Frequently Asked Questions

Your interest in the 85/385 Gateway project is important to us. Listed below are some of the main questions that have been asked during visits to the community. If your questions are not answered below, please feel free to submit your question in the comments section of our comment form. Your questions will be forwarded to the appropriate person or you will be notified who to contact depending on the nature of the question.

What is a design-build project?
How long will it take to complete the Project?
What is the anticipated schedule for construction?
What improvements will take place within the Project?
What utility companies are involved?
Who is funding the Project?
What is the daily traffic count for the 85/385 Gateway interchange?
How can I find out more about the Project?

What is a design-build project?
Flatiron-Zachry will construct the 85/385 Gateway project using the design-build process, allowing its design, environmental permitting, right-of-way acquisition, utility relocation, and construction to take place under one contract. This procurement process has been shown to reduce overall construction time thereby helping the SCDOT manage costs while encouraging the Contractor to be innovative; saving taxpayer's money, lessening environmental impacts, and shortening travel delays for motorists.
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How long will it take to complete the Project?
Construction began in February of 2016 and is expected to continue until 2020.
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What is the anticipated schedule for construction?
The Design-Build Contractor has worked closely with SCDOT to develop a baseline schedule considering the 85/385 Gateway project as five critical segments:

  • I-85/385 Main Interchange
  • I-385 South of Main Interchange
  • Roper Mountain Road & Chrome Drive
  • Woodruff Road
  • Rehabilitation of I-85 North and South of Main Interchange
  • Construction of two new 385 bridges crossing Garlington Road

Work may occur concurrently or consecutively in these areas, depending on a number of factors including permitting, right-of-way acquisition, and traffic staging.
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What improvements will take place within the Project?

  • The tight loop ramps will be eliminated and flyovers will be constructed in order to provide free flowing directional movement
  • A portion of I-385 will be widened to three lanes
  • The interchange improvements will include collector-distributor lanes
  • A section of I-85 north and south of the interchange will be rehabilitated, including cross slope correction
  • I-85 will be widened to four lanes from the interchange north bound to Pelham Road
  • There will be work performed on Chrome Drive and Roper Mountain Road, replacing the bridge over I-85
  • There will be improvements to Woodruff Road. This will include auxiliary lanes, signal retiming, and intersection improvements
  • Ten new bridge structures will be constructed
  • Two bridges will be rehabilitated/widened (Garlington Road overpass bridges)
  • Substructure modifications will occur at the Woodruff Road overpass bridge

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What utility companies are involved?
Duke Energy, Charter Communications, AT&T (Bellsouth), City of Greenville Water Systems, Renewable Water Resources, Metropolitan Sewer District, Piedmont Natural Gas, Laurens Electric, Spirit Communications, Time Warner Cable, SCDOT, Verizon Business, TW Telecom, and Level 3 Communications are utilities companies participating in the 85/385 Gateway project. The Project has been divided into three areas for the purposes of utility coordination and utility relocation.
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Who is funding the Project?
Project funding sources are as follows:

  • Federal Highway Administration (70%)
  • South Carolina Infrastructure Bank (10%)
  • GPATS (10%)
  • Act 98 of 2013 (10%)

Since the passage of ACT 98, which provides additional funding for bridge, resurfacing, and mainline interstate contracts, SCDOT has worked diligently to advance new projects towards construction.
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What is the daily traffic count for the 85/385 Gateway interchange?
The intersection of I-85 and I-385 has an Annual Daily Traffic count (ADT) of nearly 200,000 vehicles and ranks second on the SCDOT priority list of deficient interchanges. Those numbers show how critically important improvements to this section of interstate are, not only for motorists but also for businesses that rely on this route to transport goods efficiently. By replacing bridges and widening the interstate, SCDOT will reduce congestion, improve safety, and ensure this vital piece of the region's transportation system meets the needs of tomorrow's traveling public.
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How can I find out more about the Project?
Please add your name to our update list and we will send you an email version of our quarterly status newsletter throughout the life of the project. The 85/385 Gateway e-newsletter will provide progress to date, what to expect during the upcoming month, and goals/milestones attained.
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Recent Questions from the Public

October 18, 2018
I own a business on Woodruff Road and sales are down 25-30% since the closure of the Woodruff Road access/exit from 385 to Woodruff. When will this reopen?

