Interstate 40 Business (North Carolina)

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Interstate 40 Business marker

Interstate 40 Business
Route of Business 40 highlighted in red
Route information
Length 18.5 mi[1] (29.8 km)
Existed 1992 – present
Major junctions
West end I-40 / US 421 in Winston-Salem
East end I-40 / US 421 near Colfax
Counties Forsyth, Guilford
Highway system

In the U.S. state of North Carolina, Interstate 40 Business (commonly referred to as Business 40) is an 18.5-mile-long (29.8 km) business loop of Interstate 40; which serves the cities of Winston-Salem and Kernersville. For a brief period in 2008, it also served Greensboro when the mainline I-40 was rerouted to the south of that city.

Route description[edit]

Business 40 begins at exit 188 of Interstate 40 and exit 238 of US 421 in Winston-Salem. Traveling east, the route goes through the downtown of Winston-Salem, which has several quick on/off exits. It then continues south of Kernersville, before meeting back with Interstate 40 (exit 206) near Colfax. The entire route is 4-lane at freeway grade, it is also completely overlapped with US 421. Other Business Loops with a similar setup include Business 85 in Greensboro, another Business 85 in Spartanburg, South Carolina and Business 80 in Sacramento, California.


Bus 40/US 421/NC 150 near Kernersville.


Originally known as the Downtown Expressway, it was one of the state's first urban freeways, predating the Interstate Highway System. The first section of the expressway was opened on January 6th, 1958, and ran from Cloverdale Avenue to Main Street signed as US 158. In 1959, Interstate 40 signs were added. In 1960, it was extended east to Reidsville Road. By 1962, the freeway extended west to the current junction with US 421 and east into Guilford County; it was also at that time when US 421 was rerouted from Reynolda Road to its current routing.[2]

Over the years, little has changed; which was a problem because the freeway was showing its age and was no longer considered interstate grade. In 1992, the state rerouted Interstate 40 onto a new bypass south of Winston-Salem. The old route was then renumbered as Interstate 40 Business. The freeway has made some repairs since then: In the late 1990s, the locally famous "Hawthorne Curve" near the North Carolina Baptist Hospital was rebuilt, softening the curve's angle. Other repairs were made on several exit ramps, roadbed grading, and bridges.[2]

Map of the various routing changes in Greensboro between 2004 and 2008.

In 2012, property acquisition began in Kernersville for roadway improvements and extension/interchange of Macy Grove Road.[3][4] In May 2015, the new interchange with Macy Grove Road (exit 17) opened, while the eastbound left exit and westbound entrance of Mountain Street (exit 16) was permanently closed.[5]


In February 2008, Interstate 40 was rerouted onto new freeway south of Greensboro, becoming part of the Greensboro Urban Loop. The old route through Greensboro was then renumbered as Business 40, treated as an extension from Colfax (hidden on main I-40, this is similar to how Business 85 is set up today in Greensboro). This extended the route 20 miles (32 km), ending at a new terminus at I-85/I-40, near McLeansville.[6][7][8]

However, NCDOT officials received a lot of complaints by local residents and motorists on the confusion between the new Interstate 40 and Business 40. Another issue was that funding for construction and repairs on the old route was slashed since it was no longer designated as an interstate (Business Interstates are not officially part of the Interstate Highway System). On September 12, 2008, with permission from FHWA, Interstate 40 was moved back to its old route through Greensboro, decommissioning Business 40 through Greensboro (basically existing for only seven months). By mid-2009, a majority of signs have been corrected, though there are still a few signs mislabeled.[6][9]


In Winston-Salem, shared with US 421, a 1-mile (1.6 km) section from west of Fourth Street to east of Church Street has begun project development studies to completely upgrade and streamline. The project includes removing the existing pavement and replacing it with new concrete pavement, upgrading and modernizing entrance and exit ramps, and replacing most of the bridges on and over the freeway.[10][11] It was announced on September 14, 2016 that work by Flatiron Constructors and Blythe Development Co. would last from 2018 to 2020, with the road being entirely closed from November 2018 until July 2020. The Peters Creek Parkway interchange will be rebuilt, and the interchange at Cherry and Marshall Streets will remain, while Main Street will still have a partial interchange. Three other interchanges, including Broad Street, will be dropped. The Green Street bridge will become a pedestrian bridge with arches.[12]

