Days after the November 17, 2018 closure, construction crews had already started digging, scraping and tearing up old bridges. Since then, the 1.2-mile stretch of road has turned into a major construction zone. Employees at nearby businesses and many pedestrians have been watching trucks move a lot of dirt, cranes lifting large heavy drainage pipes and bridge girders, and crews working on sunny, rainy and snowy days.
People working and living nearby have heard the sounds of demolition from large machinery breaking up concrete to be recycled into the project.
They have felt a jolt every now and then as crews blast rock to lay new drainage and sewer pipes under the road bed.
Facebook users have asked questions, like “What is the boing, boing sound?” or “Are you going to blast today?”
“This project is moving much more quickly than we had envisioned,” said Mezak Tucker, NCDOT Resident Engineer. “The Business 40 closure was originally scheduled for 21 months and then we agreed to an acceleration package with the contractor to reduce the closure period to 17 months. The agreement provided financial incentives for Flatiron, the general contractor, to hire more crews. They are working morning, noon and night in rain and snow. Depending on the weather, we might be able to open Business 40, with the new name of Salem Parkway, early next year.”
Here is the status of the Business 40 roadway construction:
- In downtown, crews are wrapping up work at the intersection of 8th Street and MLK, Jr. Drive. This area was widened to two lanes in each direction with a new turn lane from Marshall Street.
- Widening of Academy Street at the intersection of Peters Creek Parkway continues. Improvements include traffic signal upgrades and dedicated lanes for each movement at the westbound approach to Peters Creek Parkway. This work was originally scheduled to be completed when Business 40 closed. However, utility companies had to pull crews from that project last Fall to restore power to areas hit by Hurricanes Florence and Matthew.
- The Broad Street bridge is on schedule to open this Spring. The goal is to have it open in May in time for the Winston-Salem DASH baseball team’s home games.
- A lot of work is going on in the area of Main, Liberty and Church streets. The contractor is moving a lot of dirt to lower the grade of the new roadway and install sewer and drainage pipes. In some cases, crews have hit a very hard, metamorphic rock, which has caused them to have to blast. In the same area, crews are building retaining walls for new ramps and are moving a lot of dirt and gravel.
- On Fourth Street, sidewalk construction continues.
- On the north side of Business 40, new waterline installation has been completed along First Street, while new waterline installation continues on the south side of Business 40. Previously, the bridges that crossed over Business 40 carried waterlines from the north side to the south side. The new bridges will not have waterlines attached to them.
Here is the status of the Business 40 bridge construction:
- Marshall and Cherry street bridges – These are open to vehicular and pedestrian traffic. They will remain open until Summer 2019. They will close when the Main, Liberty and Church street bridges are all open.
- Peters Creek Parkway bridge – This interchange at Peters Creek Parkway and Business 40 was overhauled to add lanes and a new bridge. The bridge was completely open when Business 40 closed on Nov. 17, 2018.
- Fourth Street bridge – This bridge was demolished in Spring 2018 and rebuilt. It reopened in early January 2019. The replacement of the Fourth Street bridge, along with the Peters Creek Parkway bridge, was the first stage of the Business 40 project construction.
- Green Street bridge –The current Green Street bridge will remain open to pedestrians, until the new Broad Street bridge opens. Then the Green Street bridge is slated to be demolished and rebuilt as a dual tied-arch suspension bridge for pedestrians. The bridge will contain lighting systems for pedestrian safety and for bridge illumination.
BRIDGES UNDER CONSTRUCTION
- Broad Street bridge – Construction of the new bridge is ongoing and the bridge is scheduled to reopen this spring. The new Broad Street bridge will have three vehicular lanes of travel, a bike lane in each direction, and a sidewalk on both sides of the bridge.
- Main, Liberty and Church streets bridges – These bridges have been demolished. Cres have started the substructure work at each bridge location. They are driving pile and pouring concrete and construction retaining walls. These bridges are scheduled to reopen this summer. With the reopening of the Main Street bridge, the portion of Business 40 between Main Street and U.S. 52 will also reopen. Westbound Business 40 motorists will be able to access downtown Winston-Salem via the Main Street exit ramp. Motorists will also be able to access eastbound Business 40 from the Main Street entrance ramp.
- Business 40 bridge over Brookstown Avenue – This bridge was taken down in December 2018. It will not reopen until Business 40 reopens early next year. New drainage pipe and sewer pipe are currently being installed on Brookstown Avenue.
- Strollway Pedestrian bridge – The new strollway bridge over Business 40 will replace the section of strollway that previously passed underneath Business 40 near Liberty Street. Substructure work for the new bridge is ongoing and is on schedule to be completed in this summer. Once finished, the new bridge will contain plantings, ranging from small bushes and flowers to colorful garden trees, and lighting for pedestrian safety. The new bridge will reconnect the strollway access from downtown Winston Salem to Old Salem and the Salem Creek Greenway.
- The Spruce Street bridge was demolished in December 2018, six months ahead of schedule. The contractor was able to utilize a crew that was already onsite and perform the work early. The Spruce Street bridge will not be rebuilt.