The contractor should finish the new ramp and exit/access to Woodruff Rd prior to Thanksgiving and Black Friday. If not, they will be charge liquidated damages for each day they exceed the 60 day allowable shutdown period. Please keep in mind, once the project is completed, the 385SB access to Woodruff Rd at Michael’s Carpet will be eliminated. Access to Woodruff Rd from 385SB will be via the exit adjacent to Fuddruckers. Please see the final design configuration overlaid onto the Google Earth image at the bottom of our website for details.
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October 17, 2018
Please set up temporary barriers or some way to prevent the last minute lane cutoffs (at the exit after Pelham that goes to Woodruff and the major 85/385 interchange)! Its extremely dangerous and infinitely frustrating in that area (last week is a perfect example). If the barriers block the right lane for awhile so people can't do a last second change, it will speed that lane up and prevent the backup that lives there.

I am familiar with the incident you are referring to. This issue will be remedied upon final project completion as exit 51 will be moved back to the north 0.6 miles and will be separated by barrier wall so motorists can’t weave into the exit at the last second. The collector distributor lanes will have 3 lanes and the mainline of 85SB will have 3 lanes. This will drastically improve the functionally and mobility of the interchange and reduce accidents as well.
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385 S ramp to 85 s/n needs to be more than one lane. Lots accidents will occur
That roadway lane configuration is temporary and the contractor plans to bifurcate 385NB traffic and the exits onto 85NB and 85SB within the next 3 weeks. 385NB traffic will be shifted onto the new concrete pavement constructed towards the future median of 385.
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Too bad the exit off 385 SB to 85 N/S is not two lanes. I have noticed a huge back up in the single lane exit to 85N while the shorter exit to 85 S is normally clear. Leading drivers to cross the white lines to avoid sitting it the single line 85 exit. Hope this will be resolved. I foresee many accidents.
The current roadway lane configuration is temporary and the contractor plans to bifurcate 385NB traffic and the exits onto 85NB and 85SB within the next 3 weeks. 385NB traffic will be shifted onto the new concrete pavement constructed towards the future median of 385. I hope this addresses your concern.
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September 19, 2018
The contract for this project places requirements that certain deadlines (if not overall deadlines) are to be held within reason, otherwise the contractors will be deducted payment accordingly as a penalty is this correct? If this is correct, then what happens when delays are due to weather? Or, as was recently seen, the closing of I-85 SB ramp to Woodruff Rd was delayed for two weeks prior to the tropical cyclone Florence, and continued for another week after that. Is there a way to determine, in hindsight, if delays made are delays that should not have been made?

Per the contract documents, regarding this particular activity, the contractor is allowed 60 days to shutdown the exit in order to complete the scope of work associated with the new ramp relocation and tie-in at Woodruff Rd. Beyond 60 days, the contractor will be assessed liquidated damages for every single day they exceed the 60 day duration. The start date is completely up to the contractor. This allows them to position themselves to be successful in delivering the scope of work while remaining under the 60 day allowable duration. The only caveat to the timing of the 60 days is that work can’t impact the Black Friday holiday shopping weekend.
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September 12, 2018
Is there a plan in place to build sound barriers between 85 and Oak Grove lake area since the original tree buffer has been removed?

An environmental assessment (which included a noise study) was conducted prior to the construction of this project. In that study, sound barrier walls were deemed “not feasible or reasonable to construct along the subject project”. An additional noise study was conducted September 2017 and it still concluded that noise abatement was not feasible.
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September 4, 2018
Which Woodruff Road businesses will be closing as a result of the Gateway project? I'm especially interested in the businesses around Krispy Kreme. Is Krispy Kreme going to close?

