Winston-Salem Beltway

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North Carolina Highway 74 marker North Carolina Highway 452 marker

NC 74 / NC 452
Winston-Salem Northern Beltway
Route information
Maintained by NCDOT
Highway system

The Winston-Salem Beltway is a proposed freeway loop around the North Carolina city of Winston-Salem. The northeastern and northwestern segments of this beltway, deemed the Winston-Salem Northern Beltway project, are the parts of the loop currently underway. The eastern section of the beltway will be designated as NC 74 (Future I-74) and the western section has been designated as North Carolina Highway 452 (NC 452).[1]

The beltway would make Winston-Salem the sixth city in North Carolina to have an Interstate loop; the other five are Raleigh (I-440), Asheville (I-240), Charlotte (I-485), Greensboro (I-840), and Wilmington (I-140). The Fayetteville Outer Loop (I-295) is set to be completed around 2020.

Route description[edit]

Northern Beltway[edit]

When completed as planned, the Northern Beltway will be approximately 30 miles (48 km) in length,[2] beginning in the east at US 311 and ending in the west at US 158. It would be entirely within Forsyth County and would cross I-40 twice and I-40 Business once. The Northern Beltway would serve as a freeway connector for the suburban communities of Walkertown, Stanleyville, Rural Hall, Tobaccoville, Pfafftown, Lewisville, and Clemmons, and would serve as a possible bypass for US 311, US 158, and US 52. The TIP Project Number is R-2247 for the western segment and U-2579 for the under construction eastern segment.

Southern Beltway[edit]

A "Southern Beltway" connecting the eastern and western segments in Forsyth County and northern Davidson County is in the initial planning stages, as its general proposed routing appears on some Winston-Salem Department of Transportation (WSDOT) long-range planning maps.[3][4] As of January 2007, no preferred alternatives for this southern section have been officially submitted, and the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) does not include the Southern Beltway on its vision maps. The WSDOT plans for this final section of the beltway to start construction sometime after 2030. If completed as planned, the Southern Beltway would serve as a connector for the communities of Midway, Wallburg, and Arcadia, and would not necessarily be utilized as a bypass for I-40 due to the freeway's southward dip. The southern section would have an approximate length of 15 miles (24 km) and would intersect Future I-285/US 52/NC 8 near its midway point. Once the northern segments of the loop are completed, I-40 through Winston-Salem would technically complete the beltway loop without the southern section.


Winston-Salem Northern Beltway Groundbreaking on Nov. 14, 2014

Construction of the western segment of the beltway was to begin in 1999, but was delayed by a lawsuit aimed at the Environmental Impact Statement. After the legal situation was resolved, the NCDOT then announced construction would begin in 2006; however, in March 2005, the department postponed the start date again until at least 2012, due to budget shortfalls. Funds once allocated to the western segment were then reapportioned to the construction of the eastern segment, which had a planned construction start date in 2011.[5]

A second lawsuit, however, delayed the road further. A federal district judge in May 2010 dismissed the cases accusing an updated environmental study of ignoring global warming and impact on other intersecting roads.[6] However, the high cost of building the entire project pushed the beltway to last place on a list of urban loop projects being built by the state. In March 2011, state officials agreed to rank projects using sections, which might help the Eastern section move higher on a list by 2014.[7]

On September 7, 2011, North Carolina Governor Bev Perdue announced that construction of a part of the eastern leg of the Northern Beltway will begin in 2014. The section to be built connects US 158 to I-40 Business. Right-of-way acquisition began in 2012, and cost $34 million; construction is estimated to cost $156 million.[8]

As of February 2012, NC DOT is expecting right-of-way acquisition to begin in 2012, with construction beginning in 2015.[9] Construction of the first leg of the beltway from I-40 Business to US 158, Project U-2579B commenced in October 2014 with an anticipated completion date of November 2018. Since then funding has been allocated to complete the remaining sections to be signed Interstate 74 between current Interstate 74 cosigned with US 311 and US 52. Starting with the segment between US 158 and US 311 known as Project U-2579C in October 2017. Next the sections between Interstate 74 and I-40 Business known as Projects U-2579AA and U-2579AB are scheduled to begin in November 2020. The final sections from US 311 to SR 2211 (Baux Mountain Road), Project U-2579D; SR 2211 to NC 8 (Germanton Road), Project U-2579E; NC 8 to East of US 52, Project U-2579F and the Interchange at US 52, Project R-2247EB will commence in October 2021.

Exit list[edit]

The entire route is in Forsyth County.

Location mi km Exit Destinations Notes
Clemmons US 158 (Stratford Road) Proposed western section of Winston-Salem Northern Beltway (unfunded)[9][10][11]
Winston-Salem I‑40
US 421 / Peace Haven Road
Shallowford Road
Robin Hood Road
Yadkinville Road
Bethania NC 67 (Reynolda Road)
Doral Drive/Bethania–Tobaccoville Road
US 52
Winston-Salem NC 66 (University Parkway) Proposed eastern section of Winston-Salem Northern Beltway (funded)[9][12]
NC 8 (Germanton Road)
Baux Mountain Road
Walkertown US 311 (New Walkertown Road)
US 158 (Reidsville Road) Future interchanges (under construction, to be completed November, 2018)[13]
Kernersville 53 I‑40 Bus. / US 421 / NC 150
Kernersville Road Proposed eastern section of Winston-Salem Northern Beltway (funded)[9][12]
Winston-Salem I‑40
I‑74 / US 311
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi
  •       Unopened

Interstate 274[edit]

Interstate 274
Location: Winston-Salem

Interstate 274 (I-274) is the proposed designation for the western half of the Winston-Salem Northern Beltway, currently designated as NC 452. If utilized, it will connect US 158, near Clemmons, to Future I-74/US 52, in Bethania. I-274 first appeared on NCDOT planning maps in the early 2000s, but has since not been mention on the project nor listed by NCDOT. The "274" number has also not been officially submitted to AASHTO.[9][11][14]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Route Change (1999-03-26)" (PDF). North Carolina Department of Transportation. March 26, 1999. Retrieved June 20, 2014. 
  2. ^ Interstate 74 - Segment 4
  3. ^ WSDOT: 2003 Transportation Needs Document (page 26)
  4. ^ WSDOT: 2003 Transportation Needs Map
  5. ^ "Interstate Guide - I-274". 
  6. ^ Wesley Young, "Judge paves way for Northern Beltway," Winston-Salem Journal, May 21, 2010.
  7. ^ John Hinton, "Beltway project gets a boost," Winston-Salem Journal, March 4, 2011.
  8. ^ Paul Garber, "Segment of eastern leg of Northern Beltway in Winston-Salem will begin in 2014, governor says," Winston-Salem Journal, September 7, 2011.
  9. ^ a b c d e "NCDOT: Winston-Salem Northern Beltway". Retrieved August 28, 2012. 
  10. ^ "NCDOT: Winston-Salem Northern Beltway Project Map" (PDF). Retrieved 2011-11-25. 
  11. ^ a b "NCDOT: Project R-2247". Retrieved August 28, 2012. 
  12. ^ a b "NCDOT: Project U-2579". Retrieved August 28, 2012. 
  13. ^ Young, Wesley (November 7, 2014). "Work set to begin on Northern Beltway". Winston-Salem Journal. Winston-Salem, NC. Retrieved November 10, 2014. 
  14. ^ "NC Strategic Highway Corridors - Triad Vision Plan" (PDF). Retrieved August 28, 2012. 

External links[edit]