Interstate 40 in North Carolina

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This article is about the section of Interstate 40 in North Carolina. For the entire route, see Interstate 40.

Interstate 40 marker

Interstate 40
Route information
Maintained by NCDOT
Length: 423.55 mi[2] (681.64 km)
Existed: 1958[1] – present
Major junctions
West end: I-40 at Tennessee state line
 
East end: US 117 / NC 132 in Wilmington
Location
Counties: Haywood, Buncombe, McDowell, Burke, Catawba, Iredell, Davie, Forsyth, Guilford, Alamance, Orange, Durham, Wake, Johnston, Sampson, Duplin, Pender, New Hanover
Highway system
NC 39 NC 41

Interstate 40 (I-40) is a part of the Interstate Highway System that runs from Barstow, California to Wilmington, North Carolina. In North Carolina, I-40 enters the state along the Pigeon River Gorge, from Tennessee. Traveling east–west throughout the entire state, it connects the cities of Asheville, Winston-Salem, Greensboro, Durham and Raleigh before ending along U.S. Highway 117/North Carolina Highway 132 (US 117/NC 132) in Wilmington. The landscapes traversed by I-40 include the Blue Ridge Mountains, foothills of western North Carolina, suburban communities, the urban core of several Piedmont cities, along with eastern North Carolina farmland. At a total of 423.55 miles (681.64 km), it is the longest interstate highway in North Carolina. There are five auxiliary Interstates in the state related to I-40, as well as one business loop which currently runs through Winston-Salem.

The freeway bears several names in addition to the I-40 designation. Throughout the state the freeway is known as the Blue Star Memorial Highway a name shared with multiple interstates across the state. From the Guilford-Alamance county line to one mile east of NC 54, in Graham, I-40/I-85 is known as the Sam Hunt Freeway. From Orange County to Raleigh I-40 is known as the Harriet Morehead Berry Freeway, the John Motley Morehead, III Freeway, and the Tom Bradshaw Freeway. I-40 is the James Harrington Freeway from US 70 to I-95. In Duplin County a section of I-40 is known as the Henry L. Stevens, Jr. Highway. From the Pender County-New Hanover County line to the eastern terminus of I-40, the freeway is known as the Michael Jordan Highway.

Interstate 40 was an original Interstate Highway planned in the Federal Aid Highway Act of 1956. In North Carolina the original highway was to run from the Tennessee state line to Greensboro where the freeway would end at Interstate 85. In 1958, the first section of completed interstate highway in the state was I-40 along the East–West Expressway in Winston-Salem. I-40 received two extension approvals; the first in 1969 to Interstate 95 (I-95), to be routed in or near Smithfield, and the second in 1984 to Wilmington. After 34 years since it first opened, the last section completed was the Winston-Salem Bypass in 1992. The highest point is at 2,786 feet (849 m), located at Swannanoa Gap, and the lowest point is at 15 feet (4.6 m), located at the PenderNew Hanover county line.

Route description[edit]

I-40 travels through several diverse regions in North Carolina, including the Great Smoky and Black mountains of Western North Carolina, the rural Foothills, the urban Piedmont, and the farmlands of Eastern North Carolina. All of I-40 is listed in the National Highway System, a network of roads important to the country's economy, defense and mobility.[3][4] I-40 is also designated as a Blue Star Memorial Highway throughout the state.

I-40 enters North Carolina along the north banks of the Pigeon River, at the foot of Snowbird Mountain. Winding in parallel with the river, I-40 goes through a set of tunnels. When the tunnels opened in 1968 they were the first Interstate tunnels east of Mississippi River. I-40 then goes down a steep grade for the next 16 miles (26 km). Just south of exit 7, I-40 uses another tunnel, for eastbound traffic only, through Hurricane Mountain.[5] The westbound lanes use a rock cut through Hurricane Mountain. A short distance after the tunnel is the North Carolina Welcome Center. Immedietly afterwards is Waterville Lake, where there are a few at-grade intersections in this location, used as service access for Walters Dam and the Harmon Den Wildlife Management Area. I-40 continues toward Asheville. Interstate 40 then merges with US 74 (Great Smoky Mountains Expressway).[citation needed] I-40 and US 74 encounters the Interstate 26, Interstate 240 interchange, sometimes called Malfunction Junction,[6] in the southwestern part of the city. The interchange is the current western terminus of Interstate 240 and the historic terminus of Interstate 26. Interstate 40 then goes along the south side of Asheville, north of the Biltmore Estate towards Hickory.[7] I-240 and I-40 have another interchange before I-40 leaves the Asheville area. Interstate 40 goes south of Black Mountain and Marion, and north of Conover.[8] When I-40 enters Hickory it has a clover interchange with US 321. Interstate 40 then heads south of Hickory and crosses Catawba River.[9] I-40 enters Statesville north of the city. It has major interchanges with US 64 and US 21 before utilizing a clover interchange with Interstate 77. I-40 heads northeast towards Winston-Salem passing Mocksville and Clemmons. When Interstate 40 enters Winston-Salem it has another major interchange this time with US 421 and Interstate 40 Business. I-40 Business/US 421 head north to go through downtown Winston-Salem while I-40 goes just south of the city.[10] Interstate 40 has another clover interchange with US 52/US 311/NC 8.[11] US 311 run a concurrency with Interstate 40 for 2.1 miles (3.4 km). Interstate 74/US 311 exit off to the south while I-40 heads back northeast to meet up with US 421 and Interstate 40 Business.[12] US 421 runs a concurrency with I-40 into Greensboro.[13][14][15]

