LIFESTYLE: Four Great Detours Around Woodruff Road Exit 51A off I-85 in Greenville, South Carolina

By D. Lanier Shook                              September 21, 2018

I collect information. Some of that information seems questionably useful — I still don’t know why I remember the line of ascendancy to the British throne from Henry VIII to George II — while some is very useful — the coolest formula in physics, Speed equals Mass times Acceleration. My job here is to pass along useful information and right now I have some very useful information for anyone trying to navigate around Greenville, South Carolina.

If you are familiar with Greenville traffic the words “Woodruff Road” or “385” are enough to send you quivering into the corner begging for mercy. Well, beginning on the weekend of September 22d and 23d the SC DOT will be proving they even more sadistic than you imagined while waiting in line at the DMV. They are closing the exit ramp from Interstate 85 and I-385 onto Woodruff Road — Northbound Exit 51A.

For non-truck drivers out there let me tell you where this is. Its right across from Starbucks near Target, Trader Joe’s, Cabela’s, and Home Depot. So if you’re used to creeping your way down from Downtown or waiting four hours to get off I-85 onto the Woodruff Road exit you may be confused. Fortunately, I have collected intelligence on ways around this and here they are. I also want to thank Tim Smith of The Greenville News for reminding me of this new traffic snarl and inspiring this effort. (Follow him on Twitter by clicking here.

1. I-85 Exit 48

Go one exit south on I-85, take it, then take the first right. This will run you down Verdae Boulevard across to Woodruff about two blocks north of Target. Please remember that the reverse of this route is down to one lane, so don’t try it that way. Alternatively you could continue along the motor mile and turn down Woodruff Road just past McDonald’s and Bojangles.

2.  I-385 Exit 37 Roper Mountain Road

Traveling toward Greenville take this ext, turn left and drive to the red light at Jeff Lynch Appliance and the QT gas station. Turn left on Woodruff Road will put you about two blocks north of Target. NOTE: These exit ramps of I-385 tend to get seriously backed up during the afternoon.

3. I-385 Exit 35 Woodruff Road

If you take this exit just turn right and you’ll be about two blocks south of Target. NOTE: This exit dumps you on Woodruff Road, so if you take it be patient and cooperate with all the other annoyed drivers cussing out the SC DOT.

4. I-385 Exit 46 Butler Road

If you take this exit be careful which way you turn. Turn left and then either a) take the 385 on-ramp to head back north to Exit 35, b) follow East Butler to reach Woodruff Road about ten blocks south of Target, c) drive past QT and turn left on Verdin to reach Woodruff Road about eight blocks south of Target, d) turn right and drive to the traffic light at Mauldin High School where you’ll turn right on Corn Road and then another right onto Miller Road. This brings up beside Frankie’s Fun Park about a block south of Target.

Are these the only ways around the new logjam? No, but they are the most direct. There are several others involving Garlington Road and Roper Mountain Road, but I don’t want to wander too far into the weeds on this article. The most important piece of advice is LEAVE EARLY and BE PATIENT. Yes, this is easier said than done, but as The Circuit Riding Preacher would say, “better an hour late than five minutes dead.”

If you get in a fender bender you will be alot later than if you don’t. Going to the hospital won’t just ruin your day, it could ruin your life. And the loss off a life will affect alot more than your schedule.

So take your time. Try not to get in a hurry. God knew this closure was coming and He’s factored it into His Plan for your life.

One thing He sent you was me. I will continue to remind you over the next two months of these routes around the closed exit. I collect information and some of it is very, very useful.

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