Interstate 73 in North Carolina
Open segments of I-73 as of May 2015 in red
|Maintained by NCDOT|
|Length:||76.5 mi (123.1 km)|
|Existed:||1997 – present|
|South end:||US 220 near Ellerbe|
| US 64 / NC 49 in Asheboro
I‑85 / US 220 / US 421 in Greensboro
I‑40 / I‑840 / US 421 in Greensboro
|North end:||I‑840 / Bryan Boulevard in Greensboro|
|Counties:||Richmond, Montgomery, Randolph, Guilford|
Interstate 73 (I-73) is a partially completed Interstate Highway in the U.S. state of North Carolina, traversing from south of Ellerbe to Greensboro, through Asheboro. When completed, it will continue south towards Myrtle Beach, South Carolina and north to Martinsville, Virginia.
|This section requires expansion. (March 2015)|
As of May 2015[update], Interstate 73 begins south of Ellerbe, in concurrency with I-74 and US 220, to north of Asheboro. I-73 and I-74 travel north through northern Richmond County and into eastern Montgomery County. In Montgomery County, the Interstates pass between the county's eastern border and the Uwharrie National Forest. The freeway enters Randolph County and passes just west of Asheboro. In Randleman, I-74 splits northwest towards High Point and Winston-Salem. North of the I-74 split, I-73 passes over Randleman Lake, a reservoir formed by the blocking of the Deep River and passes into Guilford County. Entering Greensboro, it ends its concurrency with US 220 as it goes northwest along the Greensboro Urban Loop with US 421 and brief parallel with I-85. At its connection with I-40, US 421 continues north (or geographically west) to Winston-Salem, while I-840 begins. At the Bryan Boulevard exit, both I-73 and I-840 currently end.
Authorized by the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991 (ISTEA), Interstate 73 was established as a north-south high priority corridor from Charleston, South Carolina to Detroit, Michigan.
In North Carolina, because of several U.S. Routes were already planned for improvements in the central piedmont area, Interstate 73 was initially aligned to go through Rockingham, Asheboro, High Point, Winston-Salem, and Mount Airy. The route through High Point was approved in May 1993. However, in November 1993, an organization called Job Link, made up of business leaders from northern North Carolina and southern Virginia, wanted a major highway to connect Roanoke with the Greensboro area. It could be Interstate 73, the group said, but did not have to be. In April 1995, John Warner, who chaired the Senate subcommittee which would select the route of Interstate 73, announced his support for the Job Link proposal. This distressed Winston-Salem officials who were counting on Interstate 73, though Greensboro had never publicly sought the road. But an aide to US Senator Lauch Faircloth said the 1991 law authorizing Interstate 73 required the road to go through Winston-Salem. Faircloth got around this requirement, though, by asking Warner to call the highway to Winston-Salem Interstate 74. In May, Warner announced plans to propose legislation that made the plan for two Interstates official.
When I-73 crossed a border between two states, the federal law authorizing the road required that the two states agree that their sections meet. Originally, both Carolinas selected a route running south from Rockingham. However, North Carolina had more money to spend on roads, and on May 10, 1995, the U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee approved North Carolina's plan for I-73 to run eastward to the coast and enter South Carolina at North Myrtle Beach. Later that year, officials in both states agreed that I-73 would enter South Carolina south of Rockingham and that the other highway would be I-74. This raised the possibility of I-73 bypassing the Myrtle Beach area entirely, since I-74 would run to the Myrtle Beach area.
In May, 1997, the first section of Interstate 73 was established, a 12.6 miles (20.3 km) section from south of Candor to Ulah. Signage of "Future Interstate 73" was also placed all along US 220, from Rockingham north to I-40 in Greensboro and south to Candor. On January 7, 2008, an 17 miles (27 km) extension south of Candor to Ellerbe was completed; however, because NCDOT had not applied to the FHWA to add the segment to the interstate system, signage along the new stretch of freeway was listed as Future Interstate 73, thus not an "official" addition to the interstate at that time. Federal approval was granted in 2010 to make this part of the interstate system at the conclusion of work to upgrade the highway in Asheboro. The route was given interstate signage in the summer of 2013.
The next section to be completed, and bannered Interstate 73, was the 7.5 miles (12.1 km) southwestern section of the Greensboro Urban Loop, in concurrency with Interstate 40, in February, 2008. The concurrency later changed to US 421 in September of same year (signage corrected by July, 2009).
