GSP Tiger

I-185/Southern Connector

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This is a failure no one wants to admit.

It is not the most quickest route in the area. I can save gas, time and money by driving a mile or two less going I-385 and I-85 from both points.

If toll roads are not the answer to generating revenue, we may unfortunately need to look at increasing the gas tax.

Edited by BoDragon

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This is a failure no one wants to admit.

It is not the most quickest route in the area. I can save gas, time and money by driving a mile or two less going I-385 and I-85 from both points.

If toll roads are not the answer to generating revenue, we may unfortunately need to look at increasing the gas tax.

You hit the nail on the head. This highway was built to add interstate frontage (read industrial sites) in Greenville County. In order to be successful, it needs to actually provide an actual shortcut between 385 and 85 (in Anderson County). That could have been done, and still provide new frontage in Greenville as well as Anderson County. Unfortunately common sense fell by the wayside of politics. As so often happens in this state.

Completely new roads of this magnitude should be paid by tolls. The one on Hilton Head has been very successful. Of course, it actually saves it's riders some time and gas.

The article neglected to mention that now that the 385 widening is all but over, the Southern Connector will likely lose still more users. The future does not not bright IMO.

As for industrial sites, why build on an off-the-beaten-path highway that will require all it's employees to pay costly tolls, when that same company could locate in Brookfield in Mauldin, ICAR or Millenium, or The Point areas.

A quintessential 'road to nowhere'.

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I disagree about the road's usefulness and time saving ability. I use I-185 often and save lots of time and headache. From one end to the other is only 10 minutes. Tell me you can legally go from Powdersville to Simpsonville or vise versa in 10 minutes, using only I-85 and I-385, and I'll tell you you're off your rocker. Even if you go 276 through Mauldin, or Georgia Road through Moonville, you'll not get there as easy or quick as on the Southern Connector. Another thing to consider is that it has opened prime real estate in the southern part of Greenville County, which will inevitably grow in popularity before long as more businesses locate in The Matrix and other parks. I agree about the cost being too high for the distance, but I don't have to travel it everyday either. In time it will be worth it all. :)

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I don't think it was a bad idea to build the Southern Connector, but I do think they did it about 10 years too soon.

My biggest problem with it is that it neither saves time or offers a preferable route between two important points. The day the Connector opened, I remember a contest they had on the radio. Two people started in Powdersville, and one took the Connector and the other took I-85/I-385. They found that there was no time savings in taking the Connector, and even speculated that it might take slightly longer to use the Connector.

I do feel that the road will be quite beneficial as the area continues to grow. And in one respect, it makes a lot of sense to build the road BEFORE it's needed and thereby improve traffic patterns in the long run. Because you know it would be like pulling teeth to get the state to approve a road of this magnitude on short notice, even if the metro area is in a crunch and needs the road ASAP.

Eventually, people will locate more businesses and homes there. The question is, when?

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What I'm puzzeled about is that the intent for the Southern Connector was to provide frontage for Industrial Sites? My experience has been that roads like this usually do better when communities are developed nearby (housing, retail centers, schools, etc.).

The Southern Connector reminds me of what the 417 Greenway in Northeastern Orange County and Eastern Seminole County in Orlando used to be like. There was a road that nobody ever used. Now, years later, there are thousands and thousands of new homes and they've had to expand the toll plazas a few times to keep up with the growth.

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Fortunately this road is built for whatever future growth may come. Growth will not come industry wise as most firms fear locating on toll roads. Communities like Moonville will continue to grow residentially and with retail, that is the traffic I see going on the Southern Connector for the time being.

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This is a failure no one wants to admit.

It is not the most quickest route in the area. I can save gas, time and money by driving a mile or two less going I-385 and I-85 from both points.

If toll roads are not the answer to generating revenue, we may unfortunately need to look at increasing the gas tax.

