Any of y'all driven this stretch of I-85 recently? I'm trying to get an update on how bad the I-85 construction is gumming things up. I drove this section of I-85 about 2 months ago and it was a mess with a 10 mile stretch of separated single lanes and a 35mph speed limit. I'm trying to figure out if I need to avoid this stretch of I-85 for my trip to Clemson on Saturday...
As long as those single lane "chutes" (as the DOT calls them) are there, I would take an alternate route. Obviously the chutes are a huge safety issue; cars have no where to go to avoid a wreck and once there us a wreck, emergency vehicles can't get there to help. Consequently, a minor fender bender can cause huge delays. When I went down for the BC game, there was some sort of wreck or stall just a few cars in front of me that caused an approximately 40 minute delay. It occurred after I got in the chute, so there was no way of avoiding it. We just put our cars in park and sat there. Waze or Google maps won't help in these types of cases.
Frankly, I am surprised that sort of arrangement is even legal.
We take the "chute" on the right side because it at least has exits. It has trucks, but it has exits you can get off on, and a bit more room on the side sometimes where you can get around something. But you are correct that traffic gets backed up here at minor fender bender.
I drove to Gaffney yesterday and it’s still disaster. Traffic was moving but it was moving slowly. Like the previous poster, take the chute on the right so you can at least exit if it’s bad. The problem is, if you get off to avoid traffic like I did, some roads are closed end it will detour you.
The SCDOT's handling of this project makes this year's Clemson offense look like Super Bowl contenders by comparison. For months, the chutes had no accessible areas for miles, so any accident resulted in hours of standstill traffic. Local first responders pleaded for change, but only after several fatal accidents and lawsuits did they decide to place removable barriers and ultimately plan to remove the chutes later this year. They are literally a death trap. Like others posted, the right lane of the chute does have the benefit of exit access, but that is the truck lane and tends to have more stranded traffic than the left, from my observation. The best plan from a safety and time predictability standpoint is to plan another route.
You can get off I-85 at Exit 92 (Hiway 11) and go toward Chesnee, then down Hiway 221 to I-85. About 5 miles longer but the only problem is occasional slow-joe crow. I can tell you where to cut across and miss Chesnee.