Interstate 440 (North Carolina)

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Interstate 440 marker

Interstate 440
Cliff Benson Beltline
Route information
Maintained by NCDOT
Length: 16.40 mi[1][2] (26.39 km)
Existed: 1991[citation needed] – present
Major junctions
West end: I‑40 / US 1 / US 64 near Cary
East end: I‑40 / US 64 near Raleigh
Counties: Wake
Highway system
US 421 US 441

Interstate 440 (I-440) is an Interstate Highway in the US state of North Carolina. I-440 is a 16.4-mile-long (26.4 km) partial beltway that nearly encircles central Raleigh. I-440 begins at an interchange with I-40/US 64/US 1 in west Raleigh and follows concurrently along US 1 through a primarily residential area in west Raleigh. The freeway makes a turn toward the east where it intersects US 70, Six Forks Road, and Wake Forest Road. US 1 branches off of I-440 at Capital Boulevard following the road north. I-440 turns toward the southeast and follows a brief concurrency with US 64 Business before intersecting Interstate 495, US 64, and US 264. US 64 runs concurrent with I-440 along the remainder of the roads southwesterly routing. Exit 16 is the last exit on I-440 providing access to I-40 East before the freeway terminates at I-40 West less than a mile later.

Interstate 440 was commissioned in 1991 as along the Raleigh Beltline, however construction on the beltline began in the early 1960's with the first section opening between 1961 and 1963. The loop was completed in 1984 under multiple route designations. To avoid confusion along the beltline, I-440 was routed along the entirety of the beltline and shared a concurrency with its parent, Interstate 40 along the loop's southern segment (Tom Bradshaw Freeway). In 2008 I-440 was truncated to the I-40/US 1/US 64 interchange near Cary and I-40 in southeast Raleigh. The highway also lost the original "inner" and "outer" designations which were replaced with more favorable compass directions (e.g. east/west). I-440 was also included in Phase 1 of the Fortify Project, designed to repave sections of the southern beltline with rough pavement due to a chemical reaction. Work began as early as December of 2014 and was completed in the Spring of 2015.

Route description[edit]

I-440 begins on the western side of Raleigh at the interchange between I-40/US 1/US 64, heading northeast concurrently with US 1. The freeway has an interchange with Jones Franklin Road just over 0.5-mile (0.80 km) from its western terminus. Continuing northeast, the freeway runs between residential neighborhoods and has another interchange with Western Boulevard. From there the freeway slowly begins to turn toward the north and completes the turn after a partial cloverleaf interchange with NC 54 (Hillsborough Street). North of that interchange, the freeway crosses west of Meredith College and east of North Carolina State University's Centennial Biomedical Campus. From there I-440 has a cloverleaf interchange with Wade Avenue which provides access to PNC Arena and Carter-Finley Stadium. The freeway turns slightly to the northeast to have an interchange with Lake Boone Trail. Approaching US 70, the freeway makes another slight turn towards the northeast. An incomplete interchange at exit 6 serves Ridge Road, directly before I-440 uses a cloverleaf interchange at exit 7 to provide access to US 70. From there the freeway turns to the east and runs between more neighborhoods in the North Hills area of Raleigh. After an interchange with Six Forks Road which provides access to the North Hills shopping center, I-440 turns southeasterly.[2][3]

