Where: NC 68-US 220 Connector from US 220 near Haw River in Summerfield, Southwest to NC 68 North of Greensboro then South to "I-73 Connector"
Length: 8.0 Miles
Needed: Construct New Freeway, Upgrade NC 68
Completion Date: April 2017
On April 8, 2014, NCDOT announced it had awarded the design-build contract to build I-73 from Bryan Blvd. at the PTI Airport northward to US 220 near Haw River (Segment 2, above) to the joint venture of Flatiron Constructors and Blythe Development Co.1 This contract (C203433) combines the original US 220-NC 68 Connector contract, TIP Project R-2413, Parts A and B, with the new I-73 Connector contract, TIP Project I-5110. The US 220-NC 68 Connector project will build a four-lane freeway with a 70 MPH design speed between US 220 from just south of its crossing of the Haw River in Summerfield to just north of where the current NC 68 freeway begins north of Greensboro. The I-73 Connector will take I-73 from NC 68 to the already upgrade Bryan Blvd. at the PTI Airport interchange (See I-73 Segment 4) (I-73 will be built on both sides of existing NC 68 between the two projects). Construction of the US 220-NC 68 Connector, originally set to start in 2002, had been delayed several times due to legal challenges from the city and residents of Summerfield that were first heard in 1999 and then by NCDOT's recent financial difficulties. The lawsuits aimed at getting NCDOT to perform more environmental studies and change some of the routing of the highway. The original construction plan required 75 residences and businesses to be relocated.2 By early 2002, the city had conceded that I-73 was going to be built and hired a consultant to draft a development plan for where the Interstate will have an interchange with NC 150.3
The I-73 Connector project was only initiated after the route for I-73 through the Greensboro area was settled. It was decided that I-73 between the PTI Airport interchange and NC 68 should be built on a new location north of the existing Bryan Blvd. The contract would include building a new taxiway bridge for the airport over the new freeway. The combined contract started in May 2014 with the winning bid indicated to be $176.6 million.4 Both connectors will be built to Interstate standards, with interchanges with NC 68 and for NC 150 in Summerfield. The eastern end at US 220 will feature a flyover ramp for I-73 North's connection with 220. I-73 South will also use a flyover ramp to go over and parallel NC 68 South for about 1/2 mile.5 After this 1/2 mile, I-73 will then be routed east to meet Bryan Blvd. on a new route currently called the 'I-73 Connector' (see Segment 4).6 The contractor started hauling construction materials to the project corridor in August 2014.7 As of February 7, 2017 the project was 94.2% complete.8 Being slightly ahead of the planned construction schedule, NCDOT announced in early 2016 that they planned to open the route, even if the landscaping around it is not entirely completed, by December 2016.9 However, in December 2016, a news report stated that NCDOT was not planning to open the entire segment from the PTI Airport to US 220 until the 'I-73 Connector' segment (see I-73 Segment 4) was completed, which they said would be in May 2017.
For a link to images of the plans for this segment go the Sure, Why Not Blog article on the NC 68-US 220 Connector
Contractor plans for exit signage from site contributor, Strider, going north to south:
2-Mile advance sign for NC 150 exit, the only exit along the 'NC 68-US 220 Connector" portion of I-73.
Other signs featured in this segment are destination mileage signs, and, of course, I-73 shield mile markers, these will be placed on I-73 South prior to the NC 150 exit.
Plan for NC 150 exit sign in Summerfield, Exit 116.
Plans for Destination Mileage sign to be placed on I-73 South at approximately Mile Post 215.
Destination mileage sign to be placed on I-73 North at Mile Post 112, 6 miles before NC 150 exit.
Plans for NC 68 exit signs to be placed on I-73 Southbound at end of NC 68-US 220 Connector part of project.
For official NCDOT construction photos, check out NCDOT's Future I-73 Flickr Page
View looking south from Bunch Road bridge showing progress in landscaping area and installation of sign for NC 68 North exit.
Closer look at new exit sign installed for NC 68 exit south of Bunch Road.
Looking north from Bunch Road Bridge showing final pavement in place and the addition of a NC 150 2 miles exit sign in addition to a VMS display.
Looking south from Brookbank Road bridge showing progress in landscaping, guardrail installation and the back of a new NC 150 exit sign.
Closer view from same spot by Brookbank Rd showing completed bridges in distance over Reedy Fork Creek.
Looking north from Brookbank Road showing progress in completing landscaping and installing signing and median guide rails.
Closer view north of Brookbank Road showing work on installation of guardrails.
Looking south on I-73 from future NC 150 interchange showing progress in installing signs and landscaping area.
Looking north from Deboe Road bridge showing work to complete I-73 freeway to US 220 continuing.
Extreme zoom shot from Deboe Road of future US 220 South interchange with I-73, including a placed exit sign.
