New Salem Parkway in Winston-Salem wins highway award
The redesign of a highway through downtown Winston-Salem was named the country’s largest highway project this week by a national transport organization.
The reconstruction of a 1.2-mile stretch of highway now known as Salem Parkway won the Grand Prize in the America’s Transportation Awards competition, hosted by the American Association of State Highway Transportation Officials, or AASHTO. The Winston-Salem project was one of 80 applicants from across the country.
The freeway opened as the first stop on Interstate 40 in 1958. Later renamed I-40 Business, the road ran through a trench with gray concrete walls that separated the city’s main business district from Old Salem, Historic Salem Cemetery and West Salem District.
The North Carolina Department of Transportation set out to rebuild the highway in 2006. Because the highway passed through the heart of the city, NCDOT made additional efforts to work with the city and its residents on the design and construction. construction.
The result is a safer, more attractive and less intrusive highway. The road is now lined with new brick and stone walls and crossed by two new pedestrian bridges that help reconnect the city – one with decorative arches, the other, called the ‘land bridge’, with plant beds. and trees along the way. Some of the 10 new bridges over the highway include bike paths and there is room for a planned multi-use trail that will eventually run parallel to the downtown boardwalk west to Wake Forest Medical Center. Baptist.
The city and a group of local citizens contributed $ 9.7 million for aesthetic touches and pedestrian bridges.
In addition, NCDOT reduced the number of access and exit ramps, thereby reducing exits and mergers that slowed traffic. As a result, the speed limit has been increased from 45 mph to 55 mph.
NCDOT also accepted the community’s request to close the road to demolish and rebuild it, rather than trying to keep it open and extend work for six years. Entrepreneurs closed I-40 Business in November 2018 and reopened it as Salem Parkway in February 2020.
The promenade had previously won a national award from the American Council of Engineering Companies in August.
“This project has garnered a lot of national attention this year, and it’s not hard to see why,” Pat Ivey, NCDOT’s Division 9 engineer, said in a written statement. “This gateway to the heart of the City of Arts and Innovation is truly one of a kind, and the transport industry has recognized it with the highest recognition. We can’t imagine a better end result.
An independent panel of transportation industry judges selected Salem Parkway for the Grand Prix, while another project received the most online votes from the public to win the People’s Choice Award. This award went to the Kansas Department of Transportation for its reconstruction of a 60-year-old interchange in Kansas City that made it safer and less congested and opened up land for development.
Both prizes include $ 10,000 for a charitable or transportation-related scholarship of the winner’s choice.