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The project streamlined and repaved one-half mile of U.S. 52 from U.S. 421/Business 40 to Akron Drive, and improved part of Martin Luther King Jr. Drive in Winston-Salem.
News and Updates
The U.S. 52 Improvement project was completed in September 2013 and has already improved the flow of traffic in Winston-Salem. The complete overhaul of one of the area’s most critical corridors involved adding new lanes, reconfiguring ramps and resurfacing the road to improve safety, reduce traffic congestion and help motorists get where they need to go more efficiently.
This section of U.S. 52 was considered the top crash location in Forsyth County, primarily because of the conflicts that occurred when traffic was trying to merge onto and off of the highway at the same time. Removing the ramps and streamlining the flow of traffic have eliminated this dangerous weave scenario.
Project Overview and Purpose
The project specifically:
- Removed all ramps at Third, Fourth and Fifth streets;
- Removed the Greyhound Court bridge over U.S. 52;
- Improved southbound ramps at the Akron Drive interchange with U.S. 52;
- Installed traffic cameras and electronic message boards on U.S. 52 and some streets;
- Constructed a new lane on northbound U.S. 52 directly connecting Business 40 to Martin Luther King Jr. Drive;
- Constructed a new ramp from Martin Luther King Jr. Drive to southbound U.S. 52; and
- Constructed traffic islands and upgrade traffic signals on Martin Luther King Jr. Drive.
This section of U.S. 52 was built in the 1960s. It was not designed to handle the 80,000-90,000 vehicles that travel on it each day. Ramp configurations made merging on and off the highway difficult, resulting in congestion. In addition, much of the traffic traveling on this section of the highway was entering and exiting the city, so streamlining the road has made traveling through Winston-Salem easier and more efficient.
Renovating this road will extend its lifespan and allow it to accommodate a growing level of traffic. The upgrades will also help prepare Winston-Salem for the Business 40 Improvement Project in 2018. It will close 1.1 miles of Business 40 in downtown Winston-Salem for up to two years to make major improvements. Much of the traffic on Business 40 will be detoured onto U.S. 52.
NCDOT awarded the $13.1 million contract for the U.S. 52 Improvement Project to APAC-Atlantic Inc. Thompson Arthur Division of Greensboro. Work started on June 8, 2011, and was completed in September 2013.
Traffic in downtown Winston-Salem is flowing more smoothly, following the completion of major improvements to U.S. 52.
NCDOT Resident Engineer Wright Archer explains in this video why the closures are critical to improving safety and traffic flow on U.S. 52.
Resources for Local Property Owners
In many cases, it is inevitable that a certain amount of private property must be acquired. The displacement of homes and businesses is minimized to the extent practicable. The following brochures will answer questions about this process.