I disagree with this. How can you call something that's only a few years old a failure?? Cliche, but "Rome wasn't built in a day". Their are deveopments poping up along the connector (Acadia, River Reserve, etc) and I know that the presence of the connector has helped Donaldson keep and land new companies. Greenville will grow into the connector. Much better to see a major highway built in preparation for growth, than to wait until it's too late. Failure? No. Built too early? Maybe A great future for this highway? Definitely!

Edited by gsupstate

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I agree with gsupstate; you've got to give these things time. Companies don't just move next to an interstate right away when it is just finished being built. I takes at least 10-20 years if not more. The matrix business park is an example that the southern connector is already starting to work and there will probably corportations moving next to the southern connector is the next few years or so.

Edited by g-man430

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The Southern Connector has given the Upstate the opportunity to seek and possibly land a major pharmeceutical company in the near future. This would not even be a consideration without the road. Also remember that shortly after completio of the highway, the United States was attacked by terrorists portraying themselves as citizens. The economic momentum was completely cut off as a result, and many international companies looking to locate here pulled back.

I still can't understand how you can legally get from Powdersville to Simpsonville (or vise-versa) in 10 minutes using I-85 and I-385. I have done my own surveys many times, because it has been practical. Try it during rush hour and see if it makes an even greater difference.

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I call it a failure primarily based on the fact that it is on the fast track to defaulting on it's bond payment. I also call it a failure, because anyone with 20/20 vision can look at a a map and see that if it had been built as a 'straight line' connecting 385 with 85, it would have saved substantially more time and distance, while still opening up land for development. The route that was choosen was selected to maximize GREENVILLE frontage and most likely enrich the value of well connected property owners along it's route.

The only way to judge the time savings is to run it during the same time period. To pay $2.00 for PERHAPS a 2 minute savings is not worth tens of millions of dollars. Money that could have been spent on mass transit or at least highways that are already overburdened.

The Matrix is NOT a private industrial park like the ones you see on 385 and 85. It is a County funded (read taxpayer) park that has not met expectations by any stretch.

I don't see why a pharmeceutical company couldn't locate in the Millenium, ICAR, The Point, or a "straighter" version of the Southern Connector. Florence has a large pharmeceutical HQ and plant and it is several miles away from the interstate.

BTW, I wonder if they still have a problem with drag racing at night on this highway. That says volumes about the traffic this thing gets.

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The Southern Connector has given the Upstate the opportunity to seek and possibly land a major pharmeceutical company in the near future. This would not even be a consideration without the road. Also remember that shortly after completio of the highway, the United States was attacked by terrorists portraying themselves as citizens. The economic momentum was completely cut off as a result, and many international companies looking to locate here pulled back.

I still can't understand how you can legally get from Powdersville to Simpsonville (or vise-versa) in 10 minutes using I-85 and I-385. I have done my own surveys many times, because it has been practical. Try it during rush hour and see if it makes an even greater difference.

You are not getting an answer to your question, because it simply can't be done and whomever said this knows it. I used to work in Anderson and drive from Simpsonville and have never gotten to Powdersville in 10 minutes. I currently work in Moonville, and I definetly know for sure that 185 is quicker than any other way I have taken.

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So perhaps there isn't enough demand yet for people traveling from Powdersville all the way to where the Connector hits I-385?

If not, that is the problem at this point because the Connector is currently a way to get from point A to point B, and that's it. The Connector is not really a destination. Fortunately it will be once land along the Connector is more developed with businesses, homes, and retail. That is the key, and I hope it starts happening soon!

Edited by Greenville

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So perhaps there isn't much demand for people traveling from Powdersville all the way to where the Connector hits I-385?

Thats my guess too. Perhaps it would be used more if it connected different cities? Maybe the Anderson side of 85 to the Spartanburg side of 85. Or maybe it should connect to I-26. I think a beltway is needed for Greer or Travelers Rest since there isn't much interstate access to these cities.

Edited by motonenterprises

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I think a beltway is needed for Greer or Travelers Rest since there isn't much interstate access to these cities.

