Interstate 40 Business (North Carolina)
Route of Business 40 highlighted in red
|Length||18.5 mi (29.8 km)|
|History||1958–1992 as East–West Expressway|
1992–present as I-40 Business
2016–present as Salem Parkway
|West end||I-40 / US 421 in Winston-Salem|
|East end||I-40 / US 421 near Colfax|
Interstate 40 Business (I-40 Bus.) in the U.S. state of North Carolina, also called Business 40, is an 18.5-mile-long (29.8 km) freeway business loop, serving the cities of Winston-Salem and Kernersville. Originally known as the East–West Expressway, it was designated as part of I-40 and opened in 1958 becoming the first section of Interstate Highway in the state. Redesignated in 1992, and sharing a complete concurrency with U.S. Route 421 (US 421), it had a brief extension through Greensboro in 2008 and was officially renamed the Salem Parkway in 2016 by popular vote.
Currently, because of downtown reconstruction, a 1.2-mile-long (1.9 km) gap exists in the route between Peters Creek Parkway (NC 150) and John Gold Memorial Expressway (US 52). This portion is anticipated to reopen in the middle of 2020, at which time I-40 Bus. will be decommissioned, leaving US 421 on the route.
Business 40 begins at exit 188 on I-40 and exit 238 on US 421 in Winston-Salem. Traveling east, the route goes through the downtown of Winston-Salem, which has several exits. It then continues south of Kernersville, before meeting back with I-40 at exit 206 near Colfax. The entire route is four lanes at freeway grade, it is also completely overlapped with US 421. Other business loops with a similar setup include Business 85 in Greensboro, another Business 85 in Spartanburg, South Carolina and Business 80 in Sacramento, California.
After the consolidation of Winston and Salem in 1913, the combined city was not only a merger of local government but a joining of two different road systems. By the 1940s, Winston-Salem grew to become the largest manufacturing hub in the state, thanks to companies like R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Company and the P.H. Hanes Knitting Company; while multiple highways connected the city, there was no road that directly went from one end to the other without making turns and as a result traffic congestion was a constant in the downtown area. From 1946 to 1956, various traffic pattern studies were performed and plans created that reshaped the city for the next fifty years.
In 1954, Winston-Salem gave the state $1 million to buy right-of-way for what was called the East–West Expressway; construction began that same year. Though it was planned to become a new routing of US 158, that changed two years later, when the Federal Aid Highway Act of 1956 was passed and North Carolina was allocated 714 miles (1,149 km) for their share of the Interstate Highway System; 219 miles (352 km) was subsequently allocated for a route from the Tennessee state line, through Asheville and Winston-Salem, to Greensboro. With the designation of I-40, the East–West Expressway would become the first completed section of Interstate in the state.
On January 6, 1958, the first one-point-two-mile-long (1.9 km) section of the East–West Expressway was opened, connecting between Cloverdale Avenue and Main Street. Because of the novelty, local newspapers ran a series of stories and diagrams on how to use the expressway, educating the public on how on-ramps and off-ramps work. Designated as I-40, the expressway soon ran concurrently with US 158 in 1959, from Stratford Road to Marshall (westbound) and Cherry (eastbound) streets. In 1960, the expressway was extended west into Yadkin County, at NC 801, and east to Reidsville Road. In 1961, US 421 was rerouted from Pfafftown and downtown Winston-Salem onto new freeway that connected directly with the expressway, then continued easterly running concurrently with I-40. In 1962, US 158 was realigned to continue along the expressway to Reidsville Road, its former alignment became US 158 Business (decommissioned in 1970). East of Reidsville Road, I-40/US 421 was extended onto new freeway to Kernersville, where it then linked with second built section of I-40 (late 1958) and continued towards Greensboro.
Interstate 40 Business
Since 1958, the East–West Expressway segment of I-40 has changed little while Interstate standards have changed considerably in regards to safety and faster speeds. In the 1980s, a study with the city and state concluded that construction of a new route was preferable to widening and modernizing the freeway through Winston-Salem. The state therefore lobbied the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), arguing that since this section predated the 1956 Act, it never received federal highway dollars for its development and construction, thus I-40 was incomplete in Winston-Salem. In October 1988, they were able to convince the FHWA, and Governor James G. Martin announced federal approval of $114.1 million for I-40 to be relocated onto new bypass south of Winston-Salem. In November 1992, the 20.89-mile (33.62 km) Winston-Salem Bypass was completed and opened; I-40 was officially rerouted at that time and a new designation was given to the East–West Expressway, Interstate 40 Business.
