RALEIGH - Traveling between Martin Luther King Jr. Drive and U.S. 421/Business 40 in Winston-Salem is now easier and safer. The N.C. Department of Transportation has completed much-needed improvements to the U.S. 421/Business 40 West off ramp at Exit 6C (Martin Luther King Jr. Drive) and the loop that carries traffic from Martin Luther King Jr. Drive onto U.S. 421/Business 40 West at Exit 6C.
NCDOT closed the areas in September to reconstruct the ramp and the loop. This process involved grading, drainage work, removing existing pavement, adding new pavement and building a concrete retaining wall, as well as widening Martin Luther King Jr. Drive. The upgrades will help enhance safety, streamline traffic flow and reduce congestion.
With the ramp and loop work complete, NCDOT is now preparing to build traffic islands and make traffic signal improvements on Martin Luther King Jr. Drive between U.S. 421/Business 40 and New Walkertown Road. These enhancements will allow more cars to travel more efficiently down Martin Luther King Jr. Drive. Because the work will require lane closures, the department is carefully reviewing the weather forecast and holiday travel patterns before deciding when to begin.
All these improvements are part of the U.S. 52 Improvement Project. In addition to improving Martin Luther King Jr. Drive, it will streamline and repave one-half mile of U.S. 52 from U.S. 421/Business 40 to Akron Drive. The $13.1 million contract for the project was awarded to APAC-Atlantic Inc. Thompson-Arthur Division of Greensboro. Final completion is expected by Nov. 1, 2012.
In addition to the immediate travel benefits the project will provide, it will also help Winston-Salem prepare a key detour route for the closure of 1.1 miles of U.S. 421/Business 40 from east of Church Street to east of Fourth Street for up to two years starting in 2018. During that time, crews will remove the existing, aging pavement and replace it with new concrete pavement. They will also modernize the entrance and exit ramps, and replace most of the bridges on and over U.S. 421/Business 40 with new bridges that meet current traffic demands and modern design specifications. For more information about the Business 40 Improvement Project, visit http://www.business40nc.com.