Project Map

Project Map

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Project Fast Facts
  • Status: Projects Under Construction
  • County: Forsyth
  • Type of Project: Construct New Road, Bridges
  • STIP Number: U-2925
  • Completion Date: November 2016
  • Cost: $68.9 million
Salem Creek Connector


NCDOT is constructing a new 1.1-mile, four-lane road with a median from Martin Luther King Jr. Drive south of Winston-Salem State University to Rams Drive (formerly Stadium Drive) at the Piedmont Triad Research Park. A new interchange will be built at U.S. 52, and the current interchange at Rams Drive will be removed.

Latest News and Updates

Crews have removed all of the old southbound structures and have begun construction of the new bridges. Construction of the new southbound bridges and paving through this section is expected to be complete by the end of August 2015, when traffic in both directions will be shifted to these newly constructed bridges. Then construction on the future northbound lane bridges will begin. Crews are also working on the Winston-Salem Southbound railroad bridge over U.S. 52.

NCDOT awarded the contract for the project in January 2013 to the design-build team of Blythe Construction Inc. of Charlotte and Parsons Brinckerhoff Inc. of Charlotte. Utility relocation and drainage work was largely completed in 2013 and major construction activities got underway in December 2013. The Salem Creek Connector is expected to be complete by June 1, 2016.

On Jan. 2, the intersection of Diggs Boulevard and Martin Luther King Jr. Drive was permanently closed to accommodate the Salem Creek Connector. Motorists are encouraged to use Williamson Street to access Martin Luther King Jr. Drive.

On Jan. 6, crews permanently closed the existing full Vargrave Street/U.S. 52 interchange, located west of Bowman Gray Stadium, to replace it with the area’s first diverging diamond interchange. During construction if the DDI, access to U.S. 52 North will be maintained at the south end of Vargrave Road near its intersection with Waughtown Street.

Press Releases

Project Overview and Purpose

The construction of the Salem Creek Connector includes:

  • Constructing a new four-lane road with a median from Martin Luther King Jr. Drive south of Winston-Salem State University to Rams Drive at the Wake Forest Innovation Quarter;
  • Building 11 bridges mainly over parts of Salem Creek and U.S. 52;
  • Constructing a new diverging diamond interchange at U.S. 52;
  • Removing the current U.S. 52 interchange ramps at Rams Drive and Vargrave Street. The bridges will remain in place;
  • Realigning multiple side roads and intersections, including Diggs Avenue and Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive; and Diggs Avenue and Vargrave Street; and
  • Building a roundabout at Salem Avenue and City Yard Drive.

Benefits: The Salem Creek Connector will make it easier for citizens to access U.S. 52 from Winston-Salem State University, Salem Academy & College, and the Wake Forest Innovation Quarter. It will also reduce traffic congestion and improve pedestrian safety at WSSU, provide a direct route to a revitalized downtown and enhance motorist safety on U.S. 52.

Project Timeline:

  • Design work, right-of-way acquisition, survey work and utility relocation largely complete.
  • Construction began in December 2013.
  • Completion scheduled for June 2016.

Design-Build Team: NCDOT has awarded a $68.9 million contract to the design-build team of Blythe Construction Inc. of Charlotte and Parsons Brinckerhoff Inc. of Charlotte for the project. The team was one of three short-listed design-build teams vying for the contract. NCDOT selected the team because it offered the best value for the project cost.

The design-build method of construction allows NCDOT to award a contract to a team of designers and contractors simultaneously to design and construct a project to expedite its completion. This unique, all-in-one approach helps the department avoid cost inflation and allows the contractor to make innovations that save taxpayer dollars.

Partnership with Creative Corridors Coalition

NCDOT is working closely on this project and others in the downtown area with a nonprofit organization in Winston-Salem called the Creative Corridors Coalition. The mission of Creative Corridors is to make these roadway improvements more aesthetically attractive and reflect the city’s devotion to arts, culture and innovation.

In determining a basic layout for the Salem Creek Connector, NCDOT met numerous times with Creative Corridors to discuss the group’s ideas on how and where to incorporate features such as unique lighting, pavement design and landscaping. Through these meetings, NCDOT and Creative Corridors:

  • Eliminated suggestions that did not meet federal construction guidelines;
  • Agreed on design improvements such as decorative bridge railings that are considered a standard NCDOT construction option and do not cost more to include as part of a project; and
  • Identified enhancements that do not qualify as standard NCDOT construction options and would require an outside entity (Creative Corridors, the City of Winston-Salem, etc.) to pay for the additional cost.

Creative Corridors is partnering with the Winston-Salem Urban Area Metropolitan Planning Organization, City of Winston-Salem and other local organizations to provide the additional funding needed for the upgrades and enhancements planned for the Salem Creek Connector project. These enhancements include patterned crosswalks, ornamental lighting, 5-foot-wide sidewalks and 10-foot-wide sidepaths, and landscaping, all of which will help achieve the goal of showcasing Winston-Salem as the City of Arts and Innovation.

Preparation for Business 40 Improvement Project

This project is one of several moving forward in Winston-Salem right now that will improve the detour routes NCDOT will use to keep traffic flowing while the Business 40 Improvement Project is under way. NCDOT will completely close 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 2016.

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.

Project Videos

This visualization shows from multiple perspectives how traffic will flow along the Salem Creek Connector.

Contact Information

Pat Ivey, NCDOT Division 9 Engineer

  • Email: Contact Us
  • Phone: (336) 747-7800
  • Address: 375 Silas Creek Parkway, Winston-Salem, NC 27127

Wright Archer, NCDOT Division 9 District Engineer

  • Email: Contact Us
  • Phone: (336) 747-7900
  • Address: 375 Silas Creek Parkway, Winston-Salem, NC 27127

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.