I-440 sign gantry at exit 14

At Wake Forest Road, I-440 uses a diamond interchange before passing Duke Raleigh Hospital to the south. Continuing to the southeast, the freeway crosses over a railroad operated by CSX Transportation before passing over Atlantic Avenue. Turning once more further to the southeast, the freeway uses another cloverleaf interchange with Capital Boulevard. The interchange marks the end of the US 1 concurrency, as the highway follows along Capital Boulevard to the north. The freeway begins to parallel Crabtree Creek as it continues southeast. At exit 12, I-440 uses two incomplete exits, Yonkers Road is served by I-440 East while Brentwood Road and Noblin Road are served by I-440 West. A partial cloverleaf interchange at exit 13 serves New Bern Avenue along with US 64 Business East. US 64 Business follows concurrently along I-440 until reaching exit 14. Immediately before reaching I-495/US 64/US 264 (exit 14), the freeway turns to the south. The freeway along with several exit ramps cross over a railroad owned by the Carolina Coastal Railway along with Crabtree Creek. US 64 follows concurrently along I-440 to the south, before using a diamond interchange to serve Poole Road. The Interstate turns to the west along the southern side of Walnut Creek Park. Exit 16 is the last exit on I-440 and is used to serve I-40 East. I-440 East continues to the west another 0.7-mile (1.1 km) before terminating at I-40 West. US 64 continues to follow concurrently along I-40.[2][3]


The Raleigh Beltline was planned in 1954 in the Land Development Plan of Raleigh, to serve as a belt road around the city. The first section was opened between 1961 and 1963 running from NC 55 in Apex north along the present day US 1 freeway and western sections of I-440 to US 70 at Glenwood Avenue. The new freeway was signed as US 1 for the majority of the routing until Hillsborough Street where US 1 turned to the east toward downtown Raleigh. The remaining 3.3-mile-long (5.3 km)[4] section of the route running from Hillsborough Street north to Glenwood Avenue remained unsigned.[5][6] In 1964 the northern section of the Raleigh beltline was completed running from Glenwood Avenue to North Boulevard (present day Capital Boulevard) where it met up with US 401. US 1 was then signed along the route from Hillsborough Street to North Boulevard, leaving its former routing through downtown Raleigh as US 1B.[6][7] A 2-mile-long (3.2 km) section of the beltline was opened in 1965 running from North Boulevard to New Bern Avenue. US 64 was rerouted along the beltline from its present intersection with US 1 south of Cary to New Bern Avenue where it turned toward the east. The former routing of US 64 through downtown Raleigh became known as US 64B. [7][8]

The route remained unchanged until September of 1972 when US 70/NC 50 was relocated from the routing along Glenwood Avenue and placed along the beltline from the Glenwood Avenue exit to North Boulevard where the two roads then turned to the south and followed US 401 into downtown Raleigh.[9] Construction began in 1975 for a new extension of the beltline which was to run from New Bern Avenue southwest to Hammond Road in south Raleigh.[10][11] By 1976 construction had been extended west to US 70/US 401/NC 50 (South Saunders Street).[11][12] The first leg of the new construction was opened later that year running from New Bern Avenue south to Poole Road.[12][13] In 1978, new construction was extended from South Saunders Street west to Interstate 40, at the present day interchange of I-40 and Wade Avenue.[13][14] In April of 1984 the new construction of the beltline along the south side of Raleigh was completed. US 70/US 401/NC 50 was rerouted from Downtown Boulevard (formerly North Boulevard) along the east side of the beltline to South Saunders Street where both routes followed the road south towards Garner. The route change left the former routing's through downtown Raleigh as secondary roads. US 64 was removed from the northern side of the beltline and placed along the new southern side from US 1 near Cary to New Bern Avenue. Interstate 40 was rerouted from present day Wade Avenue, and along the new construction before ending at US 1.[15]

In 1991, state highway administrator William G. Marley Jr. asked the Federal Highway Administration to call the Raleigh Beltline Interstate 440.[16] On July 16, 1991, Interstate 440 was officially designated as a new beltway running along the entirety of the beltline. The new interstate was cosigned with Interstate 40 along the south side of Raleigh between exit 293/exit 1 where the I-40, I-440, US 1, and US 64 met near Cary and exit 301/exit 16 where I-40 turned to the south. I-440 was also cosigned with US 1 from exit 1 to Capital Boulevard (formerly Downtown Boulevard). US 64 was also signed along a brief concurrency with both I-440 and US 1 from exit 1 to Western Boulevard where it turned east toward downtown. US 70, US 401, and NC 50 were rerouted from their beltline designations through downtown Raleigh, causing worries about traffic on downtown streets.[17]

