Business 40 construction will begin next year

This concept art visualizes what the new Green Street Pedestrian Bridge will look like. Creative Corridors picture

Business 40 construction will begin next year
July 21
00:30 2016

Closure of the highway for construction isn’t slated until 2018

The new future name for Business 40 will be announced later this year in anticipation of construction beginning on the busy highway in 2017.

Business 40 construction is tentatively planned to start mid-2017 and is expected to last four years. A 1.2-mile section of the Business 40 corridor between West Fourth and Church streets will close for up to two years so that improvements to bridges, ramps and pavement can be made. However, motorists probably won’t be seeing the highway close until 2018, according to N.C. Department of Transportation Engineer Pat Ivey.

“We have specified certain things that have to be done, parts of the project that have to be done, prior to closure,” said Ivey. “The biggest part is the completion of the new Peter’s Creek Parkway interchange.”
Peter’s Creek will become the major access point to downtown from the west, and the last exit before the section that’ll be closed for construction. Construction on Peter’s Creek involves new bridges and ramps to accommodate the increased traffic. Preparation also includes finishing the replacement of the city’s traffic signal system with a new fiber optic system that will give city staff better control of traffic signals.

Ivy said the age of the more than 60-year-old Business 40 made the construction necessary as the pavement and bridges, while still safe, are at the end of their useful life. It was also not made for the amount of traffic it gets, and its interchanges are too short. The recommended weaving space on an interchange is 2,000 feet. The weaving sections on the current Business 40 interchanges are only between 150 and 300 feet.
“We will be making safety improvements that better accommodate the 70 to 80,000 cars that use that road every day,” said Ivy.

Once the construction is complete, motorists will notice many changes including the elimination of ramps on Broad and Liberty streets. Cherry/Marshall will be the major access point from the highway into downtown. The Main Street ramp will remain.

Motorists will also see new signs with a new name for the highway. Ivy said that the name is being changed to avoid confusion with Interstate 40. The public got to submit and vote on names for the new highway. The winning name is slated to be revealed in October at a kick-off event for the project. The finalists are Golden Leaf Parkway, Innovation Highway, Piedmont Corridor and Salem Parkway.

The project is currently in the bid process for what team will design and perform construction on the highway. The selected team’s plan will determine the exact dates for construction and what the detour routes will be.
The NCDOT’s policy is to not run detours through residential areas. There will be several detours to take drivers to high traffic generators like hospitals, and bridge replacements during construction will require their own separate detours.

The construction on the highway is a $102 million project. Additionally, the City of Winston-Salem and Creative Corridors Coalition are contributing nearly $10 million for aesthetic improvements that will be part of the construction. Creative Corridors is a non-profit organization that is using the construction as an opportunity to make visual enhancements. For instance, Green Street Pedestrian Bridge over the highway will be replaced with a new bridge with an arching structure the group hopes will be an iconic western gateway into downtown. The Strollway, which currently goes under the highway, will have a new pedestrian bridge going over it that will be lined with trees and plants. There will also be aesthetic improvements along the highway to street lights, landscaping and railings.

The city is also planning to build a multi-use pedestrian and bike path along the highway. The city has applied for federal funds to help with the cost of the pathway, which will act as a connector around the downtown area.

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Todd Luck

Todd Luck

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