Image of NC Interstate 73 shield (courtesy of Shield's Up!) Segment 6

Section of NCDOT 2017-2018 State Transportation Map showing I-73 Segment 6 along US 220 between Greensboro and Randleman

Where: US 220 from I-85/US 421 Greensboro Loop, Guilford County to intersection of I-74 Freeway near Randleman, Randolph County

Length: 15 Miles

Signed As: Thumbnail of I-73 NC shield, from Shields Up! Image of US 220 shield, courtesy of Shields Up!

Complete: Interstate 73 Signs Put Up in December 2013

Segment Info

I-73 uses the US 220 freeway south from the Greensboro Urban Loop and proceeds toward Asheboro where 5 miles before the city line it meets the new I-74 freeway from High Point near Randleman (see I-73 Segment 7) completed in June 2013. When the new US 220, I-73/74 freeway south of Asheboro (Segment 9) was completed and signed in 1997, this segment of highway received Future I-73 signage with shields first appearing as far north as the US 220 freeway's start at I-40 exit 218 in Greensboro (since, officially now, I-73 joins the southwestern part of the Loop around Greensboro, these future I-73 shields north of I-85 to I-40 have been taken down). The highway itself, especially the width of its left and right shoulders, was not far from interstate standards, in fact, in design it was similar to the existing US 220 freeway from Steed to Candor which got Interstate 73 and 74 signs in 1997. Prior to the 2012-2018 STIP the upgrade of this section of highway was listed as Project No. I-4921 and unfunded.*1 Since the upgrading is now not scheduled to take place until after 2023, well after the project to upgrade US 220 through Asheboro was completed in November 2012 (see I-73 Segment 8/I-74 Segment 9), the project was not listed in the 2012 STIP document.2 NCDOT officials, however, previously in 1997 obtained a waiver from the FHWA to allow this segment to be signed as Interstate 73 once construction to improve the segment through Asheboro is completed (*). This segment (see I-73 Segment 9 ) was completed in early November 2012.3 A contract to upgrade the highway to interstate standard signing was let in December 2012, started in March 2013 and was completed, two months late in December 2013.4

NCDOT had advertised the coming of I-73 for a long time. In the early 2000's NCDOT put up Future Interstate 73 sign assemblies at US 220 on-ramps in Randolph county (see below), but none farther north in Guilford County toward Greensboro. During the Summer of 2002 there was a construction project rehabilitating the roadway and shoulders of US 220 in Guilford County, unknown whether this was related to I-73, but the right shoulders were widened nearly to Interstate standards and new guardrails were installed.

"Drive" this Segment with these Videos from RoadwayWiz, made in the Summer of 2021 (New)

                                            I-73 North Exits 86 to 95                            I-73 South Exits 95 to 86

                                            I-73 North Exits 80 to 86                            I-73 South Exits 86 to 80

"Drive" this Segment using Google Maps Street View (Updated)

I-73 South at US 220: Starting at Exit 95 off-ramp (November 2021)

I-73 South from NC 62 East: Starting at On-Ramp (August 2021)

I-73 South from Former US 311: Starting at Former (still signed) Beginning of US 311 North (August 2021)

I-73 North from I-74 Split: Starting at I-74 West Off-Ramp (September 2021)

I-73 North from Start of Business 220 South: Prior to On-Ramp (August 2021)

Segment 6 Photos

Photos from October and November 2017 showing the revised signage reflecting the completion of I-73 segments north of Greensboro, courtesy of Strider:

Image taken of revised overhead signage for I-73 Exit from US 220 North at I-85 Greensboro Loop Revised signage for I-73 at Old Randleman Road exit. I-73 now goes to Martinsville, and the reference to To I-40 is now in just the East direction.

Image of new overhead signage for I-73 North prior to I-85 Greensboro LoopNew North I-73 signage at the ramp to I-85 North eliminates all references to West I-40, but still exits itself.

Image of revised overhead signage at interchange between I-73 North and I-85 South Greensboro LoopSignage at the exit ramp itself also includes a new reference to Martinsville and no more I-40 West mention.

Image of new I-73 North overhead sign on I-85 South at I-73/US 220 exitOverhead signs on I-85 South starting at the I-73/US 220 South exit have also been changed to reference Martinsville and eliminate the To I-40 West text.

Image of new arrow-per-lane sign for I-73/US 321 North exit from I-85 South Greensboro LoopOverhead signs between I-73 South and the I-73 North exit have been replaced with new Arrow-Per-Lane signs with the Martinsville destination and lack of a To I-40 West reference.

Here are photos of new signage on Business 85 taken by Strider in November 2017:

Image of new overhead signage at US 220 exit on Business 85 North in Greensboro for I-73 South, by StriderNew overhead sign on Business 85 North for US 220 exit that now includes a To I-73 South shield.

Image of auxiliary sign on Business 85 North in Greensboro prior to US 220 exit indicating take US 220 South for I-73 South, by StriderIn addition to the overhead signs there is this auxiliary sign before the US 220 exit as well.