The newest sections of Interstate 73 to be completed are the 8 mile stretch of US 220 freeway in Asheboro and the remaining parts of the US 220 freeway designated Future I-73 in 1997. The Asheboro section had several deficiencies that needed to be corrected before it could be designated an Interstate. Work started on this segment from Business 220/NC 134 south of Asheboro to US 220 Business/Vision Drive North of Asheboro in 2010. Work was completed in October 2012. When work was finished Interstate 73 (and 74) shields replaced the Future I-73(and I-74) shields along this portion of US 220. NCDOT had already reached an agreement with the FHWA that they could sign the entire length of the US 220 freeway south of Greensboro to Ellerbe as Interstate 73 once this project was completed. On July 11, 2012, NCDOT gave final approval an extension of Interstate 73 from Interstate 85 to Asheboro to be designated as part of its network. A contract to change the Future I-73 signs to I-73 shields and replace current exit signage with Interstate standard ones was let on December 11, 2012. On February 2013, work crews began converting a 70-mile (110 km) stretch of signage for Interstate 73; work was completed in December 2013. I-73 is thus signed continuously from I-40 in Greensboro to US 220 in Ellerbe, a total of 78 miles. Highways completed, but not signed currently as I-73 include the section of the Greensboro Loop north of I-40, a total of 4 miles, and the US 74 Rockingham Bypass, a total of about 10 miles. Therefore North Carolina has completed a total of 92 miles of current or future I-73 mileage.
Interstate 73 from the South Carolina state line to US 74/NC 38 interchange is being planned and paid for by SCDOT. Environmental studies were completed in 2011, with a route that includes an interchange at Ghio Road and welcome centers at the state line. Time frame when construction will begin is unknown at this time.
The Western Rockingham Bypass, from the US 74/US 74 Bus interchange to US 220, near Ellerbe. Currently all right-of-way purchases have been completed along the proposed route. Construction on a 3.724-mile (5.993 km) section, along US 220 (south of Ellerbe), began in March 2014; with a contracted amount of $49.8 million, it is expected to be completed by April 2018. The remaining sections of the new bypass were scheduled to start construction by late 2017; however, under reprioritization of construction projects announced in 2014, they were removed from the list of projects to be started through 2024.
A new segment of the I-73 freeway from NC 68, near PTI Airport, to NC 68, is planned in Rockingham County. All right-of-way purchases have been completed along the proposed route, with construction beginning in April 2014 and scheduled to be completed by April 2017.
|County||Location||mi||km||Old exit||New exit||Destinations||Notes|
|Richmond||Ghio Road||Future interchange (unfunded)|
Future I‑74 east / US 74 east – Laurinburg
|Future interchange (unfunded)|
|NC 38 – Bennettsville||Built to interstate standards, signed future due to no connection to interstate|
|NC 177 – Hamlet||Built to interstate standards, signed future due to no connection to interstate|
|US 1 to US 220 – Rockingham, Southern Pines, Cheraw||Built to interstate standards, signed future due to no connection to interstate|
|Galestown Road – Cordova||Built to interstate standards, signed future due to no connection to interstate|
US 74 west / US 74 Bus. east – Wadesboro, Rockingham
|US 220 south – Rockingham||Future interchange|
|24.9||40.1||8||25||US 220 north – Ellerbe||Current southern terminus of I-73|
|Ellerbe||27.5||44.3||11||28||To NC 73 west / Millstone Road|
|29.9||48.1||13||30||Haywood Parker Road|
|33.1||53.3||16||33||NC 73 – Windblow, Plainview|
|Norman||35.0||56.3||18||35||Moore Street – Norman|
|Montgomery||39.0||62.8||22||39||Tabernacle Church Road|
US 220 south / US 220 Alt. north – Candor
|South end of US 220 overlap|