The Gateway project is not taking any businesses. The improvements along Woodruff Rd east of the existing Woodruff Rd bridge over 385 is in its final configuration. Please refer to the google earth image overlay at the bottom of our website for details.
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August 28, 2018
How long will the Woodruff Road exit from I-85 South be closed?

The Woodruff Road exit from Interstate 85 Southbound will be closed for 60 days beginning September 10, 2018. The duration of the closure may be extended depending upon weather conditions.
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August 13, 2018
It would be interesting to know the number of work hours versus safety incidents on this project. Also, on the positive side, what are you doing to increase safety awareness so that incidents / near misses can be avoided. I’m just interested in your basic safety strategy for the project at a high level.

The contractor has a safety orientation class that all personnel working on the Gateway project must complete and in which all of our construction management and inspection staff personnel also completes. The contractor has daily tool box safety topics and we independently have monthly safety audits, conducted by ex-OSHA employees with Peak Safety Performance, who provide written documentation of findings and corrective actions taken which is provided to the construction JV and is also presented to our inspection staff for safety education and lessons learned. The construction management staff has had no lost time incidents since construction commenced in 2015. (a very impressive statistic) You can contact the construction JV directly regarding their lost time incidents and/or recordables as we do not report or collect this information as the owner’s representative.
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June 21, 2018
What is the plan for the right lane on I-85 North between the old weigh station and Pelham Road? IMO, the right lane should be extended as an Exit only to Pelham Road, with two or three lanes on the off ramp to the 3 lanes at the traffic light. Thanks in advance.

The fourth lane will be extended from the weigh station to the Pelham Rd ramp with an additional exit/auxiliary lane at the Pelham ramp. (total of 5 lanes approaching the Pelham Rd ramp).
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June 16, 2018
I am curious to know if the large steel beams in the bridges are made 100% in America? If not, where are they made?

Yes, the steel girders are 100% American-made and fabricated in Alabama.
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June 12, 2017
I feel the placement of the new ramp going onto Woodruff road leaves no time for Butler Rd. drivers to adjust merge onto I-385 North. This appears to cause an increase of congestion in that area creating more of a bottleneck in during peak hours. Will the placement of the new Woodruff Road ramp be moved closer to Woodruff Rd (at least under the overpass bridge)?

The location of the exit ramp will not change however; the configuration of the roadway will drastically change and the bottleneck you are referring to will be eliminated. You can see the final lane configuration at the bottom of our website. We have posted an aerial photo overlaid by the final design.
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The new (just opened) bridge greatly shortens the merging lane for traffic attempting to merge from Woodruff Rd. onto 385N with drivers attempting to exit 385 for 85N...I suppose the bridge under construction (next to it) will improve the situation. Right now it is not good and hope there are no serious accidents.
The configuration of the 385NB on ramp from Woodruff Rd is temporary only. New collector distributor lanes will be constructed in this area to remove the merging/weaving of traffic from the mainline travel of 385. Please see arial raster google earth image overlaid by the design at the bottom of the website. This will depict what the final lane geometry will look like once the project is complete.
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Friday morning June 9, 2017 at approximately 6:15am there was some sort of concrete water on the 385 southbound bridge that sprayed all over my vehicle. I am unable to get this concrete spray off of my vehicle even with a pressure washer.
Please contact Kamryn Miller at 760-916-9028, with the Flatiron-Zachry JV, to file your claim. She will likely need the information you have provided below along with pictures and receipts of any out of pocket expenses incurred due to cleaning your vehicle. Sorry for the inconvenience.
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June 5, 2017
Could you please extend the area for getting on 385 from Butler Rd heading toward Greenville. We have about 1 tenth of a mile to move over 3 lanes to avoid getting off on Woodruff. There's plenty of road but the lines need to be redrawn.