Due to confusion for newcomers, the Business 40 name is being dropped in Winston-Salem, and once construction is finished, the road will be designated US 421, as it has been for emergency personnel. On October 21, 2016 at BB&T Ballpark, Gov. Pat McCrory announced the new name Salem Parkway for Business 40 in Winston-Salem, which was chosen by a vote of area residents selecting from four choices. Signs with this name should be in place by 2020.[13]

On August 15, 2018, state officials announced a plan to have contractors speed up work on Business 40 improvements by using financial incentives and additional subcontractors. A completion date of January 2020 would be possible under the new schedule.[14]

Exit list[edit]

ForsythWinston-Salem0.00.0 US 421 north – Yadkinville, WilkesboroContinuation as US 421
1 I-40 – Greensboro, StatesvilleWestbound left exit
1.01.62 NC 67 (Silas Creek Parkway) – Wake Forest University, Hanes MallSigned as exits 2A (south) and 2B (north)
2.03.23AKnollwood Street
3B US 158 west (Stratford Road)West end of US 158 overlap; signed as exits 3B (south) and 3C (north) westbound
4ACloverdale AvenueSigned as exit 4 eastbound
4BWest First Street / Hawthorne RoadWestbound exit and eastbound entrance
5A NC 150 west (Peters Creek Parkway)West end of NC 150 overlap; construction until November 2018
5BBroad Street – BB&T Ballpark
5CCherry Street – Convention Center
5DMain Street / First Street – Old Salem, Salem College
6 US 52 / US 311 / NC 8 (John Gold Memorial Expressway) – Lexington, High Point, Mount Airy, Smith Reynolds AirportSigned as exits 6A (south) and 6B (north)
6CMartin Luther King Jr. DriveTo Winston-Salem State University
7Lowery Street / Fifth StreetEastbound Lowery Street, westbound Fifth Street
8 US 158 east (Reidsville Road) – Walkertown, ReidsvilleEast end of US 158 overlap; eastbound exit and westbound entrance
10Linville Road
12 I-74Future interchange (under construction)
Kernersville14South Main Street  Kernersville
15 NC 66 / NC 150 east – KernersvilleEast end of NC 150 overlap
16Mountain Street – ColfaxPermanently closed as of May, 2015[5]
17Macy Grove Road – Colfax
GuilfordColfax18.529.8 I-40 east / US 421 south (Fordham Boulevard) – GreensboroContinuation as I-40 / US 421
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

Alternate names[edit]

Though the highway is simply known as Business 40 throughout the state, the highway does have other known names it uses locally in areas.

  • Downtown Expressway - Road name of first urban freeway in Winston-Salem, from Stratford Road to Main Street.
  • East-West Expressway - Alternate Road name of Business 40 in Winston-Salem.
  • Salem Parkway - New Business I-40 name


  1. ^ Google (2011-02-01). "I-40 Bus in NC" (Map). Google Maps. Google. Retrieved 2011-02-01. 
  2. ^ a b " Green 40". Retrieved 2011-01-29. 
  3. ^ "NCDOT: Macy Grove Road Improvements Project". Retrieved November 24, 2011. 
  4. ^ "NCDOT: Macy Grove Road Improvements Project Map" (PDF). North Carolina Department of Transportation. April 2011. Retrieved November 24, 2011. 
  5. ^ a b Young, Wesley (May 20, 2015). "Macy Grove Road interchange now open on Business 40 in Kernersville". Winston-Salem Journal. Retrieved May 16, 2018. 
  6. ^ a b NCDOT: Greensboro Urban Loop
  7. ^ NCDOT Press Release dated 9/12/08
  8. ^ New Greensboro, N.C., Highway Makes Debut
  9. ^ "Greensboro Urban Loop photos - Flickr". Retrieved 2011-11-24. 
  10. ^ "NCDOT: Business 40". Retrieved 2011-11-24. 
  11. ^ "NCDOT: Business 40 Project Vicinity and Study Area Map" (PDF). Retrieved 2011-11-24. 
  12. ^ Young, Wesley (2016-09-14). "Good news: Business 40 in Winston-Salem will close a little less than 2 years. Here's the timetable". Winston-Salem Journal. Retrieved 2016-10-22. 
  13. ^ Young, Wesley (2016-10-21). "Business 40 renamed Salem Parkway". Winston-Salem Journal. Retrieved 2016-10-21. 
  14. ^ Young, Wesley (2018-08-15). "Bridge work on Business 40 rehab moving faster". Winston-Salem Journal. Retrieved 2018-08-31. 

External links[edit]

Route map: Google

KML is from Wikidata