Beginning the same year, a seven-year-long $53 million project was laid out which included upgrading the beltline to six lanes. [18][19] In the Summer of 1991, work began on widening 3.6-mile-long (5.8 km) section of the Beltline from Glen Eden Road to Wake Forest Road, including the rebuilding of the 30-year-old Glenwood Avenue bridge.[19][20] Work began in early in 1993, to widen 4.4-mile (7.1 km) from Wake Forest Road to New Bern Avenue.[18]On July 8, 1994, the state awarded the contract for widening 1.7-mile (2.7 km) to six lanes, from Wade Avenue to Glen Eden Road. At that time, completion of the project's second phase was expected by June 1995, and phase three by 1996. 2-mile (3.2 km) between New Bern Avenue and Poole Road were widened starting in 1996. Plans called for widening the U-2719 section from Wade Avenue to I-40 several years later[19] but even after several delays,[21][22] the 2006-2012 N.C. Transportation Improvement Program did not include funding for the $77.3 million upgrade.[23] The project was considered complete in 1997 except for the U-2719 section[24] which is scheduled to begin in 2018.[25]

Former Signs along I-440 Showing the Inner and Outer Designations along the highway

The original I-440 designation used inner and outer labels rather than east/west labels because the freeway made a full loop around the city. "Inner" was used to designate clockwise and "outer" was used to designate counterclockwise around the beltline.[26] In 2008 State Highway Administrator W.F. Rosser asked the US Department of Transportation to remove I-440 from the southern side of the beltline where it was cosigned with I-40. This decision was primarily made to prevent confusion with travelers who used the highway. On November 10, 2008, I-440 was officially truncated on the western end at the I-40/US 1/US 64 interchange in western Raleigh and at the I-40 Interchange in southeast Raleigh. The Inner and Outer labels of the highway were also dropped and replaced with east-west designations.[27][28] The FHWA route log has been updated to show the shortened distance.[1] By 2010 the entirety of the highway's signs had been changed to resemble the new designation.[29]

Interstate 440 was included in Project Fortify, a $130 Million project to replace pavement along the southern beltline which was crumbling due to a chemical reaction known as ASR.[30] I-440 was included in the first phase of the project which included replacing the freeway's pavement from the I-495/US 64/US 264 exit to the eastern terminus of the freeway at I-440. Lane closures on the approximately 2-mile-long (3.2 km) section of the beltline began in December of 2013.[31] The project was completed in the Spring of 2015 with working moving along the I-40 section of the project which is expected to be completed in the Spring of 2017.[32]


NCDOT has designated a 3.5-mile (5.6 km) stretch of Interstate 440, from Walnut Street to Wade Avenue, to be redesigned and widened to six-lanes. Completed in 1960, it is the oldest section of the Raleigh beltline; it features the original four-lanes with narrow (or no) shoulders, substandard interchanges, and a merging left lane on-ramp. A Purpose and Need Statement was completed in 2014 showing the need for the project through capacity, geometric (design of the roadway and interchanges), and road condition deficiencies.[24] Currently in development, NCDOT has estimated the cost at $92 million, with right-of-way acquisition to start in 2018.[25] No official date has been set by NCDOT for the project start date.[33]

Exit list[edit]

The entire route is in Raleigh, Wake County.