View of newly installed destination distance sign along Future I-73 North lanes, included is mileage to Martinsville.
Newer photo taken on February 19, looking north from Bunch Road bridge showing final paving efforts now underway.
Another new photo, looking south from Bunch Road showing paving work being completed, once work here is done the future I-73 lanes will be paved from NC 68 north to US 158.
Taken the first week of February, view looking south from US 220 South bridge at future I-73 interchange showing progress in completing work on this section of the roadway, sign supports can be seen if you look hard beyond the distant northbound roadway.
Looking back north toward US 220 from the Deboe Road bridge shows progress in final paving of the I-73 lanes and supports placed for future southbound signage.
View looking south from Deboe Road bridge showing work being made on landscaping around future I-73 lanes.
Now looking north from the future NC 150 interchange back toward Deboe Road showing progress in paving the roadway and finishing needed landscaping.
Now looking south from the new NC 150 bridge showing progress in paving and landscaping the roadway toward Brookbank Rd. Future exit ramps to and from NC 150 can be seen in distance.
Looking north from Brookbank Road bridge showing final paving having started and some landscaping work done.
Looking south now from the Brookbank Road bridge showing further progress in paving and the installation of sign supports for a NC 150 exit sign northbound.
Now looking now north from Bunch Road bridge showing progress in completing paving in this area as well as the beginning of work installing drainage culverts. The support structure for a future Variable Message Sign can be seen in the distance.
View looking south from Bunch Road toward Alcorn Road finally showing work starting on paving this previously unpaved section of the I-73 roadway.
View from US 220 South bridge of I-73 lanes receiving final paving just south of future interchange.
View from Deboe Road looking north back to US 220 showing the Future I-73 lanes being new paved.
View looking south from Deboe Road toward NC 150 showing progress in installing drainage basins and painting the future I-73 lanes.
Looking south along the future ramp from NC 150 to I-73 South showing that the future I-73 roadway has been graded and is awaiting paving.
View looking east from the future I-73 South on-ramp from NC 150 showing the installation of traffic lights, covered, for the future interchange.
Looking northward from the new Brookbank Rd. bridge back toward NC 150, showing progress in paving making its way south, while grading appears to be complete by the opened bridge.
Looking now south from Brookbank Road toward Reedy Fork Creek bridges showing that grading appears to be nearly completed.
Looking south from Bunch Road toward Alcorn Road showing final stages of initial clearing of site completed in early November, grading work has since been completed.
Now looking northward from the Bunch Road bridge, work proceeding in grading the Future I-73 roadway in early November, grading work has since been completed here as well.
Looking south at the Alcorn Road overpass showing completion of paving operations and the start of guardrail installation.
Looking northward from Alcorn Road back toward Bunch Road, it appears both guardrails and median guide rails have been installed and work to install southbound signage has begun.
View from NC 150 west approaching the I-73 interchange showing traffic is being routed onto the new alignment crossing the bridge. Meanwhile, the old alignment is being being demolished for the future I-73 lanes.
The view from a side road along NC 150 East, showing the Future I-73 interchange from the other direction, with traffic using the new bridge.
View from NC 150 East, approaching the completed bridge over I-73. They are paving the exit ramps and some areas on I-73 near the bridge (not pictured).
Looking across to the other side of the newly opened bridge over the future I-73 roadway on NC 150 in Summerfield.
View looking south from the new alignment of Brookbank Rd near the bridge, showing the old alignment being taken out for the I-73 lanes. In the distance are the nearly completed Reddy Fork Creek bridges.
Looking north on the new Brookbank Rd. bridge, showing progress in paving the I-73 lanes back towards NC 150. (The bridge was opened to traffic shortly after the photo was taken.)
Looking south from the US 220 interchange bridge over the future I-73 roadway, showing the lanes are now being graded and first pavement has been put on.
Looking north of the Deboe Rd. Bridge, both I-73 roadways are now graded. The southbound lanes are being prepared to be paved.
Looking south from Deboe Rd. (facing NC 150 bridge), showing both I-73 roadways being graded and prepared to be paved, with the paving of the southbound lanes starting.
Looking along NC 150 West approaching the future I-73 interchange showing the future NC 150 alignment ready to be paved heading slightly to the right of the current route.
A view of the future I-73 interchange heading east on NC 150. The roadway is getting ready to be paved.
Looking toward NC 150 from the Future I-73 south off-ramp. Traffic lights are being set to control the intersection, allowing for left turns for NC 150 traffic entering I-73.
View of the future NC 150 bridge from the existing roadway. Future I-73 lanes below are still only graded.
View from Brookbank Road looking west facing I-73 bridge. The future roadway that veers straight to the bridge is ready to be paved.