Image of new overhead sign for I-73/US 421 North exit on Business 85 South in Greensboro, by StriderNow on Business 85 South, a revised sign adding Martinsville to the I-73/US 421 North exit destinations. This sign keeping the To I-40 West notation.

Here are photos taken starting in March 2013 showing the first appearance of new I-73 related signage, compare with that above.

Photo of new I-73 signage for now Exit 95 for the Greensboro Loop put up  
in March 2013, Courtesy of StriderAn Exit 95 tab now sits atop a new sign approaching the Greensboro Loop interchange on now I-73 North (this is the third version of this sign going to the opening of the Loop, for earlier versions see the photos below), the change was made the last week of March. Photo courtesy of AARoads Forum contributor Strider (4/1/13).

Photo of new I-73 signage for now Exit 95A for I-85 North/US 421 South 
in March 2013, Courtesy of StriderAn Exit 95A tab now sits atop a new sign for the I-85 North/US 421 South portion of the Greensboro Loop, the new sign adds Raleigh as a control city, or is it for the new city of Durham/Raleigh?. The sign was put up the last week of March. Photo courtesy of AARoads Forum contributor Strider (3/28/13).

Photo of new I-73 shield added to pull through signage overhead for now Exit 
96 for Old Randleman Rd in April 2013, Courtesy of J. Austin Carter Next to a new Exit 94 tab now atop a sign for the Old Randleman Road exit, a new I-73 shield has been added to the previous blank space next to South US 220 on the left-hand sign. These changes happened in early April. Notice that the exit gore sign in the background still has the old exit number. Photo courtesy of J. Austin Carter (4/2/13).

Photo of newly installed 
I-73 and US 220 North signage at on-ramp from NC 62 in Guilford County. Photo courtesy of StriderThis is apparently the first I-73 on-ramp signage to go up along the Guilford County portion of US 220 in Sept. 2013 at the NC 62 interchange. Photo courtesy of Strider. (9/29/13)

Photo of New I-73 shield 
put up along US 220 in Guilford County North of Old Randleman Rd Exit, Photo from StriderThis is one of the new I-73 shields placed southbound just south of I-85 in early December 2013. Photo Courtesy of Strider. (12/5/13)

Photo of New I-73 shield
put up along US 220 North in Guilford County North of Old Randleman Rd Exit, Photo from StriderThis is another new shield put up in early December 2013 placed northbound after the Randleman Rd Exit. Photo Courtesy of Strider. (12/5/13)

Photo of New I-73 and US 
220 shields at South on-ramp from Old Randleman Rd, Photo by StriderHere are some new on-ramps signage also at the Randleman Rd exit, this is for the southbound on-ramp. Photo Courtesy of Strider. (12/5/13)

Photo of New I-73 and US 
220 shields at North on-ramp from Old-Randleman Rd, Photo by StriderHere are the new signs at the Northbound On-Ramp. Photo Courtesy of Strider. (12/5/13)

Photo of new overhead signage for completed I-74 interchange on 
I-73 South near RandlemanPhoto from June 2013 showing newly uncovered signage for I-74 West interchange with I-73/US 220 South, Exit 80, courtesy of Adam Prince. (6/30/13)

"Classic" Photos taken 2002-2012 (hover over image for larger version)

US 220/Future I-73 Signs at the onramp to USS 220 North, Randleman.New overhead signage installed in July 2012 as part of the contract building the I-74 freeway. The new lane on the right is a continuation of the off-ramp to US 220 North from I-74 East. Notice no exit tab on the sign, matching the pattern of numberless exits along this segment of I-73. The exit tabs were added in 2013 as part of a contract updating all the signing along US 220 from Greensboro to Ellerbe. Signing plans confirmed the US 311 shield was correct and indicated US 311 would leave the I-74 freeway 2 miles prior to its junction with US 220 (I-73). The US 311 shield will probably disappear some time in 2020 due to the route's decommissioning south of Winston-Salem. (7/28/12)

New Exit sign for US 311 along US 220 in Randleman, NC, July 2012The new exit signage at the US 311 on-ramp from US 220 North in July 2012. No exit tab on this sign, this later became Exit 81 when the route was signed as I-73 in 2013. The End Future I-74 sign, (photo in the page for the next segment) still existed north of the ramp before the bridge in the distance at the end of July 2012. (7/28/12)

New overhead sign for US 311 Exit Along South US 220 in Randleman, NC, July 2012Approaching the new signs at the US 311 exit on US 220 South in July 2012. The covered signage is for the future I-74 West exit a mile south of this location. Again the appearance of the US 311 shield indicated this part of its current route would stay the same after the I-74 freeway was opened in early 2013. (7/15/12)

