WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -- Delays will soon be coming to Business 40. At the end of October, you will see large equipment arriving, pavement being ripped up and lane closures as the first leg of the Business 40 improvement project gets underway.
“The long-term idea of having improvements of Business 40 is wonderful, but the interim plan about what to do in the meantime is the million dollar question,” said Tara Bohley, who lived in the Ardmore area of Winston-Salem for 15 years.
The Business 40 Improvement Project will affect interchanges, bridges and the highway itself. The first segment of the project, which will get underway in coming weeks, will rebuild the Peters Creek Parkway interchange, including a new seven-lane bridge, new interchange loops and an improved roadway from First Street up to Fourth Street. During construction, Peters Creek Parkway will remain open, with workers constructing the west side first, while maintaining traffic on the east and vice-versa. The Fourth Street Bridge will also be replaced and closed to traffic.
The Department of Transportation says 23,000 people use the stretch of Peters Creek Parkway south of Business 40 every day.
“Of course, if you live in the area, I think it’s gonna be a cluster,” said William Richardson, who frequents the area for work. “It’s gonna be a little chaotic.”
The major delays will take place about a year from now, in fall of 2018, when the second segment gets underway. At this point, portions of Business 40 will officially be shut down. This segment, which is labeled Segment C, will encompass Business 40 from east of Church Street to Cherry Street.
“Business 40 needs to be redone,” Bohley said. “It’s very dangerous.”
Work on the third segment, Segment B, will begin in fall of 2019, and include the stretch from Marshall Street to before the Peters Creek interchange. Both Segments B and C are expected to take a year to complete, with an overall completion date for the project set for summer of 2020.
“All of the people from the Clemmons, Lewisville area that are going toward Kernersville, that are going through Winston-Salem, but yet take regular Business 40 instead of the old 40, all of that traffic is just going to be coming through here,” Bohley said. “It really needs to be planned well in order for the traffic flow to not just make the city really just come to a standstill.”
The DOT says approximately 76,000 people use Business 40 daily.
During the closures, detours will be directed toward roads such as Silas Creek Parkway, Stratford Road and Country Club Road. Additional delays on these roads, and others, are also expected.
“It’s going to take twice as long to get anywhere,” Bohley said.
DOT officials say they are still working to determine approximate delays motorists will encounter.
The DOT adds that they are working to prepare an incident management plan to quickly and efficiently clear accidents.
“Hopefully it’ll pay off in the long run with the work that they’re doing,” Richardson added.
Additional updates on the project will be posted to business40nc.com.
Two public meetings are scheduled for Tuesday, Sept. 19, at the Old Salem Visitor Center, from noon to 2 p.m., and 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.