Since its opening in 1960, the Hawthorne Curve, a 10° S-curve overpass of Hawthorne Road, became a infamous accident-prone location; typically speed related, cars and trucks wrecking against the curve and in some cases jumping the guard rail and falling 35 feet (11 m) off the overpass. Blame for the curve mostly fell on then Winston-Salem Mayor Marshall Kurfees, who is believed to have ordered the curve to protect political allies who owned businesses on Hawthorne Road and First Street. Kurfees spent the rest of his life denying the allegation, stating that the engineers designed it while he had no input to the project. Over the years, several studies were done and various little fixes were made to improve the situation including a reduced 45-mile-per-hour (72 km/h) speed zone, better guardrails and the installation of blinking lights and flashing warning signs. In January 1998, the first major improvement in 40 years started with the realignment of Hawthorne Curve. At a cost of $26 million, construction lasted for two years building a new overpass and reshaping the sharp curve to a more gentle one. It was completed seven months early in the middle of 2000.
Brief Greensboro extension
In February 2008, I-40 was rerouted onto new freeway south of Greensboro, becoming part of the Greensboro Urban Loop. The old route through Greensboro became an extension of I-40 Business, with a six-mile (9.7 km) hidden concurrency along I-40/US 421, between exits 206 and 212. This extended the route 20 miles (32 km), ending at a new terminus with I-85/I-40, near McLeansville.
However, NCDOT officials received many complaints by local residents and motorists on the confusion between the new I-40 and I-40 Business. Another issue was that funding for construction and repairs on the old route was slashed since it was no longer designated as an Interstate; business loops are not officially part of the Interstate Highway System. On September 12, 2008, with permission from the FHWA, I-40 was moved back to its old route through Greensboro, decommissioning Business 40 through Greensboro.
Macy Grove Road
In 2012, property acquisition began in Kernersville for roadway improvements and an interchange at Macy Grove Road. In May 2015, the new interchange with Macy Grove Road (exit 17) opened; it features new road north of Old Greensboro Road and it overpasses the Norfolk Southern Railway track. The road ends with roundabout interchange with Mountain Street. This replaced Mountain Street interchange (exit 16), which was a eastbound left exit and westbound entrance with close proximity to the NC 66/NC 150 interchange.
In 2006, the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) decided rebuild to rebuild the freeway between Fourth Street and Church Street, which covers most of the original 1.2-mile-long (1.9 km) section of the East–West Expressway from 1958. For the next ten years, NCDOT made several studies and a series of public meetings before awarding a design-build contract with Flatiron Constructors, Inc./Blythe Development Company Joint Venture and HDR Engineering, Inc., in September 2016, to complete the final design and construct the project. Considered as a $100 million do-over, the project included: replacing the existing roadway pavement, modernizing entrance and exit ramps, replacing nine vehicular bridges, adding two pedestrian bridges, lengthening the acceleration and deceleration lanes between ramps and widening existing roadway shoulders and adding new ones. When Salem Parkway opens, contractors will still be working on final touches. The opening speed limit will be 45 mph (72 km/h). Once the project is totally completed, the speed may increase to 55 mph (89 km/h).
NCDOT had also decided that once construction was completed, that I-40 Business would be decommissioned and a new name would be given to the freeway alongside the existing US 421 designation. The rationale was the continued confusion locals and travelers have between I-40 and I-40 Business. In November 2015, the residents of Winston-Salem metro area were allowed to submit a nomination for a new name, with a January 30, 2016, deadline. A selection committee, which included appointments from Winston-Salem and Kernersville, whittled the list to just four for another public vote. The eventual four finalist names were: Golden Leaf Parkway, alluding to the region’s tobacco-growing and processing heritage; Innovation Highway, showing the high-tech aspirations of the area; Piedmont Corridor, identifying geographic location in a highly developed part of the state, and Salem Parkway, which refers to the Moravian settlement founded in 1766. On October 21, 2016, Governor Pat McCrory announced, at the project's ground breaking event, the new name of the freeway as the Salem Parkway; which was the overwhelming favorite, receiving 53% of the vote.
First phase of construction was focused on and around Peters Creek Parkway (NC 150), which included lowering the freeway to establish a minimum vertical clearance of 17 feet (5.2 m) at the new Fourth Street two-lane bridge and 17.5 feet (5.3 m) at the new seven-lane Peters Creek Parkway bridge. After two years of intermittent closures, the new Peters Creek Parkway bridge was opened on November 12, 2018.  On November 17, the second phase began with the complete shutdown of Business 40 between Peters Creek Parkway and John Gold Memorial Expressway (US 52/US 311/NC 8); three alternate routes were set up through the downtown area for locals while travelers are encouraged to remain on mainline I-40.
