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motonenterprises

I-385 from Greenville to Simpsonville

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Are they going to widen the interstate from the I-85/I-385 interchange all the way down to Simpsonville? If so when is this planned? Also I noticed that there are no interstate lighting from where 385 turns to 6 lanes all the way up to downtown. It seems a city of Greenville's size would have these and it does have them on 85 starting at around 291 coming from Spartanburg almost into Anderson County. Do they have plans to install these are is there just going to be the trees in the median? I think it would add to Greenville's urban feel and it would be easier to see the highway. Thanks!

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I was in the Greenville-Spartanburg area for about a week this past summer, and I noticed that there is some lighting on the entrance/exit ramps on the portion of 385 that has been recently rebuilt (between I-85 and downtown...by the way...how close are they to being finished with that project?). Other than that, I didn't notice any more lighting being put in place.

Growing up in SC, I have noticed that our fair state is sorely lacking when it comes to freeway lighting in urban areas...even when compared with other not-so-rich states that I've passed through. I know that some in this forum have mentioned that SC doesn't have very much interstate mileage within city limits, but I'm not sure that's the entire story concerning lack of lighting on SC's urban interstates. To anyone in the know--who would pay for the installation and electricity used in freeway lighting--the city, county, state, or someone else?

I sorta keep up with highway projects going on in SC...not that I have a real reason to; just because I'm an interested road geek when it comes to my native state's roads...anyway, I haven't heard of any plans to widen I-385 south of I-85 in the near future.

Motonenterprises--good questions...can't say I'm the ultimate authority; just offering up thoughts and speculations :)

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Honestly, if they're not going to widen 385, what in the world are they doing out at simpsonville? I was under the impression they were already in the process of widening it!

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Honestly, if they're not going to widen 385, what in the world are they doing out at simpsonville? I was under the impression they were already in the process of widening it!

I know that they're rebuilding some intersections in Simpsonville and I've heard that I-385 in that area will be 6 lanes, but I was under the impression that the extra lanes would just be in a limited area in Simpsonville...sort of "auxilliary" lanes, if you will. I don't get the impression that there are any plans for major widening south of I-85 outside of Simpsonville (I could be wrong, though). Sounds strange, I know...I, too, think that 385 should be widened for a distance south of 85. But, as we all know, the funds aren't there to meet all SC's road needs...

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I know that they're rebuilding some intersections in Simpsonville and I've heard that I-385 in that area will be 6 lanes, but I was under the impression that the extra lanes would just be in a limited area in Simpsonville...sort of "auxilliary" lanes, if you will. I don't get the impression that there are any plans for major widening south of I-85 outside of Simpsonville (I could be wrong, though). Sounds strange, I know...I, too, think that 385 should be widened for a distance south of 85. But, as we all know, the funds aren't there to meet all SC's road needs...

The reason I-385 is being improved in the Simpsonville area is that this portion of the freeway, originally US-276, was constructed in the early 1960's and does not meet current standards for an interstate highway. The portion of the freeway between I-85 and Simpsonville was constructed in the early to mid 1980's and, while only 4 lanes, meets the current standards.

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It's nice driving from downtown Greenville along the newly completed I-385. The lanes are clearly marked and reflected. The overpass bridges are nice and bright at night. The signs are new and brightly lit. Then...it all comes to a screeching halt just past the exit ramp onto I-85 from I-385 Southbound. You feel like you've driven off of the road and ended up in a dark field somewhere...then after your eyes adjust, you realize you're still on I-385.

I tend to bite my critical tongue (fingers) on here, but here goes.

I'm not sure why the I-385 project didn't extend at the very least on down to Butler Road. It's obviously needed.

The exit ramp from I-385 onto Woodruff Road is an absolute joke. You can easily see where people (mostly in SUV's and turcks) have gotten creative and have beaten their own exit ramp over the curb and through the grass.

The Woodruff Road interchange and bridge were planned and built with a rediculous amount of short-sightedness.

The improvements in Greenville along I-385 really should be continued to Simpsonville at the very least, if not all the way to the I-26 interchange.

I-385 is the poor <expletive deleted> step-child when it comes to interstates...probably because it doesn't go interstate. I'm sure that our federal representatives have a difficult time getting money for South Carolina roads in general, much less for I-385. Too bad Robert Byrd isn't from South Carolina. :whistling:

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I-385 is an interstate and is treated as such. The problem is funding, or the lack thereof. South Carolina, along with many other states, has seen traffic counts skyrocket. We are fighting (I hope) with other states for precious federal highway funds.

The new Arthur Ravenel Bridge in Charleston devoured 632 million dollars that could have been divied up for other projects, including 385. There is no doubt that a new bridge was required but the tradeoff was that other projects like 385 had to be placed on hold.

If South Carolinians are serious about improved roads the only alternative is (sigh!) an increase in the gasoline tax. I would also like to see a toll (another sigh!) placed on both ends of I-95 to help pay for the much needed widening of this freeway.

