Interstate 40 and 440 in North Carolina

North Carolina Interstate 440

North Carolina Interstate 40 Business

I-40 Bus.
Get started Winston-Salem
End Kernersville
Length 19 mi
Length 30 km
238237 Silas Creek Parkway

236 Knollwood Street

235 Stratford Road

234C Cloverdale Avenue

234B West First Street

234A Peters Creek Parkway

233B Cherry Street

233A Main Street


232A Martin Luther King Jr. drive

231 Lowery Street

230 Reidsville Road

228 Linville Road

227 South Main Street

224 Kernersville

222 Colfax

221 Macy Grove Road

Interstate 40 Business was a Business Route of Interstate 40 in North Carolina until 2020. The I-40 Business passed downtown Winston-Salem and is 30 kilometers long. Today, this route is numbered only as US 421.

Travel directions

To the west of Winston-Salem, I-40 Business begins at an interchange with Interstate 40 and US 421. I-40 comes here from Asheville and runs along the south side of Winston-Salem, handling through traffic. US 421 is a freeway from Boone. The highway has 2×2 lanes and leads directly past the center of Winston-Salem and the town of Kernersville to the east. The section through Winston-Salem is very substandard, with missing hard shoulders, very short weaves and fast-track exits and ramps. In addition, the route is partly curvy with poor visibility. Near the center of Winston-Salem is a cloverleaf with US 52 and US 311that has no shunting lanes. To the east, the highway is more spacious and leads through less densely built-up areas. The highway passes through the south side of Kernersville and then rejoins I-40 toward Greensboro.

  • ANSWERMBA: Provides information about North Carolina history and Economy.


The highway was built as the Downtown Expressway and was one of the first highways in North Carolina. The first section opened on January 6, 1958, a 1.6-mile stretch between Cloverdale Avenue and Main Street in downtown Winston-Salem. This was signposted as US 158. In 1959 this became part of Interstate 40. In 1960, a 4.6-mile extension opened east to Reidsville Road, completing the downtown bypass. In 1962, the westbound extension opened for 3.5 miles to US 421. Not long after, the extended section opened past Kernersville and I-40 through the Winston-Salem area was ready.

The highway soon proved unsuitable for large volumes of traffic, especially freight traffic. The highway has outdated design requirements, especially along downtown, so plans began to plan a new route of I-40 south of Winston-Salem in the 1980s. This 2×2 to 2×3 lane bypass opened to traffic in 1992. The old route through downtown has since been renumbered as a Business Route of I-40. In 2016, the road was renamed as the Salem Parkway.

Reconstruction and renumbering

The reconstruction of I-40 Business in Winston-Salem in September 2018.

Studies began in 2007 to look at how Winston-Salem’s I-40 Business could be improved. The outdated design requirements are a problem for road safety and traffic flow, and many works of art were in poor condition. Modernization work began in mid-2017. Top priority was the downtown section from Peters Creek Parkway to just east of Main Street, but excluding the US 52 cloverleaf. be completely closed for years, because of the narrow cross section it was not possible to work in phases. Over a length of 2 kilometres, 10 structures have been replaced. On February 1, 2020, the Winston-Salem Motorway reopened, 6 months ahead of schedule. This also means that the I-40 Business has been cancelled, the motorway through Winston-Salem has since been numbered only as US 421.

As part of this project, the exit numbering was adjusted in December 2019. Originally, the exit numbering increased from west to east from 1 to 18. This has been reversed, it has since increased from east to west from 221 to 238. The exit numbering has been changed to match that of the US 421.