The pavement markings in the area you have referenced are temporary and the current configuration is necessary to allow the contractor to widen for the addition of collector distributor lanes that account for 2 additional lanes both Northbound and Southbound 385. Under the Woodruff Rd bridge, 385 has 4 lanes existing today but will be 10 lanes under the bridge once the project is completed. Please also see the aerial raster image with the final design overlaid at the bottom of our website. It is downloadable for viewing. It depicts the final configuration and geometry of the roadway once complete.
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Hi I'm relatively new to the city and I work nights on call as an obstetrics nurse. I need to get to Greenville Memorial within 30 minutes in the middle of the night frequently. I come 385 N to 85 S to White Horse Road. How do I know in advance what is closed down so I don't end up missing a birth?
We provide daily updates for lane closures and detours through social media via Twitter and Facebook available through our website. I also send out a daily email blast to EMS and local police departments with the same info and can include you on that distribution list. Please let me know if you would like for me to include you on that daily update.
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June 3, 2017
I am really excited about what this project will do for our community. Do you think it would be possible for you all to setup a webcam stream for people to watch the overall construction? Maybe the section where 385/85 intersect on the Woodruff side where they are putting in the new bridge. I'd love to show my son.

Thanks for using the Gateway website and thanks for the positive comments. Unfortunately, we do not have monies setup in the contract for such a device. We actually priced a webcam prior to construction beginning but deemed it unfeasible base on the price. We do however take aerial photos on a quarterly basis and could post on our website more frequently.
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May 31, 2017
My question is about the traffic lights on Woodruff Rd, I noticed most of the roads received new turn signal except for the intersection of Smith Hines and Woodruff, Why? Traffic coming from Five Forks/Hwy 14 area of Woodruff cannot turn left onto Smith Hines Rd during heavy traffic times. Smith Hines Rd is a major road to this area, several businesses and residents are located on this road as well as it's a major road connection for the Woodruff Rd area to the Mauldin area.

Unfortunately, your question pertains to areas outside the I-85 I-385 Gateway interchange project limits. I will forward your comment to the SCDOT.
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I recently traveled from Butler road onto 385. I had planned to go to exit 36 to get on 85 but due unfortunately it is almost impossible to merge onto 385 in that area if there is any amount of traffic. (It was 10am on a Friday) I was forced to just go to Woodruff Rd as I could not get over. I really hope this is not the final plan. I had heard many complaining about this area but thought they were over dramatizing until I had to do it myself.
The current phase of construction along 385 is allowing the contractor to widen the lanes under Woodruff Rd from 4 lanes to 10 lanes. Both exit and entrance ramps to and from Woodruff Rd have been pushed out towards the outside shoulder as far as possible to accommodate this proposed widening. Please be patient as widening 4 lanes to 10 lanes is a huge undertaking and traffic must be shifted around to allow this widening to occur. Please also see the aerial raster image with the final design overlaid at the bottom of our website. It is downloadable for viewing. It depicts the final configuration and geometry of the roadway once complete.
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I am interested in the current safety statistics for the project. Can you email them to me?
As far as the construction engineering and inspection staff supporting the SCDOT is concerned, the staff is comprised of approximately 35 employees and no lost time incidents have been reported since construction commenced in late 2015.

Here are the current stats for the JV. Manhours and incident rate does not include sub-contractors.

Total Manhours todate: 320,000
OSHA Recordable Rate: 1.8 (Industry Avg is 2.9)
Lost Time: 0.00

Total JV personnel onsite: 180 (approx. 240 with subs)
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May 8, 2017
Hello, I am posting a question about the new merge point from Woodruff Rd, to 385SB. Please say that is not the final layout. I would of guessed from all the work before, you were going to make that "right" lane an exit only lane to Butler Rd. But, as it stands now, its scary. And I am not even coming down that ramp to merge but I am trying to be in the right lane to get off to the Butler road exit.