mi[2] km Exit Destinations Notes
0.0 0.0 US 1 south / US 64 west – Sanford, Asheboro Continuation as US 1 / US 64
1 I‑40 / US 64 east – Benson, Rocky Mount, Durham, RDU Airport Signed as exits 1A (east) and 1B (west)
0.7 1.13 1C Jones Franklin Road
1.7 2.7 1D Melbourne Road Westbound exit and eastbound entrance
2.3 3.7 2A Western Boulevard – Downtown Raleigh Westbound left entrance, access to the NC State University
2.4 3.9 2B Western Boulevard – Cary
3.3 5.3 3 NC 54 (Hillsborough Street) – Meredith College
3.8 6.1 4 To I‑40 west / Wade Avenue – Cameron Village, RDU Airport Signed westbound as exits 4A (east) and 4B (west)
4.7 7.6 5 Lake Boone Trail
6.3 10.1 6 Ridge Road Eastbound exit and entrance; westbound exit is part of exit 7A
6.6 10.6 7 US 70 / NC 50 (Glenwood Avenue) / Ridge Road – Crabtree Valley, Durham Signed westbound as exits 7A (east) and 7B (west)
8.3 13.4 8 Six Forks Road – North Hills Signed as exits 8A (south) and 8B (north)
9.5 15.3 10 Wake Forest Road
10.8 17.4 11 US 1 north / US 401 (Capital Boulevard) – Wake Forest, Louisburg, Downtown Raleigh East end of US 1 overlap; signed westbound as exits 11A (south) and 11B (north)
11.5 18.5 12 Yonkers Road Eastbound exit and entrance
11.5 18.5 12 Brentwood Road Westbound exit and entrance
12.5 20.1 13A New Bern Avenue – Downtown Raleigh
12.6 20.3 13B
US 64 Bus. east – Knightdale
East end of US 64 Bus. overlap
13.8 22.2 14 I‑495 north / US 64 east / US 264 east (US 64 Bus. end) – Rocky Mount, Wilson, Greenville West end of US 64 and US 64 Bus. overlap
14.7 23.7 15 Poole Road
16.2 26.1 16 I‑40 east – Wilmington, Benson
16.4 26.4 I‑40 west / US 64 west – Durham Continuation as I-40 / US 64
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi


  1. ^ a b Adderly, Kevin (January 27, 2016). "Table 2: Auxiliary Routes of the Dwight D. Eisenhower National System of Interstate and Defense Highways as of December 31, 2015". Route Log and Finder List. Federal Highway Administration. Retrieved July 22, 2016. 
  2. ^ a b c d Google (December 28, 2012). "Interstate 440 (North Carolina)" (Map). Google Maps. Google. Retrieved December 28, 2012. 
  3. ^ a b North Carolina Department of Transportation (2015). 2015–2016 State Transportation Map (Map) (2015–16 ed.). 1:823,680. Cartography by North Carolina State Tax Commission. North Carolina Department of Transportation. 
  4. ^ Google (June 9, 2016). "Hillsborough Street to Glenwood Avenue" (Map). Google Maps. Google. Retrieved June 9, 2016. 
  5. ^ North Carolina State Highway and Public Works Commission (1961). North Carolina Highway System (Map). [1:823,680]]. Retrieved June 9, 2016. 
  6. ^ a b North Carolina State Highway and Public Works Commission (1963). North Carolina Official Highway Map (Map). 1:20:000. Bynum Printing. Retrieved May 23, 2016. 
  7. ^ a b North Carolina State Highway and Public Works Commission (1964). North Carolina Official Highway Map (Map). [1:823,680]]. Baltimore, Maryland: A. Hoen & Co. Retrieved June 9, 2016 – via University of North Carolina Libraries. 
  8. ^ North Carolina State Highway and Public Works Commission (1965). North Carolina Official Highway Map (Map). [1:823,680]]. Retrieved June 9, 2016 – via University of North Carolina Libraries. 
  9. ^ "US and NC Route Change (1972-09-07)" (PDF). North Carolina Department of Transportation. September 7, 1972. Retrieved June 10, 2016. 
  10. ^ North Carolina Department of Transportation (1974). North Carolina Official Highway Map (Map). [1:823,680]]. Cartech, Inc. Retrieved June 11, 2016 – via University of North Carolina Libraries. 
  11. ^ a b North Carolina Department of Transportation (1975). North Carolina Official Highway Map (Map). [1:823,680]]. Baltimore: A. Hoen & Co. Retrieved June 11, 2016 – via University of North Carolina Libraries. 
  12. ^ a b North Carolina Department of Transportation (1976). North Carolina Official Highway Map (Map). [1:823,680]]. Retrieved June 11, 2016 – via University of North Carolina Libraries. 
  13. ^ a b North Carolina Department of Transportation (1977). North Carolina Official Highway Map (Map). [1:823,680]]. Retrieved June 11, 2016 – via University of North Carolina Libraries. 
  14. ^ North Carolina Department of Transportation (1978). North Carolina Official Highway Map (Map). [1:823,680]]. Retrieved June 11, 2016 – via University of North Carolina Libraries. 
  15. ^ "Route Changes (1984-04-01)" (PDF). North Carolina Department of Transportation. April 1, 1984. Retrieved June 11, 2016. 
  16. ^ Hoar, Stephen (1991-08-19). "Beltline signs aim to aid confused". News & Observer (Raleigh, NC). p. A1. 
  17. ^ Rawlins, Wade (1992-09-04). "Diverting Beltline traffic puts load on downtown". News & Observer (Raleigh, NC). p. B2. 
  18. ^ a b Hoar, Stephen (1993-01-26). "Next Beltline phase to start Work to tackle Wake Forest to New Bern". News & Observer (Raleigh, NC). p. B4. 
  19. ^ a b c Hoar, Stephen (1994-07-09). "Beltline widening accelerates". News & Observer (Raleigh, NC). p. B4. 
  20. ^ Hoar, Stephen (1991-08-19). "Beltline drivers to face lane shift at bridge site". News & Observer (Raleigh, NC). p. B4. 
  21. ^ Eisley, Matthew (1998-11-13). "State delays major Raleigh transit projects". News & Observer (Raleigh, NC). p. B3. 
  22. ^ Siceloff, Bruce (2004-11-30). "4-lane stretch won't be widened soon". News & Observer (Raleigh, NC). p. B1. 
  23. ^ Siceloff, Bruce (2005-03-27). "Road plan imperils Triangle projects". News & Observer (Raleigh, NC). p. A1. 
  24. ^ a b "I‐440 Improvement Project" (PDF). North Carolina Department of Transportation. North Carolina Department of Transportation. September 2014. Retrieved June 10, 2016. 
  25. ^ a b "I-440 Improvements". North Carolina Department of Transportation. North Carolina Department of Transportation. Retrieved June 10, 2016. 
  26. ^ Hyman, Vicki (2000-08-08). "A tip for the confused: Pretend I- 440 is a clock". News & Observer (Raleigh, NC). p. B1. 
  27. ^ "Route Changes (2008-11-10)" (PDF). North Carolina Department of Transportation. November 10, 2008. Retrieved June 11, 2016. 
  28. ^ Siceloff, Bruce (2008-08-24). "Redesigned Beltline signs to drop 'Inner' and 'Outer'". News & Observer (Raleigh, NC). p. A1. 
  29. ^ WRAL (2010-03-29). "I-440 drops 'Inner' and 'Outer' labels  ::". Retrieved 2016-06-12. 
  30. ^ "Road Worrier: NC DOT says to not worry about 3 years of Beltline misery - be happy!". newsobserver. Retrieved 2016-06-12. 
  31. ^ "“Crawleigh” Hits I-440 this Week". Raleigh Public Record. Retrieved 2016-06-12. 
  32. ^ "About | Fortify I-40/440 Rebuild Project". Retrieved 2016-06-12. 
  33. ^ Siceloff, Bruce (December 3, 2012). "DOT will widen Beltline's last four-lane leg". The News & Observer (Raleigh, NC). Retrieved December 3, 2012. 

External links[edit]

Route map: Bing / Google