U.S. 311 was a 78-mile long intrastate route traveling between U.S. 220 near Randleman and North Carolina Highway 14 at Eden. An extension approved in July 2012 lengthened U.S. 311 northeast from Eden to a point just outside Danville, Virginia. Further changes took place with Interstate 74 established over the U.S. 311 freeway southeast from Winston-Salem to Randleman. U.S. 311 also overlapped with I-40 and U.S. 52 through the city of Winston-Salem.
A North Carolina application to the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) addressed the U.S. 311 redundancy by requesting the elimination of the route in Forsyth, Guilford and Randolph Counties. The 37.03-mile portion eliminated includes all of U.S. 311 south from U.S. 52 north of Downtown Winston-Salem to U.S. 220. This includes redesigning the 7.27-mile independent section of U.S. 311, from I-74 southeast to U.S. 220 in Randolph County, as a state secondary route. The application was approved by AASHTO at the May 21, 2018 meeting. This change leaves 58 miles remaining for U.S. 311 in North Carolina.
U.S. 311 originally continued into Virginia, but that was short lived with a truncation to Madison, North Carolina by 1935. In 2003 NCDOT successfully petitioned AASHTO officials to extend the route east from U.S. 220 at Madison to Eden.1
The route between High Point and Winston-Salem doubled as mainline Interstate 74. A ground breaking ceremony for the first section of the High Point bypass was held on December 18, 1992.2 Construction on the 3.7-mile stretch commenced in late 1993 and ran through September 18, 1997. The $35.7 million-project3 added new freeway from North Main Street to Eastchester Drive by Oak Hollow Lake in north High Point. That section tied into a 12.2-mile stretch of freeway linking High Point and Winston-Salem that opened on March 6, 1984. Right of way acquisition for that portion commenced in 1975.4
Further work on the High Point bypass started in December 19973. Construction extended the freeway southward to Business Loop I-85 and U.S. 29-70. Costing $351.7 million, that section of freeway opened to traffic on November 20, 2004.5 The next portion, fully signed as Interstate 74 from its inception, opened to traffic on November 22, 2010. I-74 and U.S. 311 wind east from Business Loop I-85 to Cedar Square Road, including a directional cloverleaf interchange with Interstate 85. Work on this portion of freeway started in July 2007 at a cost of $104 million.6
The last portion of Interstate 74 under construction extended the U.S. 311 freeway from Glenola southeast to Randleman (Interstates 73 and 74). Originally projected to finish in late 2012, the final portion of I-74 between High Point and Randleman finally opened on June 7, 2013.
||When U.S. 220 was moved onto its freeway alignment west of Randleman (pop. 3,557) and Asheboro, U.S. 311 was truncated from the former alignment to the interchange. This view looks at former U.S. 311 north at the northbound on-ramp to Future Interstate 73 & U.S. 220. Photo taken 12/08/99. |
||U.S. 311 begins within the folded diamond interchange with Future Interstates 73 & 74 and U.S. 220. Photo taken 12/21/08. |
||Future Interstates 73 & 74 follow the U.S. 220 freeway south to Asheboro and Ellerbe presently. Eventually the freeway will hook up with the Rockingham bypass of U.S. 74. Photo taken 12/21/08. |
||Drivers turning southward next reach the North Asheboro area in five miles. Photo taken 12/21/08. |
||Leaving the freeway interchange, U.S. 311 enters a rural drive to Sophia. Photo taken 12/21/08. |
||U.S. 220 & 311 merge between North Carolina 704 / U.S. 220 Business east of Madison north three miles to their split at North Carolina 135 (JJ Webster Highway). North Carolina 135 heads east from Mayodan and U.S. 220 Business to meet the expressway at a diamond interchange. Photo taken 07/24/04. |
||Northbound at the unmarked split with U.S. 311 on U.S. 220. U.S. 311 north & North Carolina 135 continue nine miles together to their merge with North Carolina 770 outside of Eden. Photo taken 07/24/04. |
||Approaching the folded diamond interchange with Future Interstates 73 & 74 and U.S. 220 on U.S. 311 south. Photo taken 12/21/08. |
||Asheboro is a six mile drive southward along the U.S. 220 freeway. North Carolina Zoological Park is further south near Ulah. Photo taken 12/21/08. |
||Future Interstate 74 begins at the U.S. 311 interchange and travels south with Future Interstate 73 to Rockingham. Photo taken 12/21/08. |
||U.S. 311 ends at the U.S. 220 under crossing within the freeway interchange. The US route used to continue a short distance east to U.S. 220 Business. Photo taken 12/21/08. |
||Southbound at the northbound loop ramp to Future Interstate 73 & U.S. 220. The tandem continue 14 miles to Interstate 85 at Greensboro. Photo taken 12/21/08. |
||Kivett Drive west at the entrance ramp to eastbound Interstate 74 and former U.S. 311 at High Point. Photo taken 07/09/10. |Photo Credits:
- North-South routes - US 1 to US 101 - Odd numbered highways,
- "Ground Breaking for Bypass is Friday." Greensboro News & Record (NC), December 16, 1992.
- "New U.S. 311 Bypass Unveiled." Greensboro News & Record (NC), September 19, 1997.
- "The Road Less Wanted - Not Everyone Enjoyed the View When a Key Highway Opened from High Point to Winston-Salem 20 Years Ago." Greensboro News & Record (NC), February 29, 2004.
- "The Real Deal on the New Bypass." Greensboro News & Record (NC), November 20, 2004.
- "I-74/U.S. 311 bypass opens." WMBF News, November 22, 2010.
12/08/99, 07/24/04, 12/21/08, 07/09/10 by AARoads
Page Updated 09-03-2018.