View of US 220 (Future I-73) Highway North in Randleman, NCA typical view of how the highway looks, for both Segments 6 and 7. Notice the left and right shoulders, along with the median approach or are up to interstate standards. The main deficient areas involve the short on- and off-ramps. Randleman became Exit 82 in 2013. (6/26/09)

View of onramps to US 220 North (Future I-73) at NC
62 Interchange south of Greensboro, NC

This was the typical on- and off-ramps along this segment prior to 2013, this taken at the NC 62 exit. You could tell this interchange was in Guilford County because it did not include any references to Future I-73 along with US 220. Compare with photo above. (6/26/09)

Photo of Typical Future I-73/US 220 Sign Assembly along 
US 220 Freeway, Guilford County, June 2009

The standard shield assembly along this segment prior to 2013. Despite no signs at the on-ramps, Future I-73 shields appeared on the roadway in 1997, typically dwarfing the US 220 signs. They were replaced in 2013 with a new I-73/US 220 North sign assemblies. (6/26/09)

Photo of overhead signs on US 220 (Future I-73) North
near Greensboro, August 2008

The first Exit 78A overhead sign on US 220 North, seen approaching the Greensboro Outer Loop, this sign was changed in late June 2009 due to the realignment of I-40 through Greensboro.(7/26/09) This became Exit 95A in 2013.

Photo of I-85/I-40/I-73 Overhead sign along US 220 (Future I-73) south 
of Greensboro, NC, March 2008This is how the sign approaching the Greensboro Outer Loop originally appeared earlier in 2008 when I-40 was routed on it. (3/16/08). 

Photo of I-73/I-85 Interchange Signs along US 220 North
in Greensboro, March 2008Here I-73 exits off of itself since the route was using US 220 exit numbers (and is still signed this way after 2013 as I-73 Exit 95B). I-73 currently does not join the Greensboro Loop until after I-85 leaves, it shares a C/D ramp with vehicles wanting to use I-85 Exit 121A at Groometown Road. (7/26/09)

Photo of I-73/I-85 Interchange Signs in Greensboro, March
2008This is what the exit signs looked like originally before they were changed in early July 2009. (3/16/08)  The I-85 shield on the sign in the left was replaced by a green Business 85 shield in 2013, and will soon just have a US 29 shield, since Business 85 has been decommissioned and US 70 rerouted around Greensboro in 2019.

Earliest Photos, from October 2002:

Photo of US 220 and Future I-73 signs at I-73 North onramp near Randleman in 
October 2002US 220/Future I-73 Signs at the on-ramp to US 220 North, Randleman.

Photo of Future I-73 sign at the US 220 north onramp near Randleman in 
October 2002North US 220/Future I-73 signs at the US 311 exit.

2013 Exit Sign and Number Changes

In May 2010, NCDOT released plans for its next I-73 construction project, upgrading US 220 through Asheboro to Interstate Standards (see I-73 Segment 8). As part of the plan, NCDOT would renumber (or give numbers to) the exits in that section from those based on US 220 mile posts, previously put up south of Asheboro, to I-73 miles used on the Greensboro Urban Loop.  NCDOT's plan was to change numbers both south and north of Asheboro as part of a contract (Number I-5329) to upgrade exit signing to interstate standards starting in March 2013. The project cost cost $654,0005 and included replacing the Future I-73 shields with official Interstate 73 shields. Based on plans for the contract from the NCDOT website6, here's was a list of the new exit numbers, going North to South, in bold. All these numbers were up by July 2013:

Exit 95A North I-85, South US 421 to East I-40, Durham/Raleigh (Old Exit 78A)(NB)
Exit 95B North I-73 US 421 To I-40 Winston-Salem (I-73 exits off of itself, original plans stated US 220 would be a 'straight exit 95B' (Old Exit 78B)(NB)
Exit 95 I-73 South US 220 South Asheboro Rockingham (again this was to be a 'straight exit', but I-73 exits itself. (SB)
Exit 94 Old Randleman Road (Old Exit 77)
Exit 89 NC 62, Climax, High Point (Had no number)
Exit 86 Business 220 Level Cross (Had no number)
Exit 82 Randleman (Had no number)
Exit 81 US 311 Randleman (Had no number)
For a list of all exits on I-73, Go to The I-73 Exit List.

* Technically, a route designated a future interstate, but without specific funding for upgrading the highway to Interstate Standards, could not be be marked with future interstate shields, as I-73 was. The Future I-73 signing though was part of the deal to get I-73/74 signed south of Asheboro. The FHWA added the US 220 freeway south to Emery into the Interstate system in 1997 so that the new segment of I-73/74 could connect to another interstate highway. They disallowed US 220 north of the new section to be signed as a full interstate though until design deficiencies in the section through Asheboro were corrected, hence the Future I-73 (and I-74) shields in place until 2013. NCDOT sent a letter to the FHWA in July 2011 reminding them of the agreement and their plan to sign I-73 along US 220 south of Greensboro to the I-74 interchange (to open in the Spring of 2013) when the project through Asheboro was completed.7