Greensboro Urban Loop

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I-73.svgI-85.svg US 421.svgI-785.svgI-840.svg

Greensboro Urban Loop
Route information
Maintained by NCDOT
Length: 24.3 mi[1] (39.1 km)
Existed: 2004 – present
Major junctions
Beltway around Greensboro
  I‑40 / US 421

Future I‑73 / Bryan Boulevard
US 70
I‑40 / I‑85 / I‑85 Bus.
US 421
I‑73 / US 220
I‑85 / I‑85 Bus. / US 29 / US 70
Counties: Guilford
Highway system

The Greensboro Urban Loop is a partially completed 39.3-mile (63.2 km) beltway around Greensboro, North Carolina, United States. The loop carries I-73, I-85, I-785, I-840, and US 421.

Route description[edit]

The parts of Urban Loop that are currently open are:

  • the southern half (signed as I-73 and US 421 on the southwest section, and I-85 and US 421 on the southeast section);
  • a portion of Future I-840 that runs 2 miles (3 km) from I-40/I-85 east of downtown to US 70;
  • a 3-mile (4.8 km) section of I-840 (co-signed with I-73) on the west, between I-40 and Bryan Boulevard, which will provide better access to the Piedmont Triad International Airport. This section is signed with a FUTURE plate above the shield, as it does not yet connect to any major roads.

Construction is completed on the southwest part of the beltway, which opened February 21, 2008. The next section of the northern part of the Loop to be constructed is the northwest segment between Bryan Boulevard and US 220, to begin in 2013. Work will start on the northeast section between US 70 and US 29 (Future I-785) in 2014. Land and right-of-way property is being bought for the segments between US 220 and Lawndale Drive, to start construction in 2017, and Lawndale to US 29, work to start currently scheduled for 2019.[2]

This is one of five freeway corridors in the Greensboro area to include the word "Boulevard" in its name. What is now I-85 Bus. is also known as Preddy Boulevard, what was once I-40 Bus. west of downtown (and is again I-40) is also known as Fordham Boulevard, and part of I-73 is planned to follow Bryan Boulevard. O. Henry Boulevard carries US 29 east of downtown Greensboro.

In April 2005, the city of Greensboro voted to approve annexation of the Urban Loop into the city of Greensboro. The annexation took effect in June of that year.

A small portion of I-73 is completed and signed along the Urban Loop, and there is a wrong-way concurrency with I-85 for approximately one mile. It should be noted however: as a result of the freeway's unusual design, I-85 and I-73 do not share the same roadbed. A traveler following I-73 through the intersection will not at any point be on mainline I-85, despite signage that indicates otherwise to minimize confusion.

Alternate names[edit]

Officially it is known as the Greensboro Urban Loop and there is no official alternate name(s) to the entire loop or sections of it. Unofficially, the name Painter Boulevard was used locally as the name of the loop around Greensboro, named after a Greensboro DOT official who came up with the vision of a thoroughfare loop around Greensboro in 1986. NCDOT has repeatedly denied in public hearings, since the project's inception in 1995, that Painter Boulevard was ever used as a name for the Greensboro Urban Loop and in any official documentation. They also noted that since 2008 local media outlets have discontinued the name Painter Boulevard in their news reports.[3]


The Urban Loop and its designations since January 2004 up to October 2008.

Interstate 40 relocation[edit]

On September 12, 2008, after complaints by local residents and motorists on the confusion between Interstate 40, and Business Interstate 40 through Greensboro, NCDOT officials received permission from the FHWA to reroute Interstate 40 back through the city of Greensboro and decommission Business Interstate 40. This placed Interstate 40 on its original route while leaving I-73 and I-85 signed along the Greensboro Urban Loop. By the end of Fall 2008 Business Interstate 40 signs through Greensboro were to be replaced back with Interstate 40 signs, and US 421 was to be rerouted to replace most of the I-40 route along the Loop.[4]


The remaining non-constructed section of the Greensboro Urban Loop (designated as I-840) are broken into the following four projects:

  • Western Loop from north of Bryan Boulevard to US 220 (Battleground Avenue)
This section is for a six-lane freeway connecting Bryan Boulevard to US 220 (Battleground Avenue) in northwest Greensboro. Known as STIP Number U-2524C, it is estimated to cost $101 million, with property acquisition and construction already in progress.[2][5]
  • Western Loop from US 220 (Battleground Avenue) to Lawndale Drive
This section is for a six-lane freeway connecting US 220 (Battleground Avenue) to Lawndale Drive in northwest Greensboro. Known as STIP Number U-2524D, it is estimated to cost $88.1 million, with property acquisition already in progress and construction tentatively scheduled in 2017.[2][5]
  • Eastern Loop from US 70 to US 29
This section is for a four-lane freeway connecting US 70 to US 29 in northeast Greensboro, with an interchange at Huffine Mill Road. Known as STIP Number U-2525B, it is estimated to cost $119 million, with property acquisition already in progress and construction tentatively scheduled in 2014. This section will also be overlapped with Interstate 785.[2][6]
  • Eastern Loop from US 29 to Lawndale Drive
This section is for a six-lane freeway connecting US 29 to Lawndale Drive, with interchanges at Yanceyville Street and North Elm Street. Known as STIP Number U-2525C, it is estimated to cost $139 million, with property acquisition tentatively scheduled for 2016 and construction tentatively scheduled for 2019.[2][6]