Sunflowers along I-40

Interstate 40 enters the Greensboro area at the I-73/US 421/I-840 interchange. This interchange is the east end of the US 421 concurrency with I-40 and is also the planned western terminus of Interstate 840.[16] From there Interstate 40 heads through southwestern Greensboro. Interstate 40 passes Wendover Place and Four Seasons Town Centre before having another large interchange with US 220.[17] 1 mile after the interchange with US 220[18] I-85 Business/US 29/US 70 all merge into I-40/US 220 for one large concurrency. The road is generally a six-lane freeway through the entire concurrency between Interstate 40 and Interstate 85 Business.[19]

This 2.5-mile (4.0 km) corridor with concurrent routes ends in the east at the US 29/US 70/US 220/Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard junction. Both the beginning and ending interchanges of this corridor are quite unusual in design and are often operating at above full capacity, leading to frequent traffic jams and traffic incidents.[20][15][21]

I-40 through Greensboro officially bears the name Preddy Boulevard. The nickname "Death Valley" has been given to the area of Interstate 40 where Interstate 40 and Business Interstate 85 splits. The locals have given that area that name because of the high number of deaths due to car crashes in that area.[22][23] One major problem with the highway is that the U.S. 29/220/70 southbound lanes merge from the right, and exit to the left. Thus, through traffic on I-40 west and US 29 south (a major route from Virginia to Charlotte) must all merge to the other side of the freeway. A study conducted by state traffic engineers from May 1, 2006 to April 30, 2008 (the period between the I-85 relocation and I-40's relocation) concluded that "the Death Valley area" had an accident rate "higher than average for urban interstates ... but the [route] was safe anyway."[24] There were no fatalities during the study period, but a large number of rear-end collisions.[25][15][24]

I-40/I-85 through Burlington

I-40 merges with I-85 east of Greensboro ending the I-85 concurrency. I-40 and I-85 have a 31 miles (50 km) concurrency through Guilford, Alamance, and Orange Counties. The concurrency section uses I-85 exit numbers instead of I-40 exit numbers. The section goes south of Elon, Burlington, Graham, and Mebane. Interstate 40 breaks ways from Interstate 85 at exit 163, south of Hillsborough.[19][15]

After I-40 breaks away from I-85 it heads in a very southeasterly direction towards Chapel Hill. I-40 parallels NC 86 until NC 86 crosses I-40 at exit 266. I-40 is routed along northern Chapel Hill and then through southern Durham. I-40 enters the Research Triangle area after an interchange with NC 147. The Interstate varies in width, from four-lane to eight-lane depending on the location. It serves as a major route between Raleigh, Cary and Durham (the other being US 70). After leaving the Research Triangle area Interstate 40 has an interchange with Interstate 540 near the Raleigh-Durham International Airport. Several Interstate 40 exits serve Raleigh-Durham including, Aviation Parkway, Airport Blvd, and Interstate 540. I-40 continues to head southeast towards Downtown Raleigh. Interstate 40 is routed north of Cary and south of Umstead State Park. At Wade Avenue Interstate 40 bears right to head south. US 1, US 64, Interstate 440, and I-40. I-40 then runs a concurrency with US 64 along the south side of Raleigh before merging to the right to head toward Benson.[26][15]

Interstate 40 heads in a very southern direction until the interchange with Interstate 95. Within 5 miles from Raleigh, Interstate 40 has another concurrency with US 70. US 70 follows I-40 until the Clayton Bypass (exit 309). Interstate 40 continues south with exits at NC 42, NC 210, and NC 242. Interstate 40 then has an interchange with Interstate 95 near Benson, North Carolina. Interstate 40 then runs south towards Clinton and Warsaw. Starting near Faison Interstate 40 runs parallel with US 117 and this continues through the rest of the route. Most of the surrounding area of I-40 in Eastern North Carolina are rural so traffic is somewhat down on this section of I-40. A rest area exists off NC 24 in Warsaw. The median of I-40 widens to put the rest area between the eastbound and westbound lanes.[27] I-40 passes the Duplin Winery in Duplin County. As Interstate 40 nears Wilmington it passes Burgaw and then crosses the NE Cape Fear River. Interstate 40 has an interchange with Interstate 140/US 17. As I-40 nears its terminus the speed limit is set down to 55, instead of 70 which is in place from Garner on. Exit 420 is the last exit on I-40 before its terminus on US 117/NC 132[28][15][29]

Dedicated and memorial names[edit]

