According to Ablogtophone, US 421 is a US Highway in the US state of North Carolina. The road forms an east-west and partially north-south link through the center of the state, from the Tennessee border at Zionville through the Winston-Salem and Greensboro metropolitan area to Fort Fisher on the Atlantic Ocean. The route is a motorway in several places. The total route is 523 kilometers long.
Western North Carolina
At Zionville, US 421 enters the state of North Carolina from the north from Bristol. The road then runs for about 12 kilometers to the south and then turns to the east. You pass the village of Boone, after which the road becomes a main road with 2×2 lanes. In Deep Gap you cross the US 221. Then the expressway continues to Wilkesboro, from where the US 421 becomes a highway. This highway is a longer western approach route from the city of Winston-Salem. The highway has 2×2 lanes and runs through slightly hilly and fairly wooded area. After about 30 kilometers you reach Interstate 77, the highway from Charlotte to Cleveland. This nodeis a standard cloverleaf. US 421 then continues as a highway eastwards towards Winston-Salem. This area becomes a bit flatter with still quite a lot of forests.
Winston-Salem / Greensboro
One then reaches the town of Winston-Salem and the highway forms the western approach road here. The highway then has 2×3 lanes and one crosses the Interstate 40, the highway from Asheville. Both roads will then run parallel to each other, with I-40 taking the southern route. US 421 then narrows back to 2×2 lanes and serves downtown Winston-Salem. The highway is slightly sunken here and also has 2×2 lanes along the center. One then crosses US 52, the highway from Mount Airy in the north to Salisbury in the south. Also east of Winston-Salem, 2×2 lanes are available and past Kernersville, US 421 merges into Interstate 40, where both roads converge toGreensboro walk. There are then 2×4 lanes available. On the west side of Greensboro, it crosses Interstate 840 and turns south on I-40. US 421 then merges with the Business Route of I-40 and has 2×3 lanes. Both highways then pass south of downtown and intersect US 220 and Business Route Interstate 85. US 421 then exits and Business Route Interstate 40 continues straight ahead to continue east as I-40 toward Durham and Raleigh. US 421 then turns south and intersects Interstate 85, the highway ofCharlotte towards Richmond. They then leave the Greensboro metropolitan area.
Eastern North Carolina
US 421 near Sanford.
After Greensboro, US 421 is a 2×2 lane highway and there are several highways, such as the Siler City bypass where it intersects US 64. Not far after that, at Sanford, one crosses US 1, a highway from Rockingham to Raleigh. After that, US 421 becomes a regular highway with one lane in each direction. At Lillington one crosses US 401, the road from Fayetteville to Raleigh and at Dunn one crosses Interstate 95, the highway from Fayetteville to Richmond and Washington. US 421 then curves further south and parallels I-40 to the coastal city of Wilmington. The US 421 forms a short highway around Clinton. In Wilmington one crosses the Interstate 140, the bypass of the city. US 421 then runs through town and ends at Fort Fisher on the Atlantic Ocean.
US 421 was added to the network in 1930, at the time forming an east-west route between Boone and Greensboro, all of North Carolina. Shortly thereafter, in 1932, the route was significantly extended west to Cumberland Gap, a mountain pass at the tristate point between Virginia, West Virginia, and Tennessee, and east to Wilmington on the Atlantic Ocean. This roughly established the current route, although the exact terminus near Wilmington has since been changed several times, in 1935 to Fort Fisher and in 1951 to Federal Point. Both points are on a peninsula south of Wilmington.
The first upgrades to US 421 were already carried out in the 1950s. A grade-separated diversion of the town of Clinton was realized, as well as a short section as a 2×2 divided highway between Erwin and Dunn, near I-95. West of Wilkesboro, US 421 originally ran through Millers Creek, a more southerly route was constructed around 1957-1958. Since the 1990s, US 421 in the wider area of Greensboro no longer runs on local roads, but via I-40 and since 2008 also via I-73.
In the 1980s, US 421 between Montague and Wilmington was widened to a 2×2 divided highway. This is an approach road to the city, but was of relatively short duration for through traffic because I-40 was built parallel to US 421 as Wilmington’s primary approach route.
The section from Boone to Wilkesboro was widened to 2×2 lanes in the early 2000s, although some ramps already had 2×2 lanes over short stretches. However, this is not a freeway like US 421 east of Wilkesboro.
Circa 2005, the first phase of the Sanford Bypass, the section from US 1 south of Sanford, opened a 12-mile freeway. Circa February 14, 2015, the second phase of the bypass opened from the old route to US 1 for 6 kilometers.
The I-40 Business between 1992 and 2020.
US 421 through Winston-Salem was known as the Interstate 40 Business between 1992 and 2020.
The Winston-Salem 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 was then renumbered as a Business Route of I-40. In 2016, the road was renamed as the Salem Parkway.
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 2, 2020, the Winston-Salem Motorway reopened, 6 months ahead of schedule. This also means that the I-40 Business has been cancelled, the highway through Winston-Salem has since been numbered only as US 421. The reconstruction of US 421 in Winston-Salem won first prize in AASHTO ‘s 2021 America’s Transportation Awards.
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.
Wilkesboro – Winston-Salem Freeway
The freeway west of Winston-Salem was built quite early, starting construction in the early 1960s as a branch from I-40, and in 1963 the first 11 miles between the Yadkin River and Winston-Salem opened. In 1984 the Wilkesboro bypass opened. In the 1980s, a 12-kilometer stretch between Yadkinville and the Yadkin River was also upgraded to a freeway.
The cloverleaf with I-77 is older than the connecting freeway segments of US 421 and was built in or before the early 1980s. In the early 2000s, US 421 between Wilkesboro and Yadkinville was upgraded to freeway. A section east of Wilkesboro already had 2×2 lanes but was still at ground level, this was converted to a freeway, around 2000-2003.
Greensboro – Siler City Freeway
In the 1970s, the road between Greensboro and Staley was rerouted over a new 2×2 lane route. According to road maps from that time, US 421 was not yet a freeway at the time. At the end of the 1980s, the Siler City bypass was opened, it was presumably built directly as a freeway. The section between Staley and Siler City was widened to 2×2 lanes in the late 1990s. Around 2012, a grade-separated connection south of I-40 was constructed, which allowed a number of local intersections to be closed. There are still a number of intersections near Liberty.
It is planned to upgrade US 421 between Greensboro and I-95 at Dunn as Interstate Highway, the number Interstate 685 has been assigned for this purpose. The section from Greensboro to Sanford has already been developed as a motorway, but the section from Sanford to Dunn is still partly single-lane and the double-lane parts are still at ground level.
The interchange between US 421 and US 52 in Winston-Salem.
The intensities on the former I-40 Business in Winston-Salem, with the old exit numbering.
|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|
|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|
|17 Macy Grove Road||49,000|