First five miles of I-85 ‘chute’ expected to be fully removed by Wednesday night

National

SPARTANBURG, S.C. (WSPA)- The Department of Transportation is making progress on a project aimed to fix a portion of I-85 Southbound that some people have referred to as a “death trap.”

Last Tuesday, road crews began the process to remove the first five miles of the chute in Spartanburg County.

SCDOT officials said traffic has remained in its current flow between mile markers 81 and 86 southbound for the past week, but drivers can expect that to change. They say workers are on track to complete the removal of the first five miles of barrier Wednesday.

This change will remove five miles of the left lane that’s usually trapped between the barrier and create two lanes on the right hand side of the southbound lanes.

“When we eliminate the chute what it will do is instead of one lane on the right side it’ll actually stay two lanes. It’ll be two lanes on the right side — and the lane that was previously on the left and went between the barrier walls— will be eliminated,” Christy Hall, Secretary of Transportation at SCDOT said.

SCDOT and S.C. Highway Patrol say the best thing drivers can do to help in the process is to slow down and stay cautious for crews while traveling through the work zone. Law enforcement will continue to monitor the area.

“We still have our enhanced enforcement out and we want people to make sure that they slow down. By slowing down, they can be safe and hopefully reduce our collisions and fatalities that have happened in that area,” Trooper Joe Hovis with the S.C. Highway Patrol, said.

Crews plan to shift traffic out of the first five miles of the chute by Wednesday night. Drivers can expect the traffic pattern to change.

Once the first section of the process is complete, crews will begin removing the next five mile section — which officials predict will be completed by the end of the year.

SCDOT said they’re still 30 days ahead of their previously estimated timeline.

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