The freeway bears several names in addition to the I-40 designation. Throughout the state the freeway is known as the Blue Star Memorial Highway a name shared with multiple interstates across the state.[30] From the Guilford-Alamance county line to one mile east of NC 54, in Graham, I-40/I-85 is known as the Sam Hunt Freeway. The freeway is known as the Harriet Morehead Freeway through Orange County named for a leader in the good roads movement in North Carolina.[31] Between US 15-501 in Chapel Hill to NC 147 in Durham, I-40 is known as the John Motley Morehead, III Freeway who was a noted philanthropist and graduate from the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill. I-40 is the Dan K. Moore Freeway from Research Triangle Park to the Tom Bradshaw Freeway. The section is named after Dan K. Moore who was the 66th Governor of North Carolina. From the Wade Avenue Extension to US 70 in Garner the freeway is known as the Tom Bradshaw Freeway, named after the 33rd Mayor of Raleigh. I-40 is the James Harrington Freeway from US 70 to I-95. In Duplin County a section of I-40 6.95 north of NC 24 west of Warsaw to 6.95 south of NC 24 is known as the Henry L. Stevens, Jr. Highway, who was a commander of the American Legion and a Superior Court judge.[32] From the Pender County-New Hanover County line to the eastern terminus of I-40, the freeway is known as the Michael Jordan Highway, named after the famous basketball player who grew up in Wilmington and was a graduate of the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill.[33] Interstate 40 has also been given the name Tobacco Road by college sports fans, because the freeway links up the four North Carolina schools in the ACC.[34]

History[edit]

Authorized by the Federal Aid Highway Act of 1956, North Carolina was originally allocated 714 miles (1,149 km) for their share of the Interstate Highway System; 219 miles (352 km) of which was subsequently allocated for a route from the Tennessee state line, through Asheville and Winston-Salem, to Greensboro. Designated as I-40, it became the first interstate in the state after opening on a completed three-mile-long (4.8 km) section in Winston-Salem, in 1958. For the next 32 years, I-40 was constructed and extended twice to its current routing from the Pigeon River Gorge to Wilmington.[1][35]

Beginnings[edit]

The first major overland transportation corridors in North Carolina were the Indian trading paths. One of these, the Rutherford's Trace, followed the path of modern I-40.[36] In 1921, the North Carolina Highway System was established, with NC 10, nicknamed the "Central Highway," designated on the route between Asheville and Greensboro. By the time US 70 was established, in 1926, and placed on concurrency on all of NC 10, nearly all of the route was either paved or oil-treated. After World War II, the federal government began planning on a new Interregional Highway system, as mandated by the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1944, and released a proposed National System of Interstate Highways in 1947, which included a route that followed loosely to US 70, from the Tennessee state line to Greensboro.[37] After years of planning and the passing of the Federal Aid Highway Act of 1956, which established the route between Tennessee and Greensboro, AASHTO approved the I-40 designation in 1957.[38]

Interstate Highway era[edit]

In 1958, the first construction job in the country that was designated specifically for I-40 was in Haywood County, along the Pigeon River. That same year, the first two sections of I-40 opened: the first was the three-mile-long (4.8 km) East–West Expressway in Winston-Salem; the second was from US 421, in Kernersville, to US 29/US 70, in Greensboro. In both cases, these first freeways were constructed a couple of years prior, for US 158 and US 421 respectively, and did not benefit from the 1956 Act; as a result, in 1988 the state was able to convenience the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) in building the Winston-Salem Bypass.[1][39][40]

In 1960, I-40 made three expansions: In Burke County, from Dysartsville Road (SR 1129) to Hildebran (connecting to US 64/US 70 along I-40 Access Road SE (SR 1890)); from NC 16, in Conover, to NC 90, in Statesville; and from NC 801, near Advance, to the US 158/US 421 split, east of Winston-Salem.[41][42] In 1961, I-40 extended west from Dysartsville Road to NC 226, near Marion. In Statesville, I-40 extended east along a completed widening project of US 64 Bypass, between NC 90 to US 64. Between Ridgecrest and Old Fort, US 70 along Youngs Ridge was widened to four-lane; however, I-40 was not officially designated until 1982, after additional highway improvements including additional widening, runaway truck ramps and warning devices.[43][44] In 1962, I-40 extended west from NC 226, near Marion to link-up with US 70, near Old Fort. In 1963, the gap between Winston-Salem and Kernersville was completed.[45] In 1964, I-40 opened a 12-mile (19 km) segment from east of Clyde (using the freeway connector from US 19/US 23) to Wiggins Road (SR 1200).[46] In 1967, I-40 opened a 3.8-mile (6.1 km) segment through the Biltmore Estate, from NC 191 to US 25.[47] In 1968 and after twenty years of construction, the I-40 opened a 20-mile (32 km) segment from the Tennessee state line to US 276, in Cove Creek.[48] In November of same year, the North Carolina State Highway Commission submitted a request to the Bureau of Public Roads to extend I-40 east of Greensboro to Raleigh, via the Research Triangle Park (RTP). In 1969, both the Bureau and AASHTO approved the extension, allowing I-40 to continue east of Durham, through Raleigh to Smithfield.[1][49] Also in the same year, I-40 was extended west from NC 191 to connect with I-26 and end at US 19/US 23, in Enka.[50] In 1970, I-40 extended west from NC 801, near Advance, to US 64, near Mocksville.[51]