Plans have circulated for over two decades for a "Northern Connector" from Greer to Travelers Rest. It would transverse most of Locust Hill Road (SC-290).

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The only reason I ever find the connector to be faster is because I rarely see cops there, so I can "put the hammer down!" :shok:

I DO NOT CONDONE SPEEDING OR BREAKING THE LAW... :blush:

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I find it amusing that people would complain about an Upstate road that has been in place ahead of its need. Most of us often complain about the way road construction is always much too late for the need. This road was positioned to succeed before economic tragedy beset it, and the desparate struggle to survive became its primary concern.

I agree that in hindsight it might have been been wiser to extend the route into another county, but I think there was a dispute over such a consideration in those days. I also agree that raising the toll to $2.00 is not the way to attract travelers, but rather keep them away. If the fee had been lowered instead of raised, there could have been an increase in the amount of traffic, and quite possibly an increase in profit.

On the positive, it has served me well in avoiding traffic delays on I-85 in the past. I keep a close ear out for accidents on 85 because I know that these often drastically prolong travel time.

I have heard the rumors of a "northern connector" for many years as well. I trust they may play out in our lifetimes as there is indeed a great need for freeway access in the northern territories of the Upstate counties. I also think there should be freeway access to Hendersonville and Asheville from Greenville.

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*Extend the Verne Smith Parkway past Wade Hampton to TR, presumably at US 25.

*Bring US 25 up to Interstate standards from my proposed junction up to the NC line (where 25 is already at standard).

Sound reasonable?

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I find it amusing that people would complain about an Upstate road that has been in place ahead of its need.

Me too Skyliner! Damned if we do, damned if we don't. :D

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I would want any "Northern Connector" to truly be a limited access road/interstate spur and not just a newly-cut road with traffic lights and turn-offs. There is definitely a need for this, and that need will continue to increase!

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*Extend the Verne Smith Parkway past Wade Hampton to TR, presumably at US 25.

A simpler idea would be widening SC-290 to four lanes from Greer to its US-25 terminus.

If you to extend the Verne Smith Parkway, would it be from its US-29 terminus?

*Bring US 25 up to Interstate standards from my proposed junction up to the NC line (where 25 is already at standard).

I do not see how this can be easily done. On the mountain, you have at-grade intersections with a Cliffs community at the state line, Gap Creek Road, another road that goes to some residences, the road to Cliffs Valley, Old US-25 and a load of businesses and residences on a divided highway to Travelers Rest. With the existing road built in the late 1940s/early 1950s, it would require some significant investment to bring it up to interstate standards.

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For those of you who are bashing the southern connector I have a question. Do you have to go from Greenville to Fountain Inn everyday? I do. As for the idea that it is not a shortcut, try this it cuts up to 15 to yes 20 minutes of the drive. If thats not a shortcut I don't know what is. I travel it as much as possible when I don't have to go to the eastside before work. I'd still travel it if they raised the toll, $4 round trip is a lot less expensive than gas. JMO

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Here is an interesting article from the Herlad-Journal. It says this:

"Fewer people chose to drive the Southern Connector in Greenville County in 2005 after officials raised the toll by 50 cents. But the rate hike still led to a small increase in toll revenue for the year.

The increase -- from $3.8 million in 2004 to $4.7 million in 2005 -- allowed the 5-year-old highway to make a debt payment without dipping into reserve funds for the first time."

That pretty much sums it up. I agree with those of you who sy it will take time for this thing to catch on. It won't be a useful inteerstate until the sprawl starts encroaching on that side of Greenville, and taking that road will be the fastest option to get to that area.

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The only reason I ever find the connector to be faster is because I rarely see cops there, so I can "put the hammer down!" :shok:

I DO NOT CONDONE SPEEDING OR BREAKING THE LAW... :blush:

Then you are ok, because speeding is not breaking the law unless someone is injured according to common law as pursuant to UCC 1-308. :whistling:

Edited by motonenterprises

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