During construction, Business 40 will be lowered to establish a minimum vertical clearance of 17 feet (5.2 m) for the new Marshall, Cherry, Main and Church Street bridges; Spruce Street bridge will be removed and Liberty Street will change from an underpass to a overpass as a result. The Broad Street interchange will be permanently closed and removed, the Cherry Street interchange will be modified with Marshall Street, and the Main Street interchange will be modified to have only a southbound on-ramp and a northbound off-ramp. Two pedestrian bridges will also be constructed, one of which will replace Green Street Bridge, and a Strollway Bridge adjacent to Liberty Street. Reconstruction of the downtown segment is expected to be completed in Summer 2020.
|Forsyth||Winston-Salem||0.00||0.00||—||US 421 north – Yadkinville, Wilkesboro||Continuation as US 421|
|1||I-40 – Greensboro, Statesville||Westbound left exit|
|1.63||2.62||2 A-B||NC 67 (Silas Creek Parkway)||To Wake Forest University, LJVM Coliseum|
|2.88||4.63||3 B-C||US 158 west (Stratford Road)||West end of US 158 overlap|
|3.45||5.55||4A||Cloverdale Avenue||Signed as exit 4 eastbound|
|3.79||6.10||4B||West First Street / Hawthorne Road||Westbound exit and eastbound entrance|
|4.16||6.69||5A||NC 150 west (Peters Creek Parkway)||West end of NC 150 overlap; eastbound all traffic exit|
|4.51||7.26||5B||Broad Street||Permanently closed as of November 2018|
|4.81||7.74||5C||Cherry Street – Convention Center||Temporary closed till Spring 2020|
|5.00||8.05||5D||Main Street / First Street – Old Salem, Salem College||Temporary closed till Spring 2020|
|5.61||9.03||6A-B||US 52 / NC 8 (John Gold Memorial Expressway) – Lexington, High Point, Mount Airy, Smith Reynolds Airport||US 52 exits 109A-B; westbound all traffic exit|
|5.88||9.46||6C||Martin Luther King Jr. Drive||To Winston-Salem State University|
|6.97||11.22||7||Lowery Street / Fifth Street||Eastbound Lowery Street, westbound Fifth Street|
|7.86||12.65||8||US 158 east (Reidsville Road) – Walkertown, Reidsville||East end of US 158 overlap; eastbound exit and westbound entrance|
|Kernersville||11.66||18.76||12||I-74||Future interchange (under construction)|
|13.84||22.27||14||South Main Street Kernersville|
|15.42||24.82||15||NC 66 / NC 150 east – Kernersville||East end of NC 150 overlap|
|15.60||25.11||16||Mountain Street – Colfax||Permanently closed as of May 2015|
|16.56||26.65||17||Macy Grove Road – Colfax|
|Guilford||Colfax||18.50||29.77||—||I-40 east / US 421 south (Fordham Boulevard) – Greensboro||Continuation as I-40 / US 421|
|1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi|
- Google (February 1, 2011). "I-40 Bus in NC" (Map). Google Maps. Google. Retrieved February 1, 2011.
- Lane, Mallory (November 17, 2018). "Portions of Business 40 officially shutdown until 2020". Winston-Salem, NC: WXII-TV. Retrieved November 17, 2018.
- "Business 40 Changing Lanes: The Highway's History". Winston-Salem, NC: WFDD. June 13, 2017. Retrieved October 20, 2018.
- "I-40 Fact Sheet" (PDF). North Carolina Department of Transportation. June 21, 2008. Archived from the original (PDF) on June 21, 2008. Retrieved June 20, 2014.
- North Carolina State Highway and Public Works Commission (1957). 1957 North Carolina Official Highway Map (Map). Raleigh: North Carolina State Highway and Public Works Commission. Retrieved October 20, 2018.
- North Carolina State Highway and Public Works Commission (1958). 1958 North Carolina Official Highway Map (Map). Raleigh: North Carolina State Highway Commission. Retrieved October 20, 2018.
- North Carolina State Highway and Public Works Commission (1959). 1959 North Carolina Official Highway Map (Map). Raleigh: North Carolina State Highway Commission. Retrieved October 20, 2018.
