Interstate 274 North Carolina
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 under construction in 2018 from University Parkway southeast to Business Loop I-40/U.S. 421, is a part of Interstate 74. Interstate 274 appeared on the November 12, 2004 issued North Carolina Strategic Highway Corridors map. Unlike I-285, Interstate 274 has yet to be submitted to the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) for approval.2
Split into six sections, construction underway in 2018 along 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 N.C. 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 ranges from 2021 to 2027.
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 2015. 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 includes 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
Western Terminus - Interstate 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).
Eastern Terminus - Interstate 74, Interstate 285, and U.S. 52 - Rural Hall, North Carolina
A directional-cloverleaf interchange will be constructed in place of the wye interchange (Exit 117) with the SR 1840 connector to N.C. 66. 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.
- North Carolina Department of Transportation Strategic Highway Planning Documents
- Droz, Robert V "AASHTO SCOH Report." Online posting. May 30, 2003. news misc.transport.road.
I-74 Segment 4, NC's Future Interstates (Robert Malme).
"Buckle up: Winston-Salem's Northern Beltway work picking up speed" Winston-Salem Journal (NC), May 25, 2015.
Page Updated February 1, 2019.