In 1971, two gaps were completed: Wiggins Road (SR 1200) to US 19/US 23, in Enka; and US 64, in Statesville, to US 64, near Mocksville.[52] In July, NCSHC finalized a plan for I-40's routing east of Durham to Smithfield, with an estimated cost of $75 million.[53] In December, new freeway opened between Davis Drive (SR 1999), in the RTP, to US 1/US 64 (Raleigh Beltline), in Raleigh; I-40 was added along 7 miles (11 km) between Davis Drive and Harrison Avenue (SR 1654), while east of Harrison Avenue (future Wade Avenue) was signed "To I-40."[1][54][55] In 1972, I-40 extended east from US 25, in Asheville, to Porters Cove Road (SR 2838), in Oteen; the extension bypassed both US 25A and US 74, interchanges were built in 1999 and 1973 respectively.[56] In 1973, I-40 and the Durham Freeway (future NC 147) were connected, in the RTP.[57] In 1974, a gap was completed between US 276, in Cove Creek, to the freeway connector (future Great Smoky Mountains Expressway), near Clyde. I-40 also extended east from Porters Cove Road, in Oteen, to Patton Cove Road (SR 2740), in Swannanoa.[58] In 1976, a gap of I-40 was completed between Henry River Road (SR 1002), in Hildebran, and NC 16, in Conover.[59] In April 1978, after years of debate on where I-40 should be routed east of I-95, either Morehead City or Wilmington, NCDOT approved a corridor location between Raleigh and Wilmington. The discussions on its routing started since the initial extension in 1969 and arguments from several area groups why the routing should go to their port city. In the end, the routing approval to Wilmington came with a caveat to build new freeway in parallel to US 117 instead of a full upgrade of US 421 as several in the region supported.[1][60][61][62][63] In 1979, I-40 was extended east from Patton Cove Road, in Swannanoa, to US 70, in Ridgecrest.[64]

Barstow, California, distance sign, as seen from I-40 in Wilmington

In 1982, I-40 was designated, in concurrency with US 70, along Youngs Ridge, between Ridgecrest and Old Fort; this officially completed the original I-40 routing from Tennessee to Greensboro.[44] In 1984, I-40 was extended in Raleigh from Wade Avenue (exit 289), along the Tom Bradshaw Freeway, to the Cliff Benson Beltline (exit 301).[65] Also same year, AASHTO approved of designation of I-40 between Wallace and Wilmington, currently under construction at the time.[66][67] By 1985, construction began on a 22-mile (35 km) project, connecting the Durham Freeway, in the RTP, with I-85, west of Hillsborough, at an estimated cost of $103 million.[68] In 1985, I-40 was placed on new 19-mile (31 km) section between US 117 (exit 390), near Willard, and NC 210 (exit 408), near Rocky Point.[69] In 1986, I-40 was extended west from the Durham Freeway (exit 219) to NC 55 (exit 218), in the RTP; I-40 was also extended east to its current eastern terminus at US 117/NC 132 (exit 420), in Wilmington.[70] In 1987, I-40 was extended west from US 117 (exit 390), near Willard, to NC 42 (exit 385), near Tin City.[71] In 1988, I-40 was extended west to US 15/US 501 (exit 270), in Chapel Hill, and east to US 70 (exit 306), in Garner. In October, Gov. James G. Martin announced federal approval of $114.1 million for I-40 to be relocated around Winston-Salem.[72][73] In 1989, I-40 was extended west to I-85 (exit 259), west of Hillsborough, and east to I-95 (exit 328), in Benson.[1][74][75] By 1990, I-40 was extended west from NC 41 (exit 385), in Tin City, to US 117 (exit 369), near Warsaw.[76] On June 29, 1990, with a ribbon-cutting by Gov. James G. Martin, I-40 was connected between Raleigh and Wilmington, providing improved access with the Port of Wilmington with the rest of the state.[1] At around this time, a standard distance sign near the start of the westbound section of I-40 in Wilmington indicates the distance to Barstow, California, as 2,554 miles (4,110 km). In December, AASHTO approved the I-40 designation between Raleigh and Wallace; and in January 1991, NCDOT certified the designation.[77][78]

In or around 1992, the final gap of I-40 was completed when it was designated along existing I-85, from Greensboro to west of Hillsborough. In November, the 20.89-mile (33.62 km) Winston-Salem Bypass was completed and opened; featuring mostly new construction, with a short overlap of existing US 311 freeway. The former alignment, featuring the first sections of I-40 completed in the state, was designated as I-40 Business, with a complete concurrency with US 421. After 34 years, I-40 was officially completed in North Carolina.[79][80][81][82]

Since completion[edit]

In 1996, 35 miles (56 km) of I-40/I-85, through Alamance and Orange counties, were widen to eight-lanes. At a cost of $175 million, the project began in 1989 and opened completed sections in phases.[83][84][85][86]

In December 2004, an 10.6-mile (17.1 km) widening project was completed from US 15/US 501 (exit 270), in Durham, to NC 147 (exit 279), in the RTP. The project expanded lanes from four to six-lanes.[87] In March 2005, construction crews returned for eight weeks to replace asphalt used in the widening project, which began to deteriorate not long after the lanes opened to the public.[88] However, the paving mistakes were more severe and NCDOT contracted Lane Construction Corp to replace all the bad concrete used in the botch widening project, at a cost of $21.7 million.[89][90]

In 2011, an 8-mile (13 km) widening project was completed between Harrison Avenue (exit 287) and Gorman Road (exit 295). At a cost of $49 million, the project expanded lanes from four to six-lanes.[91]