This is NOT the final lane configuration on 385SB. The geometric configuration now in place will accommodate the next phase of construction. To get a better understanding of the magnitude of improvements in this area, there are currently 4 lanes existing under the Woodruff Rd bridge. When we finish construction, there will be 10 lanes under the bridge. Four lanes in the 385SB direction only will also exist under the Smith Hines bridge. Please refer to the areal raster image overlay downloadable via our website. It will give you a better understanding of the final roadway lane configuration.
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I have a suggestion, the lane that ends on I-85 north just before Pelham Road, why not just expand the lane not to end, but to make it an exit lane just for Pelham Road because It does get backed up there.
Please refer to the aerial raster image display on our website for the final lane configurations. The 4th lane between Muddy Ford Rd and Pelham road will be constructed/maintained and then transitioned into 3 through lanes past the Pelham Ramp exit with 2 lanes exiting onto the Ramp for a total of 5 lanes at the 85NB and Pelham Ramp gore.
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There is no merge entering 385 going southbound. Since the road expands to 3 lanes just beyond, why not shift the lanes left and create a merge lane?
A merge sign will be added at the gore of the on ramp and 385SB. The on ramp is purposely shifted out to the far right side so phase 3 construction can commence which includes the addition of collector and distributor lanes. To get a better understanding of the magnitude of improvements in this area, there are currently 4 lanes existing under the Woodruff Rd bridge. When we finish construction, there will be 10 lanes under the bridge. I hope this explains why we have the on ramp pushed out so far. Please refer to the arial raster image overlay downloadable via our website. It will give you a better understanding of the final product/configuration.
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May 4, 2017
Who is doing the hiring for this project? There's a sign off Bridges Rd but I wasn't able to get the info while driving.

The prime contractor is a joint venture group comprised of Flatiron and Zachry Construction Companies and their contact information is provided below:

Flatiron Zachry, A Joint Venture
20 Brozzini Ct.
Greenville, SC 29615
Phone: (864) 987-9065
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May 2, 2017
Could you please have your crews remove/cover up signage regarding lane closure when they have wrapped up for the night? This seems to happen frequently on my morning commute at 6:20 a.m. Traffic starts to merge according to the signs, creating a terrible bottleneck, all for nothing. I certainly can't be the only taxpayer who finds this annoying and terribly negligent. I commute 31 miles twice a day on 85. I leave in plenty of time to allow for REASONABLE construction delays but I am quite disgusted with signs being left visible that don't apply!

We will communicate your concerns with the contractor. Specifically as it relates to this morning, the contractor erected girders across the interstate last night and exceeded their allotted lane closure/detour timeframe and will be penalized financially for that delay. The traffic control devices were not completely removed from the roadway until 6:37am this morning. We apologize for the delay but major progress was made on the project last night. That is still not an excuse and we will ensure the contractor responds accordingly. Thanks again for your input.
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April 5, 2017
I work for GE on Garlington Rd, we are being told Garlington Rd will be closed Friday, April 7th and Monday April 10th. I don't see any info at your website. I'm interested in recommended detour coming in to work from Simpsonville, on I385 Thanks in advance.