After the Greensboro Urban Loop is completed, NCDOT and Greensboro DOT plan to add three additional interchanges: Fleming–Lewiston Road (SR2136), Cone Boulevard (SR2565), and High Point Road (SR4121). Plans for the additional interchanges have existed since 2004; however, because they are to be constructed after the loop's completion, there is no current time table or funding for these projects at this time.[2][7][8]

Exit list[edit]

The entire route is in Greensboro, Guilford County.

Mile[1] km Exit Destinations Notes
0.0 0.0 103
A: I‑40 east – Greensboro
B: I‑40 west / US 421 north – Winston-Salem
West end of I-840 and north end of US 421 overlap; northbound exit left
1.6 2.6 104 West Friendly Avenue
3.6 5.8 107
Future I‑73 north / Bryan Boulevard – PTI Airport
North end of I-73 overlap; inner-bound exit, outer-bound entrance
Fleming–Lewiston Road Future interchange (unfunded)[7]
US 220 (Battleground Avenue) Future interchange (under construction)[2]
Lawndale Drive Future interchange (funded)[2]
North Elm Street Future interchange (unfunded)[2]
Yanceyville Street Future interchange (unfunded)[2]
I‑785 north / US 29 Future interchange (funded)[2]
Cone Boulevard Future interchange (unfunded)[8]
Huffine Mill Road Future interchange (funded)[2]
18.6 29.9 19 US 70 (Burlington Road) – Burlington, Greensboro Outer-bound exit and inner-bound entrance
20.8 33.5 21 I‑40 / I‑85 north / I‑85 Bus. south – Greensboro, Durham, Raleigh North end of I-85, south of I-785 and west end of I-840 overlap
22.8 36.7 129 Youngs Mill Road
24.9 40.1 128 Alamance Church Road
27.0 43.5 126
A: US 421 south – Sanford
B: Old US 421 – Greensboro
South end of US 421 overlap
29.3 47.2 124 South Elm–Eugene Street
31.3 50.4 122 I‑73 south / US 220 – Greensboro, Asheboro South end of I-73 overlap; southbound exit and northbound entrance
32.6 52.5 96 To Groometown Road / To Grandover Parkway Northbound exit and southbound entrance only; southbound take exit 97B
32.6 52.5 97
A: I‑85 Bus. north / US 29 north / US 70 east – Greensboro
B: I‑85 south / I‑85 Bus. south / US 29 south / US 70 south – High Point, Charlotte
South end of I-85 overlap; northbound follow-thru exit 121
High Point Road Future interchange (under construction)[9][10]
38.0 61.2 102 Wendover Avenue
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Google Inc. "Greensboro Urban Loop". Google Maps (Map). Cartography by Google, Inc.,-79.8376655+to:Unknown+road&hl=en&ll=36.06603,-79.772415&spn=0.230065,0.445976&sll=36.042714,-79.758682&sspn=0.230133,0.445976&geocode=FQmwJgIdGOQ_-w%3BFXRgJQIdH8Y9-ylZWP_EqRBTiDEbDWAWfpMQfA%3BFfoWJwIdDbw8-w&mra=dpe&mrsp=1&sz=12&via=1&t=p&z=12. Retrieved August 29, 2013.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l "I-840 Route Change (2011-09-02)" (PDF). North Carolina Department of Transportation. September 2, 2011. Retrieved August 30, 2013. 
  3. ^ "Official Public Hearing Transcript - Greensboro Western and Eastern Urban Loop" (PDF). North Carolina Department of Transportation. October 25, 2010. Retrieved August 30, 2013. 
  4. ^ NCDOT Press Release dated 9/12/08
  5. ^ a b North Carolina Department of Transportation (October 25, 2010) (PDF). Project Map: U-2524 (Map). Retrieved August 31, 2013.
  6. ^ a b North Carolina Department of Transportation (October 18, 2010) (PDF). Project Map: U-2525 (Map). Retrieved August 31, 2013.
  7. ^ a b "Fleming Road Extension/Western Urban Loop Interchange" (PDF). Greensboro DOT & North Carolina DOT. December 16, 2004. Retrieved August 31, 2013. 
  8. ^ a b "Cone Boulevard Extension/Eastern Urban Loop Interchange" (PDF). Greensboro DOT & North Carolina DOT. August 17, 2004. Retrieved August 31, 2013. 
  9. ^!bLlxQr
  10. ^

External links[edit]