410-day design phase of the $231 million project, funded in part by Act 98, to make significant improvements to the I-85/I-385 Interchange which is considered to be the “Gateway to the Upstate.”

When the design phase is complete, a second NTP will be issued for the construction phase of the project. The Flatiron-Zachry team will have 1,035 days to complete the project. Following both the design and construction phases, the project is expected to be substantially complete in October of 2018.
 
The work that will be done on this interchange and surrounding roadways over the next four years is the second largest transportation project in the history of South Carolina. The largest was the construction of the Arthur Ravenel, Jr. Bridge connecting Charleston and Mount Pleasant on US 17.
         
When the project is complete, both I-85 and I-385 will be widened in the area of the interchange and bridges will be replaced. The average daily traffic on this interchange is nearly  200,000 vehicles per day.
         
Secretary of Transportation Janet P. Oakley said, “The goal of this project is to ease congestion, improve safety, allow interstate commerce to flow more smoothly, and increase the lifespan of our transportation network in the Upstate. In short, this project is intended to make a difference in the lives of the many people who live and work in the Upstate.”
         
The project is being developed through the “design-build” process. This means the design, environmental permitting, right-of-way acquisition, utility relocation and construction can take place under one contract. All of this work except construction will be advancing during the next year. This process reduces construction time and provides for better management of costs, reducing environmental impacts and shortening travel delays for the motorists.
         
SCDOT Resident Construction Engineer David Hebert said the public will not see much construction during the design phase. “While the majority of the construction work will not begin until late 2015, crews should be seen relocating utilities on the project site throughout the coming year,” said Hebert.
          Additional improvements included in this project are:
·         The extension of the 4th auxiliary lane on I-85 Northbound & Southbound between I-385 and Pelham Road.
·         The widening of I-385 to six lanes from Butler Road to Roper Mountain Road.
·         The construction of 13 new bridges, including two flyovers that will replace the existing loop ramps that tie I-85 from and to I-385.
·         Reconstruct and enhance the traffic signal system on the Woodruff Road Corridor
·         Construct additional turn lanes at the Woodruff Road intersection with Market Point Drive and Garlington Road.
 
The four-year project is being financed in part with funding from Act 98 of 2013 which provided SCDOT with additional funding for bridge, resurfacing and mainline interstate projects. Additional funding is being provided by the Federal Interstate Improvement Program and GPATS, the Greenville-Pickens Area Transportation Study Committee.