The renovation of Business 40 as Salem Parkway is in the running for a national transportation award and is the only North Carolina project among 12 finalists, the N.C. Department of Transportation announced.
The American Association of State Highway Transportation Officials, or AASHTO, has posted the Salem Parkway renovation on a website that allows people to vote on their favorite project.
And since people can vote more than once, state transportation officials are encouraging residents to vote daily from multiple devices.
Winston-Salem Mayor Allen Joines said he's heard lots of compliments on the project from folks who have traveled through since the highway reopened on Feb. 2, 2020, after a closure of less than 15 months.
"I think the project exceeding almost everyone's expectations in terms of the final product," Joines said. "The thing that amazed me was the cooperation between the city DOT, the state DOT and the Creative Corridors group."
The Creative Corridors Coalition is a citizens' group that steered plans to add special features to the renovated highway and its approaches.
The group raised money to allow for designs that go above and beyond what the state would pay for on its own. The results included the pedestrian bridges at Green Street and the Strollway, and the arches that rise over the intersection of U.S. 52 and Research Parkway.
State highway officials said that the winner of the competition could get the national grand prize or a "people's choice" award, each valued at $10,000 and which can be paid to a charity or a transportation-related scholarship.
If it wins, the Salem Parkway project will be collecting its second award: Last spring, the American Council of Engineering Companies gave Salem Parkway one of 16 grand awards in a competition among 173 nominees.
This section of highway first opened in 1958 and was designated the first section of Interstate 40 in North Carolina. Decades later, the N.C. Department of Transportation prioritized improvements along the 1.2-mile stretch of the route to redefine the gateway into downtown Winston-Salem.
The upgrade featured a series of safety improvements, bridge replacements, reconstructed shoulders and ramps, and a reduced number of interchanges.
The 1.2-mile improvement project will eventually include a multi-use path running alongside for pedestrian and bicycle use.
To learn more about the project and to vote, go to https://bit.ly/3kImarg and click on Vote for this Project.