Will improve driver safety and help traffic flow more efficiently
RALEIGH -Starting tomorrow, motorists will have a safer, more efficient way to access U.S. 52 South in downtown Winston-Salem. The N.C. Department of Transportation will open a new entrance ramp to the highway from Martin Luther King Jr. Drive at 5 a.m.
The new ramp will offer significant improvements over the existing traffic pattern in two key ways:
Currently, drivers traveling east on Martin Luther King Jr. Drive have to turn left across two lanes of oncoming traffic to access a loop, which takes them to U.S. 52 South. With the new ramp, motorists will make a simple right turn directly onto the entrance ramp to the highway. This is much safer, because drivers will not have to wait for traffic to clear before turning, and they will have a longer acceleration lane on which to merge into traffic.
In the existing pattern, traffic, especially during rush hour, often backs up behind motorists waiting to turn left to access U.S. 52 South. With one lane acting as a turn lane, only one lane remains for traffic traveling down Martin Luther King Jr. Drive. The new ramp will eliminate that bottleneck and help traffic flow more easily and efficiently through the area.
This new lane is part of the U.S. 52 Improvement Project, which includes streamlining and repaving one-half mile of U.S. 52 from U.S. 421/Business 40 to Akron Drive, and improving part of Martin Luther King Jr. Drive in Winston-Salem. The $13.1 million project is scheduled to be complete by May.
The improvements will not only benefit drivers now, but they will also help prepare the city for the Business 40 Improvement Project in 2018. It will close 1.1 miles of U.S. 421/Business 40 in downtown Winston-Salem for up to two years to make major upgrades to the roadway and bridges. Much of the traffic on U.S. 421/Business 40 will be detoured onto U.S. 52.
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