View showing completed Brookbank Road bridge. Further north you can see the I-73 lanes being paved back towards the NC 150 interchange.
Looking from on Brookbank Road bridge facing south showing the Reddy Fork Creek Bridges. The Southbound bridge only need parapets to be put on each side of the bridge, while the northbound bridge is around 3/4 complete.
Looking north from the Deboe Road overpass, showing I-73 lanes being graded. The trucks are carrying dirt to just near the US 220 interchange to fill up a small valley between Deboe Road and the US 220 bridge.
Here's the view south from the Deboe Road bridge showing progress in grading toward the NC 150 interchange.
From Deboe Road looking north toward the US 220 South bridge over the future I-73 lanes in the distance.
View of NC 150 near the future I-73 interchange. The ramps for the interchange are being graded.
View of NC 150 bridge over future I-73, the overpass is halfway done. The ramps on the other side have also been graded (not pictured).
Future I-73 at the Brookbank Road overpass. The overpass is now 1/2 complete. The approaches to the bridge are already graded. You can also see I-73 lanes are being paved in the distance.
I-73 lanes facing south from Brookbank Road. The southbound bridge is nearly complete, but work has yet to start on the overpass for northbound lanes. You you also see the grading for both north and southbound lanes prior to the bridge.
The completed Bunch road overpass and I-73. The approaches to the bridge are already paved. The bridge was opened to traffic the next week.
View from US 220 South overpass, facing I-73 lanes to the south, showing the lanes are being paved, dirt is also being taken to fill a small valley beyond.
A closer view of the image above showing the progress in the preliminary paving of the future I-73 lanes.
Looking south from Bunch Rd. The bridge is behind the photo, but you can see the pavement far away, mostly graded roadway stops short of where photo taken until the bridge is finished.
The Bunch Rd. overpass over I-73, nearly finished except for the bridge parapets. The approach roads to the new overpass are already graded (not paved yet).
Future I-73 Roadbed at Brookbank Rd. facing north. They have not started building the overpass (the approach roads are already graded, as are the I-73 lanes).
Facing south along I-73 Roadbed from Brookbank Rd. The southbound bridge over Reddy Fork River near completion in distance, work at the northbound bridge has not started.
View at Future NC 150 interchange (Exit 116) of work on building the overpass over I-73 looking north. The on and off ramps are already graded (not paved). The completed Deboe Rd. Bridge is seen in the distance.
I-73 Roadbed at Future NC 150 interchange facing south with I-73 roadbed being graded heading towards Brookbank Rd.
View from completed Deboe Rd. bridge, facing south towards NC 150 showing grading progress on I-73 roadbed, NC 150 bridge construction in distance.
View from completed Deboe Rd. Bridge facing north with work started on removing the detour alignment that is no longer needed. The roadbed curves to the left in the distance towards the future US 220 interchange.
Now looking west along completed Alcorn Road bridge and connecting roadway over future I-73.
View of future I-73/NC 150 interchange area looking north showing clearing and early grading in the area.
Another view of the NC 150 interchange area, looking south along the future I-73 roadway.
View along future I-73 roadbed south of Alcorn Rd bridge, headed toward NC 68.
Almost complete Alcorn Road bridge crosses wet and muddy future I-73 roadbed between NC 68 and NC 150.
View of center support of future Bunch Rd bridge over I-73, looking north toward NC 150.
Looking south across Bunch Road showing clearing and grading of future I-73 roadway heading back toward Alcorn Rd.
View from NC 150 at site of future I-73 interchange. Grading is for new section of road needed to take traffic around future bridge construction.
Looking north from NC 150 showing progress in grading I-73 roadbed, the Deboe Street bridge is in the distance.
Looking north from Deboe Road which is halfway between NC 150 and US 220 showing progress in clearing and grading the future I-73 roadbed.
Looking south from Deboe Road at future bridge over I-73 being constructed.
Looking south from Bookbank Rd at future I-73 Roadbed, in distance are twin bridges under construction over the Reddy Fork River.
Looking north from Bookbank Road at future I-73 roadbed, this section has only recently started serious construction.
Looking south from Alcorn Road along I-73 roadbed heading toward NC 68 bridge.
Looking further north along the graded roadbed for Future I-73 from Alcorn Road.
Looking south of Alcorn Road and the clearing for I-73 heading back toward NC 68. Alcorn Road will be go over I-73 here.
View north of Alcorn Road showing clearing of roadbed heading toward NC 150 and several idle construction vehicles.
Looking south of Bunch Road and the progress of clearing the land for the future I-73 freeway near Summerfield.
View south of NC 150 (Oak Ridge Rd) and the extensive clearing be made for future interchange with I-73.
If anyone has any other photos to share of the construction going on for either of these segments,
Feel free to E-mail me.