From the end of the future I-73 and I-74 Rockingham Bypass, the two routes are to travel east along the US 74 Rockingham-Hamlet Bypass freeway south of Rockingham. I-74 is to run the entire length of this freeway which runs a total of 13 miles from north of Cordova to east of Hamlet and was opened in November 2000, costing $110 million.1 I-73 was originally going to leave the highway along a new freeway alignment for US 1 but this was changed after an agreement with SCDOT in February 2005. With the July 19, 2007 announcement of the preferred I-73 corridor from US 74 to I-95 from SCDOT (see I-73 Segment 13), I-73 is now to run approximately 10 miles to just to the east of the current NC 38 interchange. The section of the freeway east of the US 1 exit was originally signed as Future I-74 and US 74 until 2016, including signs at the entrance ramps on intersecting highways (see photos below). This roadway was thus the second section of I-74 to be signed with US 74 after the Laurinburg Bypass (see I-74 Segment 15). When the Bypass was chosen as part of the Future I-73 corridor it was assumed Future I-73 signs would be posted with the existing Future I-74 signs along this stretch of highway. However, in the fall of 2016, NCDOT removed all the existing Future I-74 signs along the Bypass and at the interchange ramps indicating they now don't plan to sign the highway I-73 or I-74 until the segment is connected to the planned I-73/I-74 Bypass (see I-73 Segment 11). The future Bypass is planned to intersect the freeway two miles west of US 1 near the current Zion Church Road interchange, but currently there no Begin or End Future interstate signs marking the exact spot, unlike along US 220. The freeway has exit numbers matching US 74's mileage which run from 311 at the US 1 interchange to 319 at NC 38, which, presumably would change to I-73 mileage when signed as an interstate. For more information go to the I-74 Exit List.
Segment to be Signed as I-74/US 74 after completion of the I-73/I-74 Rockingham Bypass.
On August 20, 2019, NCDOT released the plans for the upcoming October letting of the I-73/I-74 Bypass Project (for details, see I-73 Segment 11). According to the plans, I-74 will be signed along the US 74 Rockingham Bypass when it is connected to I-73/I-74 Bypass, not I-73. Apparently, NCDOT is unwilling to extend I-73 until South Carolina starts building their planned route. As part of the I-73/I-74 Bypass contract, new exit signs and reassurance markers will go up on the US 74 Bypass, the exit numbers will not change, for now, and use the existing US 74 exit numbers, even for the segment of the Bypass east of where I-73 is to leave for South Carolina.
Here's the plans for the new reassurance markers (and future ones when I-73 is signed between the new Bypass and NC 38):2
There will also be some exit sign changes along the segment. The current Cordova exit text will change:
The Future I-73 mileage exit tabs only appear for this and the US 74 West exit signs. The other signs apparently will be the responsibility of the contractor who builds the next segment of I-73.
The destination of the NC 177 exit is to be changed from Hamlet to Cheraw:
Also, US 220 is to be de-emphasized, the existing To US 220 trailblazers prior to and at the US 1 exit ramps will be removed:
US 74/Future I-74 East at US 1: Using On-Ramp from US 1 North (June 2019)
US 74/Future I-74 West at NC 38: Prior to On-Ramp from NC 38 (September 2018)
Signage along US 1 at the Future I-73/I-74 interchange. The signs referring this as a I-73/I-74 Corridor and the Future I-74 trailblazers were removed in 2016.
The East US 74 reassurance marker following the US 1 exit, this was paired with a Future I-74 shield up until 2016.
The West US 74 reassurance marker following the NC 177 exit, also without a corresponding Future I-74 shield since 2016.
Exit sign for Business 74 at western end of the Rockingham Bypass, this exit will be combined with that for I-73 North/I-74 West.
Exit sign for Cordova, this will be renamed Galestown Road/Zion Church Road after the I-73/I-74 Bypass is completed (see sign plans above).
The 1-Mile advance sign for the US 1 exit on US 74 East. This would be Exit 12 when I-73 gets signed on the Bypass. Pine branches are partly covering the text for Southern Pines.
Exit sign for NC 177 on US 74 West, the new sign will have Cheraw, but not Hamlet, see sign plans.
The 1-Mile advance sign for NC 38 on US 74 East. The removed text is for Hamlet, which is the destination on the next exit for NC 381.
View turning onto the ramp to US 74 West from US 1 North. The signs indicate a right for US 74 West and the next left for US 74/Future Interstate 74 East. (November 2002)
A view of exit signage from US 74 West. The Future I-74 (and perhaps Future I-73?) signs end at the US 1 exit westbound and begin there eastbound (Photo courtesy of Chris Lawson, 2006).
Signage at Ramp from NC 38 North to East Future I-74/US 74. I-73 will leave the highway here at a revised or separate interchange to the east. The Future I-74 signs were removed in the fall of 2016 (November 2002).
A closer look a the Junction Future I-74/US 74 signage along NC 38. The Future I-74 shields were taken down on the fall of 2016 (November 2002).
*It was assumed with the new official I-73 routing, Future I-73 shields would be put up along the highway some time in the future, however, in the Fall of 2016 NCDOT removed the existing Future I-74 signs, making it doubtful they will put up any new signs until the segment is an official interstate by being connected to the rest of the I-73 corridor, which won't be until 2023 at the earliest.