The following questions and answers address some of the most common concerns that residents, businesses and others in the community have about the Business 40 improvements project.
To view the answer to a question, simply click on the question. If your question is not addressed here, please contact a member of the project team.
When will the construction begin and when will Business 40 actually close?
Construction for the Peters Creek Parkway section might begin as early as summer 2017 and is expected to be completed by winter 2018. The main impact of the project, the full closure of Business 40, is expected to start in late 2018 or early 2019 only after the Peters Creek Parkway section is completed and opened to traffic.
Business 40 is not expected to be closed more than two years
What is the current status of the Business 40 Improvement project?
The Design-Build team is in the process of developing the design and will move into phases that include purchasing the right of way, obtaining the proper permitting, coordinating the utility relocations and building the project.
I keep hearing the term, Design-Build. What does that mean and how does it work?
"Design-Build" means the design and construction are under a single contract and can take place at the same time. Allowing the design and construction to overlap expedites construction, enhances innovation and constructability and may reduce costs.
What will be different on the "new" Business 40 from what is currently there today?
The "new" Business 40 will include a lot of improvements, including all new pavement, improved ramps, new shoulders, a complete reconstruction of the Peters Creek Parkway interchange and a new interchange configuration at Cherry and Marshall streets.
The improvements noted below can be viewed on the Business 40 project map:
- Replacement of Fourth Street bridge
- Replacement and widening Peters Creek Parkway bridge
- Removal of the eastbound slip ramp on Peters Creek Parkway
- Connected Gregory and Apple streets
- Replacement of the Green Street bridge with a pedestrian bridge
- Removal of the Broad Street ramps
- Modified High Street ramp
- Removal of the Spruce Street bridge
- Modified interchange ramps at Cherry and Marshall streets
- Construction of Liberty Street bridge over Business 40
- Construction of The Strollway over Business 40
- Replacement of Broad, Marshall, Cherry, Main and Church Street bridges
- Removal of access to Liberty Street
- Modified interchange ramps at Main Street
- Replacement of Brookstown bridge on Business 40
Will the bridges have different design elements than current bridges?
Yes. Over the past few years, the N.C. Department of Transportation has worked closely with a community-based bridge and design working group to provide input on how to improve the aesthetic appearance of the Business 40 bridges, interchanges and related roadway infrastructure.
The working group focused on bridge design elements (rails, lighting, retaining walls, sidewalks, overall look, etc.) and the Green Street pedestrian bridge. The group finalized its work in October 2014 by producing a series of design preferences to be considered in the aesthetic design of the project.
Parallel to the working group process, the Creative Corridors Coalition (C3), a private nonprofit citizens group, developed its own master plan and design guidelines for several infrastructure projects, including Business 40, to include artistic design elements. The City of Winston-Salem –noticing differences between the C3 guidelines and the working group design preferences – procured the services of Stimmel & Associates to meld the two visions with NCDOT design requirements into a cohesive plan of aesthetic improvements.
The elements of the cohesive plan were presented in May 2015.
C3 furthered its efforts in March 2015 by hiring consultants to provide alternative designs for the Peters Creek Parkway bridge, Green Street pedestrian bridge and Strollway bridge.
Stimmel & Associates incorporated the new C3 designs within the cohesive plan, and the Winston-Salem City Council approved a final aesthetics plan for the Business 40 improvements project in fall 2015.
How will construction be phased?
Prior to any work on Business 40, other projects will be completed, including the Salem Creek Connector at U.S. 52 and the new Winston-Salem Signal System – the latter of which will help improve traffic flow during construction and closure. (View the Design-Build team phase map.)
During the closure, where will traffic go?
Traffic that is just passing through Winston-Salem will be encouraged to divert to I-40.
Other traffic (i.e., daily commuter) traveling into and out of downtown will be diverted to local primary and secondary roads in and around downtown.
The Design-Build team will provide closure and detour information to the traveling public before the highway shuts down. Real-time closure information will be available on the Waze app, available for both iOS and Android mobile devices.
Will there be portable or permanent signage directing travelers where to go?
The N.C. Department of Transportation will place portable (movable) signs on I-40 and other major roads during construction to direct drivers to alternate routes should an incident occurs or a special situation arises during the day.
New, permanent signs will also be placed at exits along Business 40 directing drivers along the best route to major destinations.
Further, in coordination with the City of Winston-Salem and Downtown Winston-Salem Partnership, additional "wayfinding" signs will be located throughout downtown to identify the location of government facilities, popular destinations and attractions after the Business 40 project is completed.
How will N.C. Department of Transportation ensure that I can still reach my workplace and businesses downtown?
Winston-Salem is open for business during the life of this project. Transportation officials have been in continuous coordination and discussion with major stakeholders that will be greatly affected by the closure, including Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, Winston-Salem Transit Authority and Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools, among others.
The N.C. Department of Transportation will do everything possible to minimize impacts to their operations, including giving them as much lead time as possible to make route changes to their emergency vehicles and buses
NCDOT, however, cannot ensure that commutes will remain the same due to the nature of construction. Therefore, commuters (employees and patrons) should allow extra time to reach their destinations.
NCDOT will do whatever is needed to make the construction and closure go as smoothly as possible for those that visit as well as work in the downtown area.
What happens if/when a wreck occurs on a detour road during the closure? How will the N.C. Department of Transportation handle it?
The N.C. Department of Transportation and the Design-Build team are partnering with law enforcement to implement an "Incident Management Plan" that will identify "how" wrecks are handled during construction.
This will include everything from portable signage to coordination with police, fire and towing companies working together to expedite removal of vehicles involved in a wreck.
NCDOT also made sure that no other roadway projects that would affect the Business 40 improvements project are scheduled for major construction during the construction timeframe for this project.
When will the project be completed?
The Design-Build team estimates that the project will be completed in late 2020.
Who is responsible for building the project? Does the City of Winston-Salem have a role in it?
The N.C. Department of Transportation and the Federal Highway Administration are the lead agencies responsible for implementing the project, but the City of Winston-Salem has a significant role as a local government.
Because most of the downtown roads are city-owned, the City has a direct role in their design. It has allowed funds to provide design "enhancements" to various elements of the project, including the bridges, multi-use path, retaining walls and road treatments.
The City may also implement temporary traffic-calming measures on several downtown streets during the closure to ensure pedestrian safety. It is also considering converting some one-way street pairs into two-way streets after the Business 40 project is complete.
Coordination with the City has and will continue to be ongoing throughout the life of the project.
How is the project being funded?
The base cost of the project is approximately $99 million – with 80 percent paid with federal funding and the state paying the remaining 20 percent of the project cost. The N.C. Department of Transportation will fund the base project, and the City of Winston-Salem will fund the design enhancements using several funding sources and contributions.
What is the best way for the public to get project information at this time?
The Business 40 website is the best place for detailed project information. Information will also be distributed via an email newsletter.
For specific questions, send an email to email@example.com.
Is there assistance available for businesses to help them prepare for the closure of Business 40?
Small-business owners should call Business 40 liaison Cassandra Herndon, at (336) 747-7833, or send her an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Mid to large-size businesses should call Karen Simon, at (336) 749-1411, or send her an email at email@example.com to schedule a presentation about the project.
Stakeholder meetings are ongoing and scheduled with those affected by, involved in or interested in the project. Stakeholders typically include property or business owners, business or homeowners associations, special interest groups, religious organizations, neighborhood associations, police/fire personnel and others, as appropriate.
A Business 40 team member will contact the stakeholder group and schedule a meeting to present an update on the project.
| Conceptual rendering of modernized Business 40 through downtown Winston-Salem