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 U.S. 29. 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 completion, opened to traffic on November 22, 2010. I-74 and U.S. 311 wind east from U.S. 29 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

Main Street (SR 1009) carried U.S. 311 shields through both Archdale and the adjacent city of High Point until November 2010, when I-74 opened to traffic between High Point and Glenola. During that time, U.S. 311 shifted entirely onto the freeway between Winston-Salem and Randleman. U.S. 311 Business along Main Street through High Point was simultaneously decommissioned.

The last portion of Interstate 74 under construction extended the U.S. 311 freeway from Glenola southeast to Randleman (I-73/74). Originally projected to finish in late 2012, the final portion of I-74 between High Point and Randleman finally opened on June 7, 2013.

U.S. 311 North
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 I-73/U.S. 220. 12/08/99
U.S. 311 begins within the folded diamond interchange with Future I-73/74 and U.S. 220. 12/21/08
Future I-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. 12/21/08
Drivers turning southward next reach the North Asheboro area in five miles. 12/21/08
Leaving the freeway interchange, U.S. 311 enters a rural drive to Sophia. 12/21/08
U.S. 220 & 311 merge between NC 704 / U.S. 220 Business east of Madison north three miles to their split at NC 135 (JJ Webster Highway). NC 135 heads east from Mayodan and U.S. 220 Business to meet the expressway at a diamond interchange. 07/24/04
Northbound at the unmarked split with U.S. 311 on U.S. 220. U.S. 311 north & NC 135 continue nine miles together to their merge with NC 770 outside of Eden. 07/24/04
U.S. 311 South
Approaching the folded diamond interchange with Future I-73/74 and U.S. 220 on U.S. 311 south. 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. 12/21/08
Future Interstate 74 begins at the U.S. 311 interchange and travels south with Future Interstate 73 to Rockingham. 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. 12/21/08
Southbound at the northbound loop ramp to Future I-73/U.S. 220. The tandem continue 14 miles to Interstate 85 at Greensboro. 12/21/08
U.S. 311 scenes
Kivett Drive west at the entrance ramp to eastbound Interstate 74 and former U.S. 311 at High Point. 07/09/10

  1. North-South routes - US 1 to US 101 - Odd numbered highways, http://www.us-highways.com/us1.htm#US_311 US-Highways.com.
  2. "Ground Breaking for Bypass is Friday." Greensboro News & Record (NC), December 16, 1992.
  3. "New U.S. 311 Bypass Unveiled." Greensboro News & Record (NC), September 19, 1997.
  4. "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.
  5. "The Real Deal on the New Bypass." Greensboro News & Record (NC), November 20, 2004.
  6. "I-74/U.S. 311 bypass opens." WMBF News, November 22, 2010.

Photo Credits:

12/08/99, 07/24/04, 12/21/08, 07/09/10 by AARoads

Connect with:
Interstate 40
Interstate 73
Interstate 74
Interstate 85
U.S. 220

Page Updated 09-03-2018.

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