Image of NC Interstate 74 shield (from Shields Up!) Segment 7

Area of I-74 Segment 1 as depicted in NC State 
	Transportation Map, 2013-2014

Where: South of I-85 in Archdale to I-73/US 220, near Randleman, Randolph County

Length: 12.5 Miles

Status: Complete

Completion Dates: 1st part-November 22, 2010, 2nd-June 7, 2013

Highway signed: Image of NC I-74 shield (from Shields Up!  Image of US 311 shield, from Shields Up! (To Exit 84)

Segment Information

I-74 continues from the original US 311 freeway onto more recently completed freeways from south of I-85 (Exit 75) to US 220, Now I-73 near  the town of Randleman. When this specific route was chosen in 1997 it disappointed many citizens and government officials in the area since the route cuts a 1000 foot wide path directly through the city of Sophia before meeting US 220. Despite many objections, NCDOT chose this route, designated Corridor C, rather than the Corridor AA route preferred by the public at June 1997 hearings, because it cost $7 million less, avoided a complicated interchange with US 220 (I-73), and would send the least amount of pollution to the future Randleman Reservoir, preventing potential environmental problems.1,2


The project was listed in the 2009-2015 NCDOT STIP as Number R-2606.3 Right-of-Way acquisition started on the western part of the route in 2003, with a total cost projected at $17.5 million. Construction on the first section, $28.5 million of the total construction cost estimated at $177 million, started on May 29, 2007.4 This section featured many bridges and the building of an interchange at Cedar Square Road (Exit 79) which would be the temporary end of I-74 while the remaining segment was still under construction. When completed in 2008, US 311 was temporarily routed west along Cedar Square Road for 1/2 mile back to its original alignment.

The US 311 route from there westward (northward) was to be redesignated US 311 Business, but in the Spring of 2009 High Point officials asked that NCDOT remove the designation where it existed in High Point, thus only a state secondary route now exists along Main Street north of Glenola (see photo in Section 6).5 After the freeway was opened in November 2010, workers removed all the US 311 signs to the north along its now former route.6

Both parts of this segment had been dubbed the "Missing Link" by the I-74 Piedmont Corridor Group (PCG), an organization of business people, transportation officials, and others lobbying to complete I-74. They created the term in 2003 to call attention to what they saw as NCDOT's too drawn-out segmented plan to complete this portion of the highway, long after many other sections of I-74 were then scheduled to be built. The PGC hoped to put enough pressure on NCDOT to move up its construction timetable for the entire section to match work starting on Segment 6 to the west. Starting both projects at once, supporters said, would be more efficient.7 This effort eventually paid off. While start of construction was delayed from October 2006 to May 2007, work on the first part, 5.3 miles from south of I-85 near Archdale to north of Spencer Road (SR 1929) in Glenola8, began at the same time as work was started on the remaining section of Segment 6.9 Also, whereas earlier plans called for the proposed letting for the next part of the highway, from Spencer Road to US 220 in Sophia, not to occur until after 2012 and be completed in two parts, the final part not to begin a couple years after that,10 the project instead got most of the funds borrowed under the Garvee Bond Program to expedite a design-build contract. The borrowed funds ($112 million) will be paid back out of the highway fund accounts through 2019.3 Work started on this 7.9 mile segment in October 200811 with the Barnhill Contracting Company responsible for the project. Construction was largely completed by the end of 2012, but due to the need for additional paving that has to wait for warmer weather the opening was held up until June 7, 2013.12  NCDOT officials had told the Winston-Salem Journal in April 2013 that they hoped to have the highway by Memorial Day13, they were about two weeks too early. While the route had originally been called the US 311 Bypass, NCDOT decided to keep that route on its original alignment east of where the new and old routes crossed near Sophia. For the last 2 miles the freeway is just signed as I-74, the only place it will be signed alone between Mt. Airy and Rockingham, see photos below.

