WINSTON-SALEM – The Winston-Salem Chamber of Commerce along with the N.C. Department of Transportation and other partners hosted a grand opening ceremony for a section of the Winston-Salem Northern Beltway/Future Interstate 74 project today.
The event commemorated the opening of the 6.9-mile section of the Eastern Loop of the beltway from U.S. 311 to University Parkway. NCDOT Secretary Eric Boyette and N.C. Board of Transportation Vice Chairman and Division 9 Board Member Andrew Perkins, Jr. both spoke along with other distinguished guests.
“Today, we celebrate a real milestone for transportation and our vision for a connected transportation network for the people of the Piedmont Triad and all of North Carolina," said Boyette. While speaking on the benefits of the beltway, he continued, “Anyone who has driven in Winston-Salem at rush hour can appreciate the tremendous benefits local people will see on their daily commutes."
The entire 17.1-mile Eastern Loop on the Future I-74 corridor spans from U.S. 52 to I-74. The beltway project is expected to reduce traffic congestion by diverting traffic from U.S. 52, improve safety and mobility, and increase commerce in the area. The entire eastern section is anticipated to be complete by fall of 2026.
“Opening this section of the northern beltway is a huge step in our goal to make Interstate 74 a reality for this area," said Division 9 Engineer Pat Ivey, who has been the project lead on the Future I-74 project.
NCDOT also recently announced the awarding of an additional $126 million contract to Flatiron Construction, Inc. for the construction of one of the final sections of Future I-74, from U.S. 311 to I-40.
The Winston-Salem Northern Beltway was one of seven urban loops that were envisioned during the creation of the North Carolina Highway Trust Fund in 1989. These urban loops were to be one of the key links to connect North Carolinians to services and opportunities. Now, several decades later, this vision is coming to fruition.