You're right about the poor lighting on South Carolina's urban freeways. There needs to be more of it. Again, however, the money isn't there.

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I-385 from I-85 to Simpsonville definetly needs to be widened, it is just too crowded on that little stretch during rush hour times more experience in the morning to me. Plus, the Golden Strip area is one of the quickest growing areas in the metro. Traffic comes to a crawl and you only have 2 lanes in each direction to choose from. This is nuts!

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Well I guess by the time they get the money they'll need to add 2 lanes in either direction. Don't lose faith though ya know 85 wasn't always 6 lanes, it started out just in Greenville county now it stretches for a good 60 miles or so, from exit 19 to 80 something. so eventually its gonna happen for 385 just not soon enough for our liking. I have to drive 385 everyday all the way to Fountain Inn. I hate that there's no room for normal drivers, or shall I say ones who pay attention.

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Yes, 385 will be widened to six lanes from 85 to Simpsonville. Because of funding issues, we may not see any work until ten years from now. The median has the room for the two new lanes and the new green median heading into downtown.

The 85/385 interchange will be completely redesigned. The loop ramps alongside 85 south will be replaced with flyovers. Some bridges over 85 will be replaced. There will also be some reconfiguration with the Woodruff Road interchanges.

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Ten years is a long time but this segment of 385 (referred to as the "Golden Strip Freeway") was in the planning stages for many years. When the route, funding, and approvals were finalized the design was already obsolete.

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I do enjoy driving 85 and it being all lit up... but i wonder if they would ever add lights to 385- especially since The Roper Mountian Science Center is right there. We all know that the Science Center and light pollution don't mix too well :(

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BoDragon have you heard this from a reliable source, or is it just what we all know in our minds is gonna happen eventually?

I was informed by some friends who work in SCDOT.

When it was built, the median was built wide enough to be used as future travel lanes when capacity warrants it. The Woodruff Rd., Smith Hines Rd, Butler Rd., Bridges Rd., Bethel Rd., and Balcome Blvd. overpasses are ready to accomdodate the expansion. Underpasses for SC 417 and 185 north/US 276 west traffic would require new bridges as no room for six lanes exist on a 4 lane bridge.

Thinking about the existing 85/385 interchange, does anyone else remember its trumpet interchange days?

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That was in the early to mid 80's correct. Thanks for sharing the info BoDragon. Those interchanges are more than ready to accomadate expansion, especially the Woodruff Rd exit. I heard in order to do just Woodruff road expansion over 385 would be like 50 million itself. I suppose it would surpass the cost of the section from 85 to downtown by at least twice as much, for the section between 85 and West Georgia Rd.

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Does anybody else think this stretch of I-385 will have to be widened to six lanes before 2015 at the current growth rate? I think it will have too. Mauldin is one of the fastest growing areas in the state and that is going to continue for many years to come. With the proposed new budget of SCDOT, it is possible we could see it widened sooner rather than later.

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Boy gman, you must be bored, you sure are pulling up some old threads :P

I think the budget increase is only for 300-400 million. In looking at the needs of the whole state, that is not very much. I tend to think I-85 will need more lanes before this stretch of 385 (and yes, 385 needs widening there). But knowing SC, it will probably take 30 years, and by that time, they will still be a couple lanes behind.

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My understanding was the phases of 385 widening would occur in the following order:

1. Downtown to I-85 (complete)

2. Southern Connector to Founatin Inn through Simpsonville (currently under construction)

3. New interchange with new flyovers for 385 / 85 / Woodruff (future)

4. Widening of 385 from 85/Woodruff to the Southern Connector (distant future).

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The new funding for the DOT will not help any new construction not at least for a while. It is my understanding that the money is to help pay off the 5 billion dollars that was spent for the 27/7 project.There was significant overruns on projects due to rising fuel and steel costs.Overall I think the projects that were completed over the last 7 years were managed well and that everything possible was done to keep costs down,but you can't control everything.The area is in need for alot more construction, I just dont see alot happening other than the absolute essentials.

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My understanding was the phases of 385 widening would occur in the following order:

1. Downtown to I-85 (complete)

2. Southern Connector to Founatin Inn through Simpsonville (currently under construction)

3. New interchange with new flyovers for 385 / 85 / Woodruff (future)

4. Widening of 385 from 85/Woodruff to the Southern Connector (distant future).

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Wha's the 2nd one you're talking about? They're building another southern connector? Is that where they're widening I-385 through Simpsonville? :dontknow:

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I've been out of town and haven't been on the Simpsonville stretch of 385 in the last several weeks (from 185 down past Harrison Bridge Road) until today. Looks like those miles of 385 are completed with 6 and 8 lanes. So much better now. :thumbsup: This leaves only the 185 to 85 portion that needs to be widened / redeveloped.

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