History

 

The first section of interstate highway in North Carolina, the 1.2-mile section of U.S. 421/Interstate-40 Business (Business 40) through downtown Winston-Salem, opened in 1958 as part of the East-West Expressway. Since then, it has served the city and state well. However, because of its age and outdated design standards, it can no longer accommodate the growing traffic demands of the area.

The combination of age and design deficiencies, coupled with increasing traffic volumes and accidents, prompted the N.C. Department of Transportation to make a big decision in 2006. It was time to rebuild and upgrade the section of Business 40 from west of Fourth Street to east of Church Street. After nearly ten years of planning, the “new and improved” Business 40 will be constructed to meet current design standards so that it can function safely and effectively for the next 50 years – the typical lifespan of an interstate highway.

 

 Project Highlights

 
Planning and conceptual design for the Business 40 project began in 2006. Between 2006 and 2016, extensive work was conducted to determine the "what, how and when." The public was key in this effort, choosing a "two-year complete closure" rather than a 6-year partial closure of Business 40. Their goal was to have NCDOT "get in, get out, and stay out!" Through additional public input, design ideas for the road and bridges were developed. The outcome of the process was the selection of a preferred alternative, which is what NCDOT identified in the Finding of No Significant Impacts (FONSI), approved February 27, 2015. NCDOT took all input into consideration and prepared a solid plan before advertising for the "Design-Build" phase in 2016.​
 

 Design-Build Process and Construction Segments

 

Design-Build is a project-delivery process in which a team of designers and contractors are responsible for a project's design, right-of-way acquisition, construction, and other aspects. The method reduces overall construction time, helps NCDOT avoid cost inflation, allows the contractor to make design innovations that save taxpayers money, lessens the environmental impact of the project, and minimizes driving delays for motorists.

After a comprehensive selection process, NCDOT contracted with the Design-Build Team of Flatiron Constructors, Inc. / Blythe Development Company Joint Venture and HDR Engineering, Inc. in September 2016 to complete the final design and construct the project. Since that time, initial soil testing and survey work have begun, targeting groundbreaking in Fall 2017. The $99.2 million project will include the following work:

  • Remove and replace the existing roadway pavement
  • Modernize the entrance and exit ramps
  • Remove and replace 9 vehicular bridges and 2 pedestrian bridges
  • Lengthen the acceleration and deceleration lanes between ramps
  • Widen existing roadway shoulders and add new shoulders
  • Build portions of a multi-use path from Lockland Avenue to Liberty Street

As shown on the project map, the Design-Build Team will construct the project in four segments, A, B, C and D. ​​​​

 

 Public Involvement

 

Throughout the planning process, NCDOT has provided a variety of opportunities for input, including many meeting with stakeholders — residents, organizations, businesses, and community leaders — who are affected by, involved in, or interested in the project.

A version of the presentation to these groups is available for viewing.

Project newsletters have also been used to provide new project information.

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 Public Hearing (Right-of-Way) Maps

 

The maps showing the proposed right-of-way for the project are listed below. Please click on any of these maps for details. These maps are also included in the FONSI document.

Peters Creek Parkway improvements

Business 40 and bridges

Academy Street improvements

MLK Jr. Blvd. improvements

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Conceptual drawing of a modernized Business 40 in downtown Winston-Salem