What Lies Beneath: Soil Testing on Business 40 Improvement Project

Winston-Salem — Work on the Business 40 Improvement Project starts next week and while drivers may not notice the construction, what’s taking place is a critical part of the safety and foundation of construction over the next 5-6 years between west of Fourth Street and east of Church Street.

As part of the design-build process, NCDOT contractors will begin subsurface drilling for soil testing.

“What this means is that the company doing work on this project must make certain that they have a clear understanding of the quality and make-up of the soil beneath the current roadway,” said Division Nine Resident Engineer Dale L. Swicegood.

“Understanding the road composition as it is now, some 40+ years after the road was initially built, will allow crews to develop the best plan forward for renovating the foundation, which translates into making the highway safer for the traveling public,” said Division Nine Engineer Pat Ivey.

The design-build method allows the design, environmental permitting, right-of-way acquisition, utility relocation and construction to take place at the same time under one contract.

“It allows the contractor to do this testing now and look for opportunities to make innovations that save taxpayers money, lessen the environmental impact and alleviate extended driving delays,” said Division Nine Board Member Jake Alexander.

In order for contractors to safely begin soil drilling, lane closures will be installed on intersecting streets of U.S. 421/I-40 Business, between Church and Fourth Streets, daily from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. beginning Monday, Dec. 12 until Thursday, Dec. 22. Additional testing will take place after the new year.