Approved by AASHTO in September 2005, after receiving an earlier approval from the FHWA in July 2005, I-285 would connect Interstate 85 to Winston-Salem in concurrency with US 52, a total of 23 miles (37 km). The North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) put up "Future Interstate 285 Corridor" signs along the route in February 2006. These signs will remain until improvements are made to bring the road up to Interstate Highway standards whereby the route will receive its Interstate 285 signs. The $2.5 million project to improve the roadway was scheduled to start in October 2011.
With property acquisition already started back in December, 2012, actual upgrades along US 52 (Future I-285) were estimated to cost $8.57 million. The contract was awarded to J.T. Russell and Sons Inc. of Albemarle for $7.6 million. Construction began in March, 2014 and include: reconstructing shoulders, improving drainage systems, resurfacing travel lanes and realigning Marco Boulevard to accommodate a new southbound exit ramp alignment at Green Needles Road. In addition, crews will resurface and preserve the bridges over Swearing Creek. The project is expected to be completed in June, 2015.