- North Carolina State Highway and Public Works Commission (1961). 1961 North Carolina Official Highway Map (Map). Raleigh: North Carolina State Highway Commission. Retrieved October 20, 2018.
- North Carolina State Highway and Public Works Commission (1961). North Carolina: Variety Vactionland (Map). Raleigh: North Carolina State Highway Commission. Retrieved October 20, 2018.
- North Carolina State Highway and Public Works Commission; U.S. Bureau of Public Roads (1962). North Carolina County Road Survey 1962 (PDF) (Map). Raleigh: North Carolina State Highway Commission. Retrieved October 20, 2018.
- "U.S. Approves Money for I-40 Bypass". The Charlotte Observer. October 6, 1988. p. 4B.
- North Carolina Department of Transportation (1988). 1988 North Carolina Transportation Map (Map). Raleigh: North Carolina Department of Transportation. Retrieved April 8, 2016.
- Special Committee on U.S. Route Numbering (October 3, 1992). "Report of the Special Committee on U.S. Route Numbering to the Executive Committee" (PDF) (Report). Washington, DC: American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials. p. 13. Archived (PDF) from the original on October 16, 2017. Retrieved April 8, 2016.
- "Route Change (1992-11-09)" (PDF). North Carolina Department of Transportation. November 9, 1992. p. 2. Retrieved April 8, 2016.
- North Carolina Department of Transportation (1992). 1992-93 North Carolina Transportation Map (Map) (1992-93 ed.). Raleigh: North Carolina Department of Transportation. Retrieved April 8, 2016.
- North Carolina Department of Transportation (1993). 1993-94 North Carolina Transportation Map (Map) (1993-94 ed.). Raleigh: North Carolina Department of Transportation. Retrieved April 8, 2016.
- Sexton, Scott (September 12, 2016). "Scott Sexton: Tomorrow's traffic hassle on Winston-Salem's Business 40 same as yesterday's and today's". Winston-Salem Journal. Retrieved November 10, 2018.
- "Flashback: The Hawthorne Curve". Winston-Salem Journal. November 2, 2018. Retrieved November 10, 2018.
- "NCDOT to open I-40/73 Greensboro Western Urban Loop Thursday" (Press release). Raleigh: North Carolina Department of Transportation. February 19, 2008. Archived from the original on April 19, 2016. Retrieved November 10, 2018.
- "NCDOT will reroute I-40 from Greensboro Urban Loop back to original location" (Press release). Raleigh: North Carolina Department of Transportation. September 12, 2008. Archived from the original on December 24, 2012. Retrieved November 10, 2018.
- "DOT to spend at least $300K to reroute I-40 in Greensboro". Raleigh, NC: WRAL-TV. September 15, 2008. Retrieved November 10, 2018.
- "NCDOT: Macy Grove Road Improvements Project". Retrieved November 24, 2011.
- "NCDOT: Macy Grove Road Improvements Project Map" (PDF). North Carolina Department of Transportation. April 2011. Retrieved November 24, 2011.
- Young, Wesley (May 20, 2015). "Macy Grove Road interchange now open on Business 40 in Kernersville". Winston-Salem Journal. Retrieved May 16, 2018.
- "About the Business 40 Project". North Carolina Department of Transportation. Retrieved November 10, 2018.
- Young, Wesley (November 29, 2015). "Name that road: Nominations being taken for new Business 40 name". Winston-Salem Journal. Retrieved November 10, 2018.
- Young, Wesley (October 21, 2016). "Business 40 renamed Salem Parkway". Winston-Salem Journal. Retrieved November 10, 2018.
- Moore, Bethany (October 20, 2017). "Business 40 to become Salem Parkway". Winston-Salem, NC: WXII-TV. Retrieved November 10, 2018.
- "Winston-Salem Business 40 Improvements Project". North Carolina Department of Transportation. Retrieved November 17, 2018.
- "Completed Peters Creek Parkway Bridge to Open Monday" (Press release). Raleigh: North Carolina Department of Transportation. November 9, 2018. Retrieved November 17, 2018.
- McCarty, Alma (November 17, 2018). "From Peters Creek Parkway to US 52 - the 2 Year Business 40 Closure Is Here". Greensboro, NC: WFMY-TV. Retrieved November 17, 2018.
- Young, Wesley (September 14, 2016). "Good news: Business 40 in Winston-Salem will close a little less than 2 years. Here's the timetable". Winston-Salem Journal. Retrieved October 22, 2016.