One of the best things about living in Winston-Salem, NC is the sense of community. We love to gather in downtown areas to celebrate an event that is unique to us. Today, that celebration was for the opening of the new Salem Parkway, formerly known as Business 40.
Six months ahead of schedule, this portion of Business 40 has been renamed "Salem Parkway" and reopens on February 2, 2020. The day before the opening, the Winston-Salem Dash hosted a Pop-Up Party that ended with a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to walk a section of Salem Parkway before it opened to vehicles. People came from all across the Triad to celebrate with hot dogs, popcorn, and cake. There were bouncy houses for the kids and an hour to stroll the roadway. This was a free event that was held at the BB&T Stadium on Brookstown Avenue in downtown Winston-Salem.
On November 17, 2018, a 1.2-mile section of U.S. 421/Interstate Business (Business 40), passing East-West through downtown Winston-Salem, shut down. This was part of a plan by N.C. Department of Transportation to rebuild this section of Business 40 to accommodate increasing traffic volumes. Roadway was replaced, exit ramps and entrances were modernized, the length of acceleration and deceleration lanes between ramps was increased, shoulders were widened, and nine bridges were replaced. In addition, both the Peters Creek Parkway and the Cherry Marshall interchanges were reconfigured. This is the first time in North Carolina history a freeway was closed in both directions at the same time for reconstruction. Full construction of the project will not be complete for several more months. Some of that work will require nighttime lane closures.
The reopening of the highway will be a boon to downtown businesses that were affected by the closure of the highway and will make it much more convenient to travel through town.
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Photos used under Creative Commons from Bread for the World, Juho Holmi, USDAgov, Michael Hart Photography