I-95 lane closures could be a good thing

I-95 lane closures could be a good thing (Image 1)

Beginning Monday night, South Carolina Department of Transportation plans to close one northbound lane on I-95 to make repairs to the Great Pee Dee river bridge. A contractor will remove and replace deteriorated concrete. Just last week when the bridge had to be repaired and it backed up traffic almost eight miles. While the construction may be bad for drivers, the local McDonald’s told News 13 that the closures could be great for sales.

“It’s too much traffic, it’s all jammed, up,” said John, a local driver. 

That’s how John describes Interstate-95 on a good day. He says, there’s no way he’ll get on the road Monday night when lane closures begin.

“As long as I know the back roads, I will take the back roads, there’s less lights, less congestion, if I got to stop, I can stop.” 

However, he says he’s familiar with road construction, and knows for some drivers, sitting in traffic may be their only option.

“I did 35 years in road maintenance so I know. And when we figured out how far we were going to go that night, so by 5:30 all of the trucks were off the road, all of the equipment was off the road.”   

One northbound lane of the I-95 bridge on the Florence-Dillon county line will close each night this week, but crews expect to re-open it by mid-morning.

Exit 181-A is the first exit after the lane closure and the McDonald’s manager told me that she does expect a smaller breakfast crowd but says these lane closures could be good for business since this is the first  place travelers will get a chance to stop at after they’ve been sitting in traffic.

“It’s going to help our business a lot. They’ll be coming in, using the restroom, ordering food, resting before they have to go on to their next stop. So that’ll be a big impact for us, it will boost our economy a little bit right here,” said Jackie Sportiello, the assistant manager at McDonald’s.

Sportiello anticipates serving a couple hundred customers in a short amount of time but says it won’t be a problem for the local stop.

“We’ll be prepared for it, I let them know a head of time what is going on.”

She also added if you’re a local coming her way, you’d be better off taking the back roads. 

“The fastest route, if you’re coming from Florence is to hit 301 and come straight down 38 and come straight to us, it’ll be faster.”

The lane closures will be nightly beginning at 7 p.m. and are expected to be finished by Friday but that is all subject to weather conditions.

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