"Drive" This Segment Using Google Maps Street View

I-74 East/ US 311 South at I-85: From Off-Ramp to I-85 North and South (October 2016)

I-74 West/US 311 North at Cedar Square Road: Using off-Ramp from westbound Cedar Square Road (November 2016)

I-74 East/US 311 South from Cedar Square Road: From On-Ramp to Cedar Square Road (May 2016)

I-74 West/US 311 North from Randleman: Using on-ramp from I-73 North (August 2016)

Photos along the completed portion of I-74 in 2012 (Hover over for larger image)

Photo of I-74/US 311 interchange Advance Exit Sign on I-85 South 1 mile prior 
to the C/D Ramps, Aug. 2012Photo of I-74/US 311 advance exit sign on I-85 South one mile prior to interchange. (8/1/12)


Photo of overhead signage for I-74/US 311 interchange at ramp to C/D lanes on 
I-85 South, Aug. 2012Photo of overhead signs at beginning of C/D ramps for I-74/US 311 on I-85 South. (8/1/12)


Photo of first East I-74/South US 311 reassurance markers following on-ramp 
from Interstate 85 North on Open I-74 Freeway south of High Point in October 2011Here's the first pair of East I-74/South US 311 reassurance markers just beyond the Interstate 85 North on-ramp. (10/13/11)


Photo of mileage sign on new portion of I-74 East freeway beyond I-85 exit 
south of High Point in October 2011Here's one of the mileage signs placed on this stretch of highway, just prior to the Tuttle Road bridge on I-74 East. (10/13/11)


Photo of first exit sign on new portion of I-74 East freeway for the Cedar 
Square Road interchange near Glenola in October 2011Here's the one mile sign on I-74 East for the last exit, for now, Cedar Square Road, note 'All Traffic Exit' tab. (10/13/11)


Photo of End I-74 Sign prior to the temporary end of the Freeway at Cedar 
Square Road near Glenola in June 2012NCDOT has place an 'End I-74' sign just prior to the temporary eastern end of the freeway at Cedar Square Road. (6/10/12)


Photo of view beyond the Cedar Square Rd bridge at the temporary end of I-74
East in Oct. 2011View approaching the traffic barrels funneling vehicles onto the Cedar Square exit ramp, looking beyond toward Spencer Road in Oct. 2011. (10/13/11)


Photo of I-74/US 311 signage at future on-ramp to East I-74 on Cedar Square 
Rd in Oct. 2011West I-74/North US 311 signs under blank poles at the future on-ramp to I-74 East heading east on Cedar Square Road. (10/13/11)


Photo south of the Cedar Square Rd bridge along the now paved future I-74
freeway toward Spencer Road in Oct. 2011View from the Cedar Square Rd bridge of the I-74 roadbed heading east toward Spencer Road. This part of the freeway was paved under the contract for the next section (10/13/11)


Photo of I-74/US 311 signage at on-ramp to West I-74 on Cedar Square Road
in Oct. 2011West I-74/North US 311 signage at the on-ramp, current beginning of I-74 West on Cedar Square Road. (10/13/11)


Photo of I-85 exit signage on I-74 West near Tuttle Road in Oct. 2011I-85 exit signage on I-74 West approaching the curve before the Tuttle Road bridge in October 2011. (10/13/11)


Photo of I-85 exit signage on I-74 West near interchange bridges and ramps, 
Oct. 2011I-85 exit signage on I-74 West approaching the off-ramp to I-85 North. (10/13/11)


Photo of I-85 exit signage on I-74 West near interchange bridges and ramps, 
Oct. 2011I-74/US 311 exit signage on I-85 South C/D ramp in the late afternoon in Oct. 2011. (10/13/11)


Here are some photos taken after the Eastern section was opened in late June 2013 by site contributor, Adam Prince:

Photo of US 311 exit sign on I-74 freeway near Randleman, photo by Adam PrinceHere's a photo of one of the exit signs for US 311 which leaves I-74 and ends along its original alignment at US 220. (6/30/13)


Photo of US 311 exit sign on I-74 in June 2013 by Adam PrinceHere's another photo 2 miles down the road at the exit itself. (6/30/13)


Image of signage for I-73/US 220 freeway on newly opened I-74 
    freeway near Randleman, by Adam PrinceHere's the first sign on I-74 East for the I-73/ US 220 freeway and the joining of I-73 and I-74 heading south toward Asheboro. (6/30/13)
Photo of overhead signage from opened I-74 east freeway near Randleman, by Adam PrinceHere's a photo of the I-73/US 220 interchange signs from the road itself (6/30/13)
Photo of sign warning drivers to slow down on exit ramp from I-74 East to I-73 North near RandlemanThis is the warning sign along the ramp from I-74 East to I-73/US 220 North as they approach the sharp curve ahead. (6/30/13)

Here are some opening preview photos along the path of I-74 taken by AARoads Forum Member MBHockey13 while jogging along the unopened highway on May 30 and 31, 2013.