Pigeon River Gorge[edit]

Crews clearing the westbound lanes from the 2012 rockslide

The first section of I-40 in North Carolina is the section that travels through the Pigeon River Gorge in Haywood County. Known locally as simply "The Gorge", this part of I-40 cuts a path from the Tennessee state line to Waynesville. This section of the interstate is fairly curvy and tends to become a bit narrow in some places when compared to other portions of the highway. Because much of the road was cut through mountainside, concrete retaining walls have been built on both sides of the road and in the median, cutting down on the width of the breakdown lanes. Coupled with speeding vehicles, the extremely thick fog that tends to plague the area, and little room to maneuver in case of accident, this area has become notorious for its severe and many times fatal accidents. It is reported that a person is 20 times as likely to die on I-40 in Haywood County than they would be to win the Powerball lottery, which equals to be twice the average of any other Interstate Highway in North Carolina.[92]

Even some minor accidents have been known to tie up traffic in this area, because there is little room to move accidents off or to the side of the road with the terrain. Speeding semi trucks have been a problem in the gorge and have subsequently led to many accidents. In 2002 and 2003, two state troopers were killed in two separate accidents by speeding trucks that drifted off the road and hit their police car conducting a traffic stop. This led the North Carolina Highway Patrol to crack down on speeding tractor trailers and speeders in general through the area.

This portion of the highway is also notorious for rockslides and rocks falling onto the highway. The main cause is an engineering flaw, in that sections of the highway have been built on the north side of the Pigeon River, where the rock strata foliate towards the highway.

In 1985, a severe rockslide buried the westbound entrance to one of two tunnels that carry the highway through the gorge. Repair of the slide area and the tunnel required shifting westbound traffic to the eastbound tunnel, while eastbound traffic was diverted onto a temporary viaduct around the tunnels.[citation needed] In July 1997, a rockslide near the Tennessee state line closed the road for nearly six months.[93]

In 2009, a large rockslide at mile marker 2.6 along I-40 near the Tennessee State Line shut down the freeway for several months. While the slide only caused minor injuries, it shut down Interstate 40 in both directions. A 140 Mile Detour was set up along US 25 from Asheville to Newport, Tennessee. [94][95][96][97][98]

Greensboro relocation[edit]

The six routes of Death Valley in 2007

In February 2008, I-40 was relocated onto the Greensboro Western Urban Loop, marking the first change to I-40 since the Winston-Salem Bypass opened in 1992. At a cost of $122 million, it was constructed by Archer Western Contractors of Atlanta and took four years complete. NCDOT Secretary Lyndo Tippett said that "the opening of the Greensboro Western Urban Loop is a major step in improving the mobility of the Triad region" and that "the highway will provide better access for motorists in and around Greensboro, as well as those traveling between the eastern and western areas of our state." The new routing was placed in concurrency with I-73, while its former alignment became an extension of I-40 Bus.[99]

The glowing sentiment the NCDOT Secretary gave on the new I-40 routing was unfortunately not reciprocated. NCDOT received many complaints by local residents and motorists on the confusion between "Blue" 40 and "Green" 40. Greensboro residents also had concerns with the resulting increased traffic and noise. On September 12, 2008, seven months after the initial switch and in agreement with Greensboro DOT and FHWA, to reroute I-40 to its original route through the city, decommission I-40 Bus., and leave I-73 and I-85 as the only interstates signed along the loop. Exit numbers on the western segment of the loop were to be replaced with I-73 exit numbers; while exit numbers along I-40 Bus. would be changed over to I-40 exit numbers.[100] At a cost around $300 thousand, all signage was replaced by July 1, 2009.[101][102] In November 2009, US 421 was rerouted onto the Urban Loop, replacing most of I-40's brief alignment around Greensboro.[103][104]

The current alignment of I-40 is four miles (6 km) shorter than the 2008 Urban Loop routing, and is the quicker route for any vehicle consistently traveling at the posted speed limits.[24]

Fortify project[edit]

Begun in 2013, an extensive project known as "Fortify" (a play on the route number "40") is underway to completely overhaul I-40 along the southern edge of Raleigh, from the I-40/U.S. 1/U.S. 64 interchange near Cary Crossroads through the I-40/I-440 split in Southeast Raleigh, including the easternmost 2 miles of I-440 as well. The project has, among its goals, a complete tear down and rebuild of the roadway, widening of the roadway, rehabilitation and widening of bridges and overpasses along the entire route, and extension and widening of several highly congested exit and entrance ramps.[105]

The project was divided into two phases, the first (completed in the summer of 2015) was a rebuilding and repaving of I-40 and I-440 from I-40 Exit 301 to I-440 exit 14. The second phase, currently underway, is the more extensive rebuild of I-40 from Exit 293 to Exit 301.[105]

Future[edit]

In Statesville, the I-40/I-77 interchange (exit 152) is currently being upgraded. The upgrade is planned in three phases: reconstruction of nearby intersections on both interstates, reconstruction and widening of I-40/I-77 interchange, and construction of fly-overs at interchange. The estimated cost for the entire project is $251 million with construction to begin in March 2012. It will replace the current interchange, which was built in the late 1960s.[106][107][108]

