Project Overview and Purpose
The N.C. Department of Transportation is building in Winston-Salem a 1.1-mile, four-lane, median-divided road from Martin Luther King Jr. Drive, south of Winston-Salem State University, to Rams Drive (formerly Stadium Drive) at the Piedmont Triad Research Park.
An interchange will be built at U.S. 52, and the current interchange at Rams Drive will be removed.
Once complete, the Salem Creek Connector will make it easier for drivers 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 the university, provide a direct route to a revitalized downtown and improve motorist safety on U.S. 52.
In addition to building a four-lane, median-divided road, work on the Salem Creek Connector includes:
Building 11 bridges mainly over parts of Salem Creek and U.S. 52
Building a 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 as well as Diggs Avenue and Vargrave Street
Building a roundabout at Salem Avenue and City Yard Drive
In January 2013, NCDOT awarded a $68.9 million contract to the design-build team of Blythe Construction Inc. and Parsons Brinckerhoff Inc. both of Charlotte. 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 build a project to expedite its completion. It also helps NCDOT avoid cost inflation, allows the contractor to make innovations that save taxpayers money, lessens environmental impact and alleviates driving delays for motorists.
Partnership With Creative Corridors Coalition
NCDOT is working on this project, as well as others in the downtown Winston-Salem area, with Creative Corridors Coalition, a local nonprofit whose mission is to make roadway improvements more aesthetically attractive to 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
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.
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
The Salem Creek Connector is one of several projects in Winston-Salem that will improve detour routes that NCDOT plans to use to keep traffic moving while the
Business 40 improvement project is under construction.
Project News Releases
* Future dates are preliminary and subject to change
NCDOT Division 9 Engineer
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375 Silas Creek Parkway
Winston-Salem, NC 27127
NCDOT Division 9 District Engineer
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1151 N. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive
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.