|Candor||44.0||70.8||44||NC 211 – Candor, Pinehurst|
|Biscoe||49.0||78.9||49||NC 24 / NC 27 – Biscoe, Carthage, Troy|
|Star||52.2||84.0||52||Spies Road – Star, Robbins|
US 220 Alt. – Ether, Steeds
|Randolph||58.0||93.3||41||58||Black Ankle Road|
|Seagrove||61.3||98.7||45||61||NC 705 – Seagrove, Robbins|
|65.4||105.3||49||65||New Hope Church Road||To North Carolina Zoo|
US 220 Bus. north / NC 134 south – Ulah, Troy
|To US 220 Alt|
|A: US 64 east / NC 49 north – Raleigh
B: US 64 west / NC 49 south – Lexington, Charlotte
|To North Carolina Zoo|
|74.0||119.1||74||NC 42 – Asheboro||Exit left|
To US 220 Bus. north / North Fayetteville Street / Vision Drive
|Randleman||79.5||127.9||80||I‑74 west – High Point, Winston-Salem||West end of I-74 overlap|
|80.5||129.6||81||US 311 north – Randleman|
|82.2||132.3||82||Academy Street – Randleman|
US 220 Bus. south – Level Cross
|Guilford||89.0||143.2||89||NC 62 – Climax, High Point|
|93.6||150.6||77||94||Old Randleman Road|
|A: I‑85 north / US 421 south – Durham, Sanford
B: US 220 north to I‑85 Bus. to US 29 to US 70 – Charlotte, Burlington
|North end of US 220 and south end of US 421 overlap
Continuation of I-73 northbound exit 95B and southbound exit 95
|96.9||155.9||122A||96||To Groometown Road / To Grandover Parkway||Northbound exit and southbound entrance only|
|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
|Both southbound exits and northbound entrances|
|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|
|105.3||169.5||2||104||West Friendly Avenue|
|A: Bryan Boulevard – Downtown
B: I‑73 north – PTI-GSO Airport, Martinsville
|East end of I-840 overlap; northbound exit, southbound entrance
Continuation of I-73 northbound exit 107B and southbound exit 107A
Current northern terminus of I-73
|A: Old Oak Ridge Road
B: PTI-GSO Airport
|Pending FHWA approval|
|NC 68 – High Point, Winston-Salem, Oak Ridge||Future interchange (funded)|
|Summerfield||NC 150 – Summerfield, Oak Ridge||Future interchange (funded)|
|US 220 south – Summerfield, Greensboro||Future interchange (funded)|
|Stokesdale||US 158 – Stokesdale, Reidsville||Future interchange (funded)|
|Rockingham||NC 65 – Stokesdale, Reidsville||Future interchange (funded)|
|NC 68 south – Stokesdale||Future interchange (funded)|
US 311 south / US 220 Bus. north / NC 704 – Madison, Wentworth
|Upgrade to interstate standards (unfunded)|
|Mayodan||US 311 north / NC 135 – Mayodan, Eden||Upgrade to interstate standards (unfunded)|
US 220 Bus. south – Stoneville
|Upgrade to interstate standards (unfunded)|
|Stoneville||NC 770 – Stoneville, Eden||Upgrade to interstate standards (unfunded)|
|1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi
- "Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Route Log and Finder List: Table 1 - Main Routes". FHWA. Retrieved March 21, 2014.
- Google (October 26, 2013). "Interstate 73 in North Carolina" (Map). Google Maps. Google. Retrieved October 26, 2013.
- Malme, Robert H. (2013). "Why I-73/I-74 in North Carolina?". Self-published. Retrieved December 7, 2013.[self-published source]
- Malme, Robert H. (2013). "I-73 Segment 8". Self-published. Retrieved December 7, 2013.[self-published source]
- Malme, Robert H. (2013). "I-73 Segment 9". Self-published. Retrieved December 7, 2013.
- Malme, Robert H. (2013). "I-73 Segment 5". Self-published. Retrieved December 7, 2013.[self-published source]
- Scism, Jack (June 9, 1991). "New Interstates Likely Impossible Dream". News & Record (Greensboro, NC). p. E1. ISSN 0747-1858.
- Natzke, Stefan; Neathery, Mike; Adderly, Kevin (June 18, 2012). "High Priority Corridors". National Highway System. Federal Highway Administration. Retrieved August 26, 2012.
- Scism, Jack (January 3, 1993). "Coming Soon—to a Highway Near You—I-73". News & Record (Greensboro, NC). p. E1. ISSN 0747-1858.
- Thompson, Kelly (May 15, 1993). "Interstate to Run Through Triad Detroit to Charleston, SC". News & Record (Greensboro, NC). p. B2. ISSN 0747-1858.
