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. It was the first section of interstate highway designated in North Carolina.
Because of Business 40’s age and outdated design standards, as well as increasing traffic volumes and wrecks, the N.C. Department of Transportation decided in 2006 to rebuild the section of Business 40 from west of Fourth Street to east of Church Street.
The new Business 40, expected to be completed in 2020, will meet current design standards so that it can function safely and effectively for the next 50 years – the typical lifespan of an interstate highway.
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 six-year partial closure of Business 40.
After a comprehensive selection process, NCDOT, in September 2016, contracted with the design-build team of Flatiron Constructors, Inc./Blythe Development Company Joint Venture and HDR Engineering, Inc. to complete the final design and construct the project. Ground was broken for the project in Fall 2017.
The $99.2 million project will include:
- Replacing the existing roadway pavement
- Modernizing entrance and exit ramps
- Replacing nine vehicular bridges and two pedestrian bridges
- Lengthening the acceleration and deceleration lanes between ramps
- Widening existing roadway shoulders and adding new shoulders
- Building portions of a multi-use path from Lockland Avenue to Liberty Street
- Renaming all of US 421/Business 40 "Salem Parkway"
The speed limit for Salem Parkway/U.S. 421 will remain at 45 mph.
For more information, view the Business 40 construction timeline or check out some of the most common questions people ask about the project.
What is Design-Build?
You might hear the project engineers frequently talk about “design-build.” It is a method for completing projects in which a team of designers and contractors are responsible from start to finish for a project's design, right of way acquisition and construction. This process 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.