Interstate 274 North Carolina

I-274 North Carolina
History
East End
West End

Overview

Interstate 274 is the proposed designation for the Western Loop of the Winston-Salem Northern Beltway between I-40 near Clemmons and I-74/285 near King.1 The Eastern Loop from University Parkway southeast to U.S. 421 (Salem Parkway) is a part of Interstate 74. Interstate 274 appeared on the North Carolina Strategic Highway Corridors map issued on November 12, 2004. I-274 was formally approved by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) at their Spring 2019 meeting.2

Split into six sections, construction underway in 2018 along the Western Loop includes the upgrade of the interchange joining U.S. 421 and Peach Haven Road, redesign of the interchange at U.S. 52 and NC 65, and initial work at the exchange joining the Winston-Salem Northern Beltway with U.S. 52. Start dates for construction on the Western Loop mainline between I-40 near Clemmons and U.S. 52 at Rural Hall range from 2023 to 2029.

Route Information

  • East End – Rural Hall, NC

  • West End – Winston-Salem, NC

  • Mileage – 17.4

  • Cities – Winston-Salem

  • JunctionsI-40 I-74 I-285

History

Supplemental Final Environmental Impact Statements were issued in 2004 and 2007. A Record of Decision (ROD) followed in February 2008. Initial estimates for the Winston-Salem Northern Beltway outlined completion of environmental studies and community input processes by late 2005. Construction was to follow in 2006 or later, but funding availability pushed back the time table to 2012.3

Work finally broke ground on the first segment of the Winston-Salem Northern Beltway in 2014. The initial stretch runs southeast from U.S. 158 (Reidsville Road) to U.S. 421 (Salem Parkway) on the northeast side of the city. The $154 million project included the construction of 18 bridges and 12 structural walls. A $1.5 billion highway bond promoted by Governor Pat McCrory funded the eastern leg of the Beltway and two sections of the western loop.4

Designated NC 74, the Winston-Salem Northern Beltway opened four miles between U.S. 158 and U.S. 421 on September 5, 2020.5 An additional two mile segment was completed six months ahead of schedule on December 23, 2020. Construction started on the g $33.2 million section north from U.S. 158 to U.S. 311 in 2018.6

East End – I-74 I-285 US 52 – Rural Hall, North Carolina

A directional cloverleaf interchange is under construction at the wye interchange (Exit 117) with the SR 1840 connector to NC 66 (University Parkway). Interstate 74 will branch east from U.S. 52 along the Winston-Salem Northern Beltway from I-274 and U.S. 52 over SR 1840.

West End I-40 southwest Winston-Salem, North Carolina

I-274 will connect with Interstate 40 at a three quarter cloverleaf interchange just east of Winston-Salem city line at Clemmons. The Winston-Salem Northern Beltway will extend east from that exchange to at an at-grade intersection with U.S. 158 near Jonesboro Road and SR 1120 (Clemmonsville Road).

Sources

  1. North Carolina Department of Transportation Strategic Highway Planning Documents
  2. AASHTO Special Committee on U.S. Route Numbering Spring 2019 meeting (May 20, 2019).
  3. I-74 Segment 4, NC’s Future Interstates (Robert Malme).
  4. “Buckle up: Winston-Salem’s Northern Beltway work picking up speed” Winston-Salem Journal (NC), May 25, 2015.
  5. “First Section of Winston-Salem Northern Beltway Set to Open.” North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) press release. September 4, 2020.
  6. “New Section of Winston-Salem Northern Beltway Set to Open.” North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) press release. December 22, 2020.

Page updated July 9, 2021.