- Lounsbury, Helen (November 11, 1993). "Road to Roanoke Vital, Group Says Lobbying for New Interstate". News & Record (Greensboro, NC). p. B3. ISSN 0747-1858.
- Catanoso, Justin (April 14, 1995). "New Proposal for I-73 Stirs Triad Rivalry". News & Record (Greensboro, NC). p. B1. ISSN 0747-1858.
- Catanoso, Justin (May 2, 1995). "New Interstates May Cross Triad". News & Record (Greensboro, NC). p. A1. ISSN 0747-1858.
- Monk, John (April 11, 1995). "Despite S.C. Objections, N.C. Prepares I-73 Link". The State (Columbia, SC). p. B5.
- Pope, Charles (May 11, 1995). "I-73 Rolls Through Angry Thurmond's Roadblocks". The State (Columbia, SC). p. B1.
- Soraghan, Mike (June 17, 1995). "Carolinas Make a Deal on Routes of New Interstates". The State (Columbia, SC). p. B5.
- Steffora, Matt; Mapmikey; Prince, Adam (January 21, 2001). "I-73". NCRoads.com. Self-published. Retrieved August 26, 2012.[unreliable source?]
- Malme, Robert H. (2013). "I-73 Segment 9/I-74 Segment 10". Self-published. Retrieved December 7, 2013.[self-published source]
- Malme, Robert H. (2013). "I-73 Segment 10/I-74 Segment 11". Self-published. Retrieved December 7, 2013.[self-published source]
- Malme, Robert H. (2012). "I-73 Segment 5". Self-published. Retrieved December 7, 2013.[self-published source]
- Siceloff, Bruce (February 21, 2008). "I-40 Bypass Opens in Greensboro". The News & Observer (Raleigh, NC). p. b5. OCLC 11750106.
- Wireback, Taft (September 16, 2008). "old I- 40 gets back on track". News & Record (Greensboro, NC). p. A1. ISSN 0747-1858.
- Nadolny, Tricia L. (July 31, 2009). "Mapping by car". News & Record (Greensboro, NC). p. A1. ISSN 0747-1858.
- Malme, Robert H. (2012). "I-73 Segment 6". Self-published. Retrieved December 7, 2013.[self-published source]
- "I-73 Route Change (2012-07-11)" (PDF). North Carolina Department of Transportation. July 11, 2012. Retrieved February 23, 2012.
- NCDOT. TIP No. I-5329 (Contract DH00095) Upgrade signs to interstate standards along I-73/74 from I-85 in Guilford County to south of Ellerbe in Richmond County. Project Letting, Division 8, December 11, 2012. Downloaded from: https://connect.ncdot.gov/letting/Pages/Letting-Details.aspx?let_type=8&let_date=2012-12-11%2000:00:00
- "Work on the Signing of I-73 between Greensboro and Ellerbe starts Monday". North Carolina Department of Transportation. February 20, 2013. Retrieved February 23, 2012.
- Malme, Robert H. (2013). "Why I-73/74 in NC". Self-published. Retrieved December 7, 2013.[self-published source]
- Malme, Robert H. (2013). "I-73 Segment 13". Self-published. Retrieved December 7, 2013.[self-published source]
- Staff. "Project Status: Northern Project". I-73 Environmental Impact Study. South Carolina Department of Transportation. Retrieved August 26, 2012.
- I-73 Northern Map (PDF) (Map). South Carolina Department of Transportation. Wallace inset. Retrieved October 24, 2012.
- Staff. "Project #I-4923". Project Details. North Carolina Department of Transportation. Retrieved August 27, 2012.
- Staff. "Project #R-3421". Project Details. North Carolina Department of Transportation. Retrieved August 26, 2012.
- Staff. "Project #R-2413". Project Details. North Carolina Department of Transportation. Retrieved August 26, 2012.
- Signing Plan Guildford County - Greensboro Western Loop (PDF) (Map). North Carolina Department of Transportation. July 19, 2013. Retrieved October 26, 2013.
- Project #I-5110 / I-73 Connector (PDF) (Map). North Carolina Department of Transportation. Retrieved October 26, 2013.
- Staff. "Project #W-5324". Project Details. North Carolina Department of Transportation. Retrieved August 27, 2012.
Route map: Bing
- Media related to Interstate 73 in North Carolina at Wikimedia Commons
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