A widening project along Interstate 40 is in development stage, between mile markers 259 and 279, in Orange and Durham counties. The estimated cost is $18 million, with date of construction to begin February 2019. However, it is currently flagged by NCDOT as "Subject to Reprioritization."[109]

A widening project along Interstate 40 is in development stage, between mile markers 301 and 312, in Wake and Johnston counties. The estimated costs have yet to be determined. Property acquisition is to start late 2013 thru 2015.[110]

Auxiliary routes in North Carolina[edit]

Interstate City Type Notes
Business Loop 40.svg Interstate 40 Business Winston-Salem Business loop Freeway grade throughout
I-140.svg Interstate 140 Wilmington Spur Partially constructed
I-240.svg Interstate 240 Asheville Business loop
I-440.svg Interstate 440 Raleigh Beltway
I-540.svg Interstate 540 Raleigh Spur/Beltway Designated along the Northern Wake Freeway
I-840.svg Interstate 840 Greensboro Beltway Partially completed northern bypass, under construction

Exit list[edit]

County Location mi km Exit Destinations Notes
Haywood State line 0.0 0.0 I-40 west – Knoxville Continuation into Tennessee
6.7 10.8 7 Cold Springs Creek Road – Harmon Den
14.8 23.8 15 Fines Creek Road
Cove Creek 20.5 33.0 20 US 276 south – Waynesville, Maggie Valley
24.2 38.9 24 NC 209 – Lake Junaluska, Hot Springs
27.3 43.9 27 US 19 / US 23 / US 74 west – Clyde, Waynesville West end of US 74 overlap
Canton 31.2 50.2 31 NC 215 – Canton
33.2 53.4 33 Newfound Road – Canton
Buncombe 37.4 60.2 37 Wiggins Road – Candler, East Canton
Asheville 44.3 71.3 44 US 19 / US 23 / US 74A east – West Asheville, Enka, Candler
45.9 73.9 46A I‑26 / US 74 east – Hendersonville, Spartanburg East end of US 74 overlap; no eastbound entrance; westbound left exit
46B
Future I‑26 west / I‑240 east – Asheville, Johnson City
No westbound exit; eastbound left exit
46.7 75.2 47 NC 191 – West Asheville To Farmers Market
50.2 80.8 50 US 25 – South Asheville, Biltmore House Signed as exits 50A (south) and 50B (north) westbound
51.3 82.6 51 US 25A – Asheville
52.8 85.0 53A US 74A east / Blue Ridge Parkway – Bat Cave
53B I‑240 / US 74A west – East Asheville
55.1 88.7 55 To US 70 – East Asheville To VA Hospital
58.8 94.6 59 Patton Cove Road – Swannanoa
Black Mountain 63.8 102.7 64 NC 9 – Black Mountain, Montreat
64.8 104.3 65 US 70 west – Black Mountain West end of US 70 overlap; westbound exit and eastbound entrance
65.7 105.7 66 Dunsmore Avenue – Ridgecrest
McDowell Old Fort 71.4 114.9 72 US 70 east – Old Fort East end of US 70 overlap; eastbound exit and westbound entrance
72.4 116.5 73 Catawaba Avenue – Old Fort
74.8 120.4 75 Parker Padgett Road
Marion 81.2 130.7 81 Sugar Hill Road – Marion
83.4 134.2 83 Ashworth Road
84.6 136.2 85 US 221 – Marion, Rutherfordton
86.3 138.9 86 NC 226 – Marion, Shelby
89.8 144.5 90 Harmony Grove Road – Nebo, Lake James
Burke 94.1 151.4 94 Dysartsville Road
95.8 154.2 96 Kathy Road
Glen Alpine 97.5 156.9 98 Causby Road – Glen Alpine
99.5 160.1 100 Jamestown Road / Dixie Boulevard – Glen Alpine
Morganton 102.9 165.6 103 US 64 – Morganton, Rutherfordton
104.1 167.5 104 Enola Road
105.1 169.1 105 NC 18 – Morganton, Shelby
106.2 170.9 106 Bethel Road
107.4 172.8 107 NC 114 – Drexel
Valdese 110.7 178.2 111 Abees Grove Church Road / Milestone Avenue – Valdese
111.4 179.3 112 Mineral Springs Mountain Road – Valdese
Rutherford College 112.3 180.7 113 Rutherford College Road / Malcom Boulevard – Connelly Springs, Rutherford College
Icard 116.2 187.0 116 Old NC 10 – Icard
Hildebran 117.9 189.7 118 Old NC 10
118.8 191.2 119 Henry River Road / Center Street – Henry River, Hildebran Signed as exits 119A (Henry River) and 119B (Hildebran) eastbound
Catawba Long View 120.6 194.1 121 33rd Street – Long View
Hickory 122.8 197.6 123A US 321 south to NC 127 – Lincolnton, Gastonia
123B US 321 north to US 70 – Hickory, Lenoir, Boone To Appalachian State University and Hickory Regional Airport
125.1 201.3 125 Lenoir Rhyne Boulevard – Hickory To Lenoir-Rhyne University
126.2 203.1 126 To US 70 – Hickory, Newton