Traffic intensities

Counting point AADT
1 70,000
2 Silas Creek Parkway 59,000
3A Knollwood Street 59,000
3B Stratford Road 65,000
4A Cloverdale Avenue 62,000
4B Hawthorne Road 70,000
5A Peters Creek Parkway 78,000
5B Broad Street 78,000
5D Main Street 74,000
6 76,000
6C Martin Luther King Jr. drive 73,000
7 Lowery Street 72,000
8 Reidsville Road 52,000
10 Linville Road 48,000
14 South Main Street 51,000
15 Kernersville 50,000
17 Macy Grove Road 49,000

North Carolina Interstate 440

Get started Cary
End Raleigh
Length 16 mi
Length 26 km
1 → Greensboro / Wilmington1C/D Jones Franklin Rd / Melbourne Rd

2 Western Blvd

3 Hillsborough Street

4 → → Durham / Greensboro

5 Lake Boone Trail

6 Ridge Road

7 Glenwood Avenue

8 Six Forks Road

10 Wake Forest Road

11 Capital Blvd

12 Yonkers Road

13 New Bern Avenue

14 → Rocky Mount / Greenville

15 Poole Road

16 → Durham / Wilmington

Interstate 440 or I -440 is an Interstate Highway in the U.S. state of North Carolina. The highway forms a ring road around the capital Raleigh and is 26 kilometers long.

Travel directions

Interstate 440, along with I-40, forms a complete beltway around the city of Raleigh. I-440 runs 4-6 miles from downtown Raleigh and passes through the suburbs of the city. I-440 begins and ends at Interstate 40 and runs around the north side of town. The western starting point is an interchange with I-40 and US 1, the highway has 2×2 lanes here. After an interchange with Wade Avenue, I-440 has 2×3 lanes and runs through the northern neighborhoods of Raleigh. There are no interchanges with other motorways on the north side. To the east of Raleigh is an interchange with Interstate 87. The southeast portion between I-87 and I-40 is the widest portion of I-440 with 2×4 lanes.


When the network of Interstate Highways was designed, the city of Raleigh was only a small state capital, with a population of 66,000 in 1950. Plans were made in 1954 for a ring road around Raleigh, with the first section on the west side of Raleigh being opened in 1959-1960., a 10-kilometer section that was signposted as US 1. This section ran from Apex to US 70 on the northwest side of Raleigh. In 1964, the North Ring opened between US 70 and US 401, a stretch of 7 kilometers. At the time, this was the only freeway in Raleigh. In 1965 an extension of this opened from US 401 to US 64 Business (New Bern Avenue).

Construction resumed 10 years later on the southeast side of Raleigh, and also included part of I-40. In 1976 the first 3 kilometers of this opened up to Poole Road. Construction of the South Ring was slow, however, as it was not until April 1984 that the last section of I-440 opened between Poole Road and I-40. In 1991, Raleigh’s entire ring road was renumbered I-440, including a double-numbering with I-40 on the south side of Raleigh.

Opening history

from nasty length date
Glenwood Avenue 10 km 00-00-1960
Grlenwood Avenue Capital Boulevard 7 km 00-00-1964
Capital Boulevard New Bern Avenue 3 km 00-00-1965
New Bern Avenue Poole Road 3 km 00-00-1976
Poole Road 3 km 00-04-1984


I-440 was originally constructed with 2×2 lanes. However, Raleigh had grown rapidly since then, Wake County grew from 169,000 in 1960 to 423,000 in 1990 and Wake County was expected to grow strongly. Therefore, in phases, I-440 between Wade Avenue and I-40 on the east side of Raleigh was widened to 2×3 and partially 2×4 lanes between 1991 and 1997.


The western portion of I-440 is still in its original 1960s condition and has no emergency lanes. It is planned to widen this section to 2×3 lanes as well. This is the 6-kilometer section between I-40 and Wade Avenue.

Traffic intensities

Every day, 83,000 to 91,000 vehicles drive the 2×2 lane portion between US 1/I-40 and Wade Avenue. This rises to 120,000 to 150,000 vehicles per day on the northern ring road. The eastern ring has 90,000 to 100,000 vehicles per day.

I-440 is the most congested on the north and west sides of Raleigh, especially the southwest portion between I-40/US 1 and Wade Avenue, which has 2×2 lanes left. The northwestern part of the ring road is also busy for the available capacity. There are several road sections with 4 lanes in each direction, but at most connections there are only 3 lanes through.

North Carolina Interstate 440