What was a short intrastate route traveling between U.S. 220 near Randleman to North Carolina 14 at Eden, U.S. 311 tallied just 78 miles. That was until the July 2012 approval to extend U.S. 311 northeast from Eden to just outside Danville, Virginia.

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 doubles 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 to extend the freeway southward to Business Loop Interstate 85 and U.S. 29-70. Constructed at a cost of $351.7 million, that portion 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. New I-74 and U.S. 311 winds 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 and was completed at a cost of $104 million.6

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

U.S. 311 North Carolina Highway Guides


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 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 junction 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.
Interstate 40 west & U.S. 311 north
U.S. 311 northbound joins Interstate 40 westbound from Future Interstate 74 for a brief overlap through to downtown Winston-Salem. Photo taken 07/09/10.
North Carolina 109 concludes its 107 mile path at the Exit 195 split-diamond interchange with Interstate 40 & U.S. 311 in one half mile. Photo taken 07/09/10.
Thomasville Road carries N.C. 109 southeast from Easton View to the Davidson County line en route to Wallburg and Thomasville. Thomasville Road north continues to Sunnyside as a former alignment of both State Highway 109 and U.S. 311. Clemmonsville Road angles southwest from Waughtown Street (another old alignment of U.S. 311) to Old Lexington Road through the west side of Exit 195. Photo taken 07/09/10.
Interstate 40 & U.S. 311 continue west one half mile to their split at U.S. 52 & North Carolina 8 (Exits 193B/A). U.S. 52 constitutes a full freeway from Lexington north to King and Mount Airy. N.C. 8 shares pavement with the US route from north of Lexington to Germantown Road in north Winston-Salem. Photo taken 07/09/10.
Lowering under Old Lexington Road and the Winston-Salem Southbound Railroad on the approach to the Exit 193 full-cloverleaf interchange with U.S. 52 & North Carolina 8 on Interstate 40 west & U.S. 311 north. U.S. 52 south to Interstate 85 at Lexington doubles as the Future Interstate 285 corridor. The freeway continuing northwest to Mt. Airy is a part of Future Interstate 74. Photo taken 07/09/10.
A U.S. 311 shield was added ahead of Exit 193B after the route was relocated from the Winston-Salem street grid to share pavement with U.S. 52 & N.C. 8 north to Exit 110C (Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive east to New Walker Town Road). Photo taken 07/09/10.
Exit 193B departs Interstate 40 west for U.S. 52-311 & North Carolina 8 north outside downtown Winston-Salem. Photo taken 04/15/11.
U.S. 311 south
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.
U.S. 311 scenes
Kivett Drive west at the southbound on-ramp to U.S. 311 and Interstate 74 east at High Point. Photo taken 07/09/10.

Sources:

  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, December 16, 1992.
  3. "NEW U.S. 311 BYPASS UNVEILED." Greensboro News & Record, 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, February 29, 2004.
  5. "THE REAL DEAL ON THE NEW BYPASS." Greensboro News & Record, November 20, 2004.
  6. "I-74/U.S. 311 bypass opens." WMBF News, November 22, 2010.


Photo Credits:

  • 12/08/99 by AARoads.
  • 07/24/04 by AARoads.
  • 12/21/08 by AARoads.
  • 07/09/10 by AARoads.
  • 04/15/11 by Brent White.

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

Page Updated 07-22-2013.