Conover 128.1 206.2 128 Fairgrove Church Road To Hickory Motor Speedway
130.2 209.5 130 Old US 70
131.1 211.0 131 NC 16 Permanently closed by 2008.
131.6 211.8 132 NC 16 – Newton, Conover, Taylorsville
132.6 213.4 133 Rock Barn Road
Claremont 134.3 216.1 135 Oxford Street – Claremont
Catawba 138.1 222.3 138 NC 10 west (Oxford School Road) – Catawba
Iredell 140.4 226.0 141 Sharon School Road
144.0 231.7 144 Old Mountain Road – West Iredell
145.4 234.0 146 Stamey Farm Road
Statesville 147.7 237.7 148 US 64 / NC 90 – West Statesville, Taylorsville
149.5 240.6 150 NC 115 – Downtown Statesville, North Wilkesboro
151.2 243.3 151 US 21 – East Statesville, Harmony
152.0 244.6 152 I‑77 – Charlotte, Elkin Signed as exits 152A (south) and 152B (north)
152.9 246.1 153 US 64 – Statesville Permanently closed as of October 1, 2012; was an eastbound exit and westbound entrance[111][112]
153.7 247.4 154 US 64 (Old Mocksville Road)
161.8 260.4 162 US 64
Davie Mocksville 167.8 270.0 168 US 64 – Mocksville
169.5 272.8 170 US 601 – Mocksville, Yadkinville
173.5 279.2 174 Farmington Road
179.8 289.4 180 NC 801 – Bermuda Run, Tanglewood
Forsyth Clemmons 182.1 293.1 182 Harper Road – Tanglewood, Bermuda Run
183.5 295.3 184 Lewisville–Clemmons Road – Lewisville, Clemmons
Winston-Salem 187.7 302.1 188 I‑40 Bus. east / US 421 – Downtown Winston-Salem, Yadkinville, Wilkesboro No access from I-40 east to US 421 south
188.6 303.5 189 US 158 (Stratford Road)
189.3 304.6 190 Hanes Mall Boulevard Westbound exit and eastbound entrance
191.3 307.9 192 NC 150 (Peters Creek Parkway) – Downtown Winston-Salem
192.5 309.8 193C Silas Creek Parkway, South Main Street Westbound exit and eastbound entrance
193.2 310.9 193A US 52 / NC 8 south – Lexington
193B US 52 / US 311 / NC 8 north – Mount Airy North end of US 311 overlap
194.3 312.7 195 NC 109 / Clemmonsville Road – Thomasville
195.9 315.3 196 I‑74 east / US 311 south – High Point South end of US 311 overlap
I‑74 (Winston-Salem Northern Beltway) Future interchange (unfunded)[113][114]
Kernersville 200.7 323.0 201 Union Cross Road
203.5 327.5 203 NC 66 / Regional Road – Kernersville, High Point
Guilford 206.4 332.2 206 I‑40 Bus. west / US 421 north – Kernersville, Downtown Winston-Salem North end of US 421 overlap; westbound exit and eastbound entrance
Greensboro 207.4 333.8 208 Sandy Ridge Road
209.7 337.5 210 NC 68 – High Point, Piedmont Triad International Airport
210.7 339.1 211 Gallimore Dairy Road
212.1 341.3 212 I‑73 / US 421 south / To Bryan Boulevard – Asheboro East end of US 421 overlap; signed as exits 212A (Bryan Boulevard) and 212B (I-73/US 421)
213.0 342.8 213 Guilford College Road
213.8 344.1 214 Wendover Avenue Signed as exits 214A (east) and 214B (west) eastbound
215.3 346.5 216 Patterson Street Eastbound exit and westbound entrance
216.8 348.9 217 Gate City Boulevard, Koury Boulevard
218.2 351.2 218 US 220 south to I‑85 Bus. south / Freeman Mill Road – Asheboro West end of US 220 overlap; signed as exits 218A (US 220) and 218B (Freeman Mill Road)
219.0 352.4 219 I‑85 Bus. south / US 29 south / US 70 west – Charlotte South end of US 29/I-85 Bus. and west end of US 70 overlap
219.3 352.9 220 Randleman Road
219.9 353.9 221 South Elm-Eugene Street – Downtown Greensboro
221.0 355.7 222 Martin Luther King Jr. Drive
221.1 355.8 223 US 29 north / US 70 east / US 220 north – Reidsville North end of US 29//US 220 and east end of US 70 overlap; northbound exit and southbound entrance
223.3 359.4 224 To US 29 north / US 220 north / East Lee Street To Bennett College, UNC Greensboro, A&T University and Greensboro College
225.7 363.2 226 McConnell Road
226.5 364.5 227 I‑85 south / I‑785 north / I‑85 Bus. end – Danville, Charlotte South end of I-85 and north end of I-85 Bus. overlap; hidden west I-840
I-40 overlaps with Interstate 85 (exits 131 to 163)
Orange Hillsborough 258.3 415.7 259 I‑85 north – Durham North end of I-85 overlap
260.8 419.7 261 Old NC Highway 86 – Hillsborough
262.9 423.1 263 New Hope Church Road
265.8 427.8 266 NC 86 – Chapel Hill, Hillsborough
Durham Chapel Hill 269.9 434.4 270 US 15 / US 501 – Chapel Hill, Durham Signed as exits 270A (south) and 270B (north)