On Friday night and Monday night the contractor will be closing Garlington Road and detouring the traffic to Feaster Road and Woodruff Road. These closures will be for setting girders across Garlington Road for the new bridge adjacent to the 385 bridges over Garlington Road. Due to weather this week, this schedule is still not set in stone. Make sure you sign up to follow us on Facebook or Twitter through the website. We update lane closures, detours, etc daily through social media.
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Is there any plan in all of this to improve 85N at Pelham Rd? If they could just pave about a 1/4 mile strip from where it goes from 4 lanes down to 3, and then opens back up as an exit lane for Pelham Rd. it could eliminate a TON of traffic at rush hour and decrease the amount of accidents, as the people exiting would not have to merge, just to get right back in the same lane a 1/4 mile later. It is a major PINCH POINT, and as far as I can tell from the plans, nothing is in the works to fix this area. I would hope that such a problem area would be taken into consideration for a project of of this magnitude.
The "pinch point" will be eliminated, as 4 through lanes will be carried from Muddy Ford Rd to Pelham Rd along 85NB. At the Pelham Rd exit off of 85NB, there will be 3 mainline through lanes and 2 lanes exiting to Pelham Rd.
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March 16, 2017
My daughter is attending Furman University and I travel between Raleigh, NC and Greenville, SC frequently. There is a bad pothole in the right lane (outside edge of lane) on I-85 just before you exit on I-385 going towards Furman. It is a little before the green Furman sign on I-85 on the outside white line of the right lane.

The pothole is on the list to be repaired by the contractor. We hope to have this resolved very soon.
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January 30, 2017
IS THERE A DRAWING SHOWING WHAT I85 N S BOUND BETWEEN I385 AND PELHAM ROAD WILL LOOK LIKE WHEN THE PROJECT IS COMPLETED?

If you scroll down to the bottom of the website's homepage, there is a plan overview overlaid onto a Google Earth image. It can be downloaded as a PDF and displays the final configuration of all roadway improvements for the project.
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I drive on 85 South from Pelham RD/85 to Laurens Rd/85 everyday between 3-5 each day. I have seen many near misses of cars and semi trucks not seeing the road curving in the construction zone b/c the lines are impossible to see when the sun hits the pavement in the afternoon. They really should be repaved and paved as a solid line while in the curve of the road.
The contractor is schedule to refresh the pavement markings throughout the project limits that should help your concern below. Also, raised/reflective pavement markings are being added to the transition areas for further guidance through the lane shifts.
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Will this new layout permit better access when getting off 85S exit going to 385N or Woodruff Road? It doesn't appear to change that area based on the map on the website.
Actually, the proposed layout and access will drastically be improved in this area as the 85SB ramp towards 385NB will be two lanes verses the existing single lane ramp thus creating more capacity for the ramp and the 85SB ramp onto Woodruff Rd will not conflict with traffic weaving from the existing 385SB ramp to 85SB access. I hope this helps if not please give me a call and I will walk you through the improvements and final lane configurations.
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January 20, 2017
This past Wednesday, January 18th, at 7 pm, traffic flow was completely stopped on 385 NB right after Butler Road. Police cars were stopping both lanes to allow for workers to put signs out. I checked the Gateway page earlier that day to make sure I would not be late to a meeting. I didn't see anything about 385 NB being worked on. It took me 30 minutes just to get to Roper Mountain Road. If there is going to be any stoppage in traffic flow for this project it would be nice for the public to know so we can alter travel times as needed.

I apologize for the inconvenience, however; this incident was not caused by the 85-385 Gateway project. I have copied the Resident Engineer on this email responsible for the 385 Rehab project and she can address your concerns.
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January 14, 2017
What is the schedule to replace the Roper Mountain Rd bridge over I-85? When will Roper Mountain Rd be closed and re-opened?

The Roper Mountain Rd Bridge will be replaced over I-85 but traffic will be maintained along Roper Mountain Rd during construction. Preliminary bridge work has already commence in the median of I-85 under Roper Mountain Road to accommodate bridge foundation work which is schedule to start first quarter 2017.
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January 12, 2017
What is the contractor's obligation to maintain existing roadways? I drive past the contractor village/ laydown area on Bridges Road/ Bridges Road on-ramp to 385NB everyday and it is covered with mud/ dirt/ debris. Contractor vehicles are tracking all of this material onto the existing roadways following every wet weather event. It hasn't been remediated a single time since construction activity has commenced and is accumulating.

The JV's laydown area is outside the project and construction limits however; we will reach out to the contractor today and have them correct to ensure the roadway is clear of silt, dirt, etc.
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