Greensboro Urban Loop
Open segment of the beltway in solid red, future segment in dashed red
|Maintained by NCDOT|
|Length:||24.3 mi (39.1 km)|
|Existed:||2005 – present|
|Beltway around Greensboro|
| I‑40 / US 421
Future I‑73 / Bryan Boulevard
I‑40 / I‑85 / I‑85 Bus.
I‑73 / US 220
I‑85 / I‑85 Bus. / US 29 / US 70
The parts of Urban Loop that are currently open are:
- a portion of Future I-840/I-785 that runs 2 miles (3 km) from I-40/I-85 east of downtown to US 70 which is now signed as I-785 that opened in 2002;
- the southern half (signed as I-73 and US 421 on the southwest section, and I-85 and US 421 on the southeast section) which opened in 2004;
- a 3-mile (4.8 km) western section of I-840 (co-signed with I-73), between I-40 and Bryan Boulevard, which opened in 2008 and provides 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 of the next section of the western part of the Loop, the northwest segment between Bryan Boulevard and US 220, began in October 2013. Work began on the northeast section between US 70 and US 29 (Future I-785) in August 2014. Land and right-of-way property was bought for the segment between US 220 and Lawndale Drive in 2014-2015, which started construction in November 2016, and Lawndale to US 29, work to start currently scheduled for 2018.
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.
I-73 is completed and signed along the southwestern part of Urban Loop, including 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.
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. 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. It should be noted that since 2008 local media outlets have discontinued the name Painter Boulevard in their news reports.
The first appearance of a freeway urban loop appeared in the 1967 City of Greensboro Transportation Plan. In June 1977, a thoroughfare plan (including the urban loop) was adopted by the City of Greensboro, Guilford County and the North Carolina Board of Transportation. In July 1989, North Carolina Highway Trust Fund Law was enacted, which provides a trust fund for designated urban loops. By November 1989, an updated thoroughfare plan was approved by the city, county and state. Planning and environmental impact studies of the urban loop began in 1989-1990. In 1995, a Record of Decision was made approving the Greensboro Urban Loop; finalizing its routing and approval of a I-85 bypass.
In 2002, the first segment of the urban loop opened, a 2.21-mile (3.56 km) four-lane connector between I-40/I-85 and US 70; it was unsigned and designated as SR 3269. By 2006, Future I-840 signage appears at the US 70 interchange. In November 2016, I-785 signage began appearing on exit signs along I-40 and I-85 approaching the Loop interchange. On February 21, 2004, a 12.9-mile (20.8 km) southeast segment of the urban loop opened; designated as I-85, leaving its old alignment through Greensboro as I-85 Business.
Short Term Interstate 40 relocation
When the southwest section of the Loop was completed in March 2008, I-40 was moved onto the Loop sharing the route with I-85 on the eastern half and I-73 on the western, the existing I-40 through Greensboro was redesignated Business Interstate 40. On September 12, 2008, after complaints by local residents about traffic noise 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.
The remaining sections of the Greensboro Urban Loop (designated as I-840 from Bryan Blvd to US 29 and I-785/I-840 south of US 29) are broken into the following four projects, three currently under construction:
- 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. Completion of this segment is tentatively scheduled for March 2018.
- 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 started in November 2016 with completion currently scheduled for December 2020.
- 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 construction started in 2014. Completion of this segment is tentatively scheduled for December 2018. This section will also be overlapped with Interstate 785.
- 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 2018.
After the Greensboro Urban Loop is completed, NCDOT and Greensboro DOT plan to add two additional interchanges: Fleming–Lewiston Road (SR2136), and Cone Boulevard (SR2565). 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.
|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|
Future I‑73 north / Bryan Boulevard – PTI Airport
|North end of I-73 overlap; inner-bound exit, outer-bound entrance, to be signed as Exit 3 on I-840 West|
|Fleming–Lewiston Road||Future interchange (unfunded)|
|6||US 220 (Battleground Avenue)||Future interchange (under construction)|
|8||Lawndale Drive||Future interchange (under construction)|
|10||North Elm Street||Future interchange (funded)|
|Yanceyville Street||Future interchange (funded)|
|14||I‑785 north / US 29||Future interchange (under construction)|
|16||Cone Boulevard||Future interchange (unfunded)|
|17||Huffine Mill Road||Future interchange (under construction)|
|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|
|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|
|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|
|35.4||57.0||100||Gate City Boulevard||Diverging Diamond Interchange|
|1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi
- Google (August 29, 2013). "Greensboro Urban Loop" (Map). Google Maps. Google. Retrieved August 29, 2013.
- "NCDOT Greensboro Urban Loop Project Page". North Carolina Department of Transportation. Retrieved February 23, 2016.
- "NCDOT Progress Report, Contract Number C203792". North Carolina Department of Transportation. Retrieved December 26, 2016.
- "Official Public Hearing Transcript - Greensboro Western and Eastern Urban Loop" (PDF). North Carolina Department of Transportation. October 25, 2010. Retrieved August 30, 2013.
- "Greensboro Western Urban Loop Guilford County" (PDF). North Carolina Department of Transportation. June 1991. p. 18. Retrieved November 24, 2014.
- "Greensboro Eastern/Northern Urban Loop Guilford County" (PDF). North Carolina Department of Transportation. August 1992. p. 21. Retrieved November 24, 2014.
- "Greensboro Eastern/Northern Urban Loop" (PDF). North Carolina Department of Transportation. March 1995. Retrieved November 24, 2014.
- "Greensboro Western Urban Loop" (PDF). North Carolina Department of Transportation. August 1995. Retrieved November 24, 2014.
- Greensboro Eastern/Northern Urban Loop Map (PDF) (Map). North Carolina Department of Transportation. 1996. Retrieved November 24, 2014.
- Greensboro Western Urban Loop Map (PDF) (Map). North Carolina Department of Transportation. 1996. Retrieved November 24, 2014.
- Behrens, Mike (May 15, 2004). "Report of the Special Committee on U.S. Route Numbering to the Standing Committee on Highways" (PDF) (Report). St. George, UT: American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials. p. 5. Retrieved November 24, 2014.
- NCDOT Press Release dated 9/12/08
- "NCDOT: Greensboro Urban Loop". North Carolina Department of Transportation. Retrieved August 31, 2013.
- Project Map: U-2524 (PDF) (Map). North Carolina Department of Transportation. October 25, 2010. Retrieved December 26, 2016.
- Project Map: U-2525 (PDF) (Map). North Carolina Department of Transportation. October 18, 2010. Retrieved August 31, 2013.
- "Fleming Road Extension/Western Urban Loop Interchange" (PDF). Greensboro DOT & North Carolina DOT. December 16, 2004. Retrieved August 31, 2013.
- "Cone Boulevard Extension/Eastern Urban Loop Interchange" (PDF). Greensboro DOT & North Carolina DOT. August 17, 2004. Retrieved August 31, 2013.