WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -- Transportation officials hosted public meetings on Tuesday to answer questions about Business 40 construction.
The Business 40 Improvement Project is set to begin in October, according to Pat Ivey, Division Engineer with the Department of Transportation (DOT).
"There's a lot involved with this project," Ivey explained. "We've been working on it for a decade. We are finally ready for construction and we want people to know what to expect, what's going on."
The first phase of construction is expected to cause traffic and slow downs on Fourth St. and and Peters Creek Parkway. According to the DOT, drivers can expect periodic road closures in the area and some weekend ramp and loop closures
In Summer 2018, construction is scheduled to start on MLK Jr. Boulevard and Academy St.
The next stage is what residents are particularly worried about. In Fall of 2018, a 1.2-mile stretch of Business 40 will completely shut down from Fourth St. to Church St.
The section of Business 40 from Main St. east to U.S. 52 is scheduled to reopen in Fall of 2019, and all of Business 40 is set to open in Summer of 2020.
The shutdown is what worries residents like Mike Mulhern, who attended the public meeting Tuesday afternoon.
Mulhern lives near the interstate and is particularly worried about how traffic will be rerouted.
"All the roads that people use at 5 in the afternoon are already jammed. And if we try to move another 10,000 or 15,000 people through there at rush hour it's really going to be a madhouse," Mulhern said.
DOT has not yet released details on how traffic will be rerouted. Ivey says we can expect to see maps of the planned detours in the next several months as we near the shutdown.
The meetings took place at the Old Salem Visitors Center located at 900 Old Salem Road.