Photo of finished I-74 freeway near Glenola, May 2013 from MBHockey13View looking east at Mile Marker 82. Three miles east of Cedar Square Road, new pavement has received line markings. (5/30/13)


Photo of finished I-74 freeway near Glenola, May 2013 from MBHockey13View of 2 Mile advance exit sign from US 311 South on I-74 East. It appears NCDOT wants to encourage drivers heading to Randleman to exit here, and not go all the way to US 220 (I-73) (the exit sign westbound does not include the city name). (5/30/13)


Photo of finished I-74 freeway near Glenola, May 2013 from MBHockey13The view on I-74 East at Mile Marker 81 approaching the Banner Whitehead Rd bridge. (5/30/13)


Photo of finished I-74 freeway near Glenola, May 2013 from MBHockey13View of newly place mileage sign on I-74 East beyond the Cedar Square Rd exit, the distance to Asheboro is 16 miles. (5/30/13)


Photo of finished I-74 freeway near Glenola, May 2013 from MBHockey13Another view eastbound with sign confirming the speed limit on this section of I-74/US 311 is 65 MPH. (5/30/13)


Photo of finished I-74 freeway near Glenola, May 2013 from MBHockey13View of the newly placed I-74 and US 311 reassurance markers just beyond the on-ramp from Cedar Square Rd. (5/30/13)


Photo of finished I-74 freeway near Glenola, May 2013 from MBHockey13View westbound of the exit sign for Cedar Square Road. The 'All Traffic Exit' attached to the Cedar Square Rd exit sign on I-74 east had been removed. (5/30/13)


Photo of finished I-74/US 311 interchange near Sophia, May 2013 from 
	  MBHockey13View looking eastbound along current US 311 at the new interchange with I-74. The signs indicating I-74 and US 311 North are still covered over, awaiting opening of the highway. (5/31/13)


Photo of finished I-74/US 311 interchange near Sophia, May 2013 from 
	  MBHockey13View from the end of the eastbound I-74 off-ramp showing the sign directing traffic for US 311 to go left at the intersection. (5/31/13)


Photo of finished I-74 freeway near Sophia, May 2013 from MBHockey13View eastbound at the exit ramp for the US 311 exit. Notice the use of another 'wimpy' exit number on the gore sign. (5/31/13)


Photo of finished I-74 freeway near Sophia, May 2013 from MBHockey13View westbound of the exit sign for the US 311 exit. NCDOT apparently thinks traffic heading to Randleman will stay on I-73 North, so no control city is used. (5/31/13)


Photo of finished I-74 freeway near Sophia, May 2013 from MBHockey13View eastbound of stand alone I-74 East shield. This is the first section of I-74 since Mount Airy that does not carry another route designation. (5/31/13)


Photo of finished I-74 freeway near Sophia, May 2013 from MBHockey13View eastbound of the first exit sign for I-73/US 220. The sign is just after the US 311 exit, with the sign for I-74 East beyond. (5/31/13)


Photo of finished I-74 freeway and US 311 bridge near Sophia, May 2013 
	  from MBHockey13View eastbound looking under the US 311 and adjacent railroad bridge at the US 311 interchange. (5/31/13)


Photo of finished I-74 freeway from US 311 bridge near Sophia, May 2013 from MBHockey13View west from US 311 bridge showing completed I-74 freeway and the interchange on and off-ramps. (5/31/13)


Photo of finished US 311 on-ramp to I-74 freeway near Sophia, May 2013 from MBHockey13View of the exit ramp to eastbound I-74 from US 311, signs are covered over going north on US 311. (5/31/13)


The Entire Set is available on Flickr.

To access the construction of this segment, Go to The Segment 7 Construction Photos Page.

Here's a map from the Greensboro News & Record showing the path of the first completed section of the I-74 High Point East Belt:

Map of planned I-74 from Greensboro News & Record