WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -- The design phase of Research Parkway began back in 2012 and construction started in December of 2013. Resident Engineer Jeremy Guy, with the North Carolina Department of Transportation, said the lane and interchange opening has been long awaited.
"When we open Research Parkway on July 12, we will shut down Rams Drive for approximately three to four months so that that bridge can be torn down and rebuilt, but in the end that bridge will be reopened and that connectivity will still be there," Guy said.
The Rams Drive interchange 108C will close permanently, 108B will replace it offering a safer merger for drivers.
"A lot of accidents happen through this corridor where people are trying to weave and merge and we’re getting rid of an old interchange that’s really close to Business 40. We’re going to give drivers more room and more decision making time to choose if they need to get off at Research Parkway or keep going 52 South or North," Guy said .
Guy added that the parkway and interchange will allow for safer traffic flow offering direct access to downtown.
“People will use this to access Old Salem, Bowman Gray Stadium, Winston-Salem State University, UNC School of the Arts," Guy said. “This is the new exit for all of those facilities.”
The “nickname”’ of the project for the parkway is the Salem Creek Corridor, totaling $68.9 million funded mostly with federal dollars.
The parkway will open in phases on Wednesday night following rush hour in rolling road blocks.
“It’s not just going to open all at one time, it’s going to be a process, a several-hours long process,” Guy said.