SPARTANBURG, SC (WSPA) – Business 85 sails drivers from the Spartanburg area to Asheville Highway, Interstate 26 and Interstate 585. It used to be a busy part of the interstate, but almost a year ago teams closed the circuit. to drivers to begin with. construction.
Although construction is fast approaching halfway, some businesses in the area say they feel the heat of the diversions.
“There are three bridges, three structures, and they’ve essentially survived their lifetimes,” said South Carolina Department of Transportation spokesman Pete Poore.
Poore told 7NEWS it’s time for SCDOT to invest in newer structures.
“They’re being replaced for another 50 or 60 years and will probably live up to modern standards,” Poore said.
Right now, Business 85 on Buffington Road and Norfolk Southern Railroad is currently in the final stages of building the foundations of the bridge. Teams are working on concrete caps to support the bridge beams.
The partial demolition of Business 85 on Howard Street is scheduled to take place this month.
Teams are also working on the foundations of Lawsons Ford Creek.
Although the project arrives on time, there is still a long way to go.
Carolina Barbecue owner Mike Hicks said the detour has been difficult to navigate.
“In the past, we have received many tourists. With the road as it is, they can get out of here, but it’s kind of a struggle to get back there, “Hicks told 7NEWS.” We always have to give them directions to get back to 85. “
Hicks added that construction has been worse in his business than the pandemic.
“We saw people coming in or orders from Door Dash coming in, and we were making a car in the parking lot,” he said. “Now with the road, it’s a big hurdle for people to get this far.”
He said the restaurant depends on its regulars to keep up.
“We still have the real locals and people who know how to get here or the construction is fine, but it’s not easy,” Hicks explained.
These diversions also affect more than just restaurants.
“We do a lot of out-of-state sales and a lot of our customers have had a lot of trouble getting to our location,” said Yesenia Mondragon, manager of Modern Automotive. “They ask us a lot of questions, ‘Is this road closed?’ ‘How do we get there?’
He told 7NEWS that the dealership saw a decrease in walking traffic when diversions were made.
Fortunately, they can rely on tools like the Internet to balance lost sales, but Mondragon added that he can’t wait to see the other side of everything.
“Especially with construction,” Mondragon said. “We will keep our cars clean and then in the next few days the red dirt will get back on them every time they get to work.”
Poore said construction is expected to be completed in June next year, despite some roadblocks.
“When the contractor started putting the batteries in the bridge, he found an unexpected problem with the sub-service structure, which means the floor found looked a little different than expected,” Poore said.
He explained that this caused some hiccups in the budget.
“Because of this problem, the project exceeds the allocated budget by about $ 350,000 to adjust the design and materials,” Poore said.
But Poore pointed out that the additional funding does not come from your tax money.
“Every DOT construction contract has contingency funds, so that small delay was within contingencies,” Poore told 7NEWS.
He added that any surplus funds will be available for the next contract or project.