SCDOT Reducing Speed Limit and Examining “All Options” along I-85 Construction Project – in Spartanburg and Cherokee Counties

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The South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCDOT) is reviewing “all options” to increase safety and improve traffic conditions along the Spartanburg and Cherokee County Interstate 85 construction project in the wake of the tragic crash on July 15, 2021.

SCDOT is working with law enforcement officials to gain a better understanding of the circumstances that led to the incident on the I-85 construction project. This project has been plagued by crashes throughout the work zone, including crashes like this one that involved tractor trailers that were traveling in lanes designated for passenger vehicles only. The agency is continuing efforts with law enforcement and local first responders to identify and implement additional measures designed to get motorists to slow down, pay attention and stay in the proper lanes.

“All options are on the table,” Secretary of Transportation Christy Hall said Friday, July 16, 2021, after a team of SCDOT traffic engineers reassessed the construction site. “We find all fatal and serious injury incidents unacceptable. In addition, lengthy traffic backups experienced by motorists along this work zone are not acceptable at all in our view.”

SCDOT has also asked national work zone experts for assistance as the agency struggles to have motorists slow down, pay attention and keep tractor trailers in the proper lanes.

SCDOT will be lowering the speed limit to at least 45 mph on the southbound direction and revising signage in the work zone as the agency continues to work closely with law enforcement and first responders.

Beginning Saturday, July 17, 2021, the State Transport Police will be stationed at the I-85 construction zone as an additional law enforcement measure. A part of the S.C. Department of Public Safety, the State Transportation Police are primarily responsible for enforcing state and federal laws governing commercial motor vehicles, including trucks.

“I would like to thank Department of Public Safety Director Robert G. Woods for his valuable assistance and partnership as we address these challenging conditions,” Secretary Hall said.

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