272.7 438.9 273 NC 54 – Chapel Hill, Durham Signed as exits 273A (west) and 273B (east) westbound
Durham 274.2 441.3 274 NC 751 – Jordan Lake
275.6 443.5 276 Fayetteville Road  – Southpoint, North Carolina Central University
277.8 447.1 278 NC 55 to NC 54 – Apex
RTP 279.1 449.2 279A
NC 147 Toll south (Triangle Expressway) – Morrisville
279B NC 147 north (Durham Freeway) – Downtown Durham
280.1 450.8 280 Davis Drive
Durham 280.8 451.9 281 Miami Boulevard
281.4 452.9 282 Page Road
282.3 454.3 283
I‑540 east / NC 540 west to NC 540 Toll / US 1 north / US 64 east / US 70 – North Raleigh
Signed westbound as exits 283A (East I-540) and 283B (West NC 540)
Wake Morrisville 283.5 456.2 284 Airport Boulevard – RDU International Airport Signed eastbound as exits 284A (west) and 284B (east)
Cary 284.7 458.2 285 Aviation Parkway  – Morrisville, RDU International Airport
287.0 461.9 287 Harrison Avenue – Cary
Raleigh 288.6 464.5 289 To I‑440 / US 1 north / Wade Avenue – Downtown Raleigh To PNC Arena, Carter–Finley Stadium, State Fairgrounds, NCSU Veterinary College, and NC Museum of Art
290.5 467.5 290 NC 54 – Cary
291.4 469.0 291 Cary Towne Boulevard – Cary
292.6 470.9 293A US 1 south / US 64 west – Cary, Asheboro West end of US 64 overlap
293B I‑440 east / US 1 north – Raleigh, Wake Forest
295.0 474.8 295 Gorman Street
297.1 478.1 297 Lake Wheeler Road
298.0 479.6 298 US 70 / US 401 / NC 50 (S. Saunders Street) – Raleigh Downtown, Garner Signed as exits 298A (east/south) and 298B (west/north)
298.8 480.9 299 Hammond Road, Person Street
300.3 483.3 300 Rock Quarry Road Signed as exits 300A (south) and 300B (north) westbound
301.1 484.6 301 I‑440 west / US 64 east – Knightdale East end of US 64 overlap; Eastbound exit is a left exit
303.5 488.4 303 Jones Sausage Road
Garner 305.6 491.8 306
US 70 west / US 70 Bus. east – Garner, Clayton
West end of US 70 overlap; signed as exits 306A (west) and 306B (east) westbound
309.6 498.3 309 US 70 east – Smithfield, Goldsboro East end of US 70 overlap
Johnston 311.8 501.8 312 NC 42 – Clayton, Fuquay-Varina
318.6 512.7 319 NC 210 – Smithfield, Angier
Benson 325.4 523.7 325 NC 242 south to US 301 – Benson
327.8 527.5 328 I‑95 – Benson, Fayetteville, Rocky Mount, Smithfield Signed as exits 328A (south) and 328B (north)
333.6 536.9 334 NC 96 – Meadow
Sampson Newton Grove 341.0 548.8 341 NC 50 / NC 55 to US 13 – Newton Grove
343.3 552.5 343 US 701 – Clinton, Newton Grove
348.0 560.1 348 Suttontown Road
355.4 572.0 355 NC 403 – Faison
Duplin Warsaw 364.5 586.6 364
NC 24 west / NC 24 Bus. east to NC 50 – Warsaw, Clinton
West end of NC 24 overlap
369.6 594.8 369 US 117 – Warsaw
372.9 600.1 373 NC 24 east / NC 903 – Magnolia, Kenansville, Beulaville East end of NC 24 overlap
Rose Hill 380.0 611.6 380 Charity Road – Rose Hill
384.1 618.1 384 NC 11 – Wallace, Greenevers
385.4 620.2 385 NC 41 – Wallace, Beulaville
Pender 390.2 628.0 390 US 117 – Wallace
Burgaw 398.5 641.3 398 NC 53 – Burgaw, Jacksonville
Rocky Point 408.1 656.8 408 NC 210 – Rocky Point To Moores Creek National Battlefield
New Hanover Castle Hayne 414.5 667.1 414 Holly Shelter Road – Castle Hayne
Murraysville 416.9 670.9 416 I‑140 west / US 17 / NC 140 – Shallotte, Myrtle Beach, Topsail Island, Jacksonville Signed as exits 416A (south) and 416B (north)
Wilmington 419.9 675.8 420 US 117 / NC 132 north / Gordon Road – Castle Hayne Signed as exits 420A (Gordon Road) and 420B (US 117/NC 132) westbound
423.6 681.7 US 117 / NC 132 south – State Port, Carolina Beach Continuation as US 117/NC 132
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

References[edit]

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  113. ^ "SPOT ID: H129625-AB" (PDF). North Carolina Department of Transportation. May 30, 2014. Retrieved August 31, 2014. 
  114. ^ U-2579 Project Breakdown (PDF) (Map). North Carolina Department of Transportation. November 26, 2013. Retrieved August 31, 2014. 

External links[edit]

Route map: Bing / Google

KML is from Wikidata


Interstate 40
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