Interstate 73: Wikis


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Interstate 73 shield
Interstate 73
Main route of the Interstate Highway System
Length: 33.5 mi (54 km)
Formed: 1997
South end: US 220.svgI-73 (Future).svgI-74 (Future).svg US 220/Future 73/Future 74 in Candor, NC
I-74.svg I-74 in Candor, NC
US 64.svgNC 49.svg US 64/NC 49 in Asheboro, NC
I-85.svg I-85 in Greensboro
North end: I-40.svgUS 421.svgI-73 (Future).svgI-840 (Future).svg I-40/US 421/Future 73/Future 840 in Greensboro, NC

Interstate 73 (abbreviated I-73) is a main route of the intrastate Interstate Highway System, currently located entirely within the U.S. state of North Carolina. It is part of a longer planned corridor, defined by various Federal laws to run from Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, to Grayling, Michigan, but only the part south of West Virginia is currently under study. Closely related is the extension of Interstate 74 from Cincinnati, Ohio east to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, with several concurrencies planned.

There are currently two sections signed as I-73:

  • 26 miles (42 km) along the U.S. Route 220 freeway in North Carolina, from south of Candor to south of Ulah (co-designated Interstate 74)[1];
  • 7.5 miles (12 km) along the southwestern portion of the Greensboro Urban Loop along with U.S. Route 421 from the Loop's interchange with U.S. 220 to its interchange with Interstate 40 west of Greensboro, which opened February 21, 2008[2]. This part of the Loop originally was part of I-40, but NCDOT got permission from the FHWA to return I-40 to its original routing through Greensboro in September 2008, signing should be completed by July 2009. [3]

There are also three sections signed as future I-73, with the word FUTURE replacing INTERSTATE in the route shield:


Route description


North Carolina

Based on the preferred I-73 corridor announced by South Carolina in July 2007, I-73 will be routed at the North Carolina border to just to the east of the current NC 38 interchange. There it would connect to the U.S. Route 74 Rockingham Bypass freeway south of Hamlet, a proposed western alternative would have had it meeting US 74 a mile east of the NC 177 interchange.[8] I-73 will join I-74 (the freeway is currently signed as Future Interstate 74), where the two will run south of the Rockingham area, and then turn north on a proposed (U.S. Route 220) western bypass of Rockingham. From south of Ellerbe to south of Candor, I-73/74 will use a new US 220 freeway completed on January 8, 2008 which connects with the existing I-73/74 freeway, the new highway is signed as Future I-73/I-74.

Interstate 73 currently begins south of Candor. The portion from south of Steeds north to south of Ulah was completed in 1996, and was the first road marked as I-73 (and I-74), with signs going up by May 1997.[9] Future signage was also installed north to the Greensboro area, and standard signage was later placed south on the early 1980s freeway to south of Candor. Shields north of near Ulah are marked Future, as the older road does not meet Interstate standards. Planned upgrades of this route are scheduled to be started by 2009, after which the route can be marked as a standard interstate. Future I-74 signage ends at the U.S. Route 311 interchange near Randleman, as it will split onto a new freeway being constructed paralleling US 311 to High Point due to open by 2012, while Future I-73 continues north to Greensboro.

Approaching Greensboro, where the US 220 freeway crosses the southern part of the Greensboro Urban Loop completed in 2004 carrying Interstate 85 and US 421 (formerly I-40), I-73 will exit US 220 and turn west onto the Loop. (The Greensboro Urban Loop is planned full beltway of Greensboro). It actually never joins I-85 but continues along the existing Groometown Road exit ramp paralleling I-85/US 421, joining US 421 to travel the south and west sides of the Loop after I-85 has split off at Exit 121 (the reverse is also true, I-73 South exits the Loop at the US 220 South exit before it joins I-85). From there it heads northwest and north with US 421 to the interchange with the redesignated (to the east) I-40 where Interstate 73 currently ends. Plans formally approved in October 2008 have I-73 proceeding onto the northern half of the beltway (currently signed as Future Interstate 73/Interstate 840), turning west onto Bryan Boulevard, a freeway currently being partially rebuilt around the north side of the Piedmont Triad International Airport, for 1.8 miles (2.9 km). This will lead to a short stint (1.2 miles) continuing west on a new freeway north of existing Bryan Blvd called, at least for now, the 'I-73 Connector'. At its end, I-73 will turn briefly north onto an upgraded NC 68 freeway to the planned NC 68-US 220 Connector, running then northeast to return to US 220 south of Madison. Work is to start on the Connector in 2010, while the upgrade of NC 68 and building the I-73 Connector will take place after 2015. The final section of I-73 in North Carolina will again be a relocation and upgrade of US 220 north to the Virginia border, work again not scheduled to start until after 2015. [10]


In 1991, as Congress worked on reauthorization of the Surface Transportation Act, the Bluefield-to-Huntington Highway Association wanted an interstate highway, which would be called Interstate 73, to run from Detroit to Charleston, South Carolina. In West Virginia, the highway would run alongside U.S. Highway 52, which was only two lanes but was still being used to transport coal from mines to barges on the Ohio River. The influential Robert Byrd, at the time West Virginia's senior senator, chaired the Senate Appropriations Committee, but even Byrd said funding for such a highway would be hard to find. In North Carolina, Marc Bush of the Greensboro Area Chamber of Commerce admitted the plan would benefit his area, but said it was not a priority[11].

The Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991 (ISTEA) defined High Priority Corridor 5, the "I-73/74 north–south Corridor" from Charleston, South Carolina, through Winston-Salem, North Carolina, to Portsmouth, Ohio, to Cincinnati, Ohio, and Detroit, Michigan." This would provide for a single corridor from Charleston, splitting at Portsmouth, with I-74 turning west to its current east end in Cincinnati, and I-73 continuing north to Detroit[12].

In North Carolina, any new construction would require more money than the state had available, but Walter C. Sprouse Jr., executive director of the Randolph County Economic Development Corporation pointed out that most of the route of I-73 included roads already scheduled for improvements which would make them good enough for interstate designation. A connector between Interstate 77 and U.S. 52 at Mt. Airy was planned, and U.S. 52 from Mt. Airy to Winston-Salem and U.S. 311 from Winston-Salem to High Point were four-lane divided highways. A U.S. 311 bypass of High Point was planned, which would eventually connect to U.S. 220 at Randleman. I-73 would follow U.S. 220 to Rockingham. Another possibility was following Interstate 40 from Winston-Salem to Greensboro. In Winston-Salem, congestion on U.S. 52 was expected to be a problem[13]. The route through High Point was approved in May 1993[14].

However, by November of that year, an organization called Job Link, made up of business leaders from northern North Carolina and southern Virginia, wanted a major highway to connect Roanoke with the Greensboro area. It could be I-73, the group said, but did not have to be[15]. In April 1995, John Warner, who chaired the Senate subcommittee which would select the route of I-73, announced his support for the Job Link proposal. This distressed Winston-Salem officials who were counting on I-73, though Greensboro had never publicly sought the road. But an aide to U. S. Sen. Lauch Faircloth said the 1991 law authorizing I-73 required the road to go through Winston-Salem. Faircloth got around this requirement, though, by asking Warner to call the highway to Winston-Salem Interstate 74[16]. In May, Warner announced plans to propose legislation that made the plan for two interstates official[17].

The National Highway System Designation Act of 1995 added a branch from Toledo, Ohio to Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan via the U.S. Route 223 and U.S. Route 127 corridors. (At the time, US 127 north of Lansing was part of US 27.) It also gave details for the alignments in West Virginia, Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina. I-73 and I-74 were to split near Bluefield, West Virginia, joining again between Randleman, North Carolina and Rockingham, North Carolina; both would end at Charleston. The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) approved the sections of I-73 and I-74 south of Interstate 81 in Virginia (with I-74 ending at I-73 near Myrtle Beach) on July 25, 1996, allowing for them to be marked once built to Interstate standards and connected to other Interstate routes. The final major change came with the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century of 1998 (TEA-21), when both routes were truncated to Georgetown, South Carolina.

North Carolina took the lead in signing highways as I-73 following AASHTO's approval in 1997 and since has approved construction projects to build new sections of the Interstate Highway. Currently two new sections of what will be I-73 are being completed, the southwestern part of the Greensboro Urban Loop around Greensboro, North Carolina (referred to above) and the US 220 Bypass of Ellerbe, south of Asheboro, North Carolina. The only other progress in building I-73 can be seen in Virginia and South Carolina. In 2005 Virginia completed an environmental impact statement for its recommended route for I-73 from I-81 in Roanoke to the North Carolina border. The Federal Highway Administration approved the EIS report in April 2007. Virginia can now go ahead and draw up plans to construct the highway and proceed to build it once funds are obtained. South Carolina also has shown recent interest in building its section of I-73 with a corridor selected for the route from I-95 to Myrtle Beach in 2006 and a final decision on how the highway should be routed north of I-95 to the NC border in July 2007. In January 2006 the South Carolina state legislature introduced bills to construct Interstate 73 as a toll highway. It is hoped a guaranteed stream of revenue will allow it to build its section of I-73 within 10 years. The FHWA approved South Carolina's proposal on August 10, 2007. [18]

Ohio and Michigan both abandoned further environmental studies on their portions of I-73. It is important to note that most of the I-73 corridor in both of these states follows existing freeways or highways scheduled to be upgraded to freeways under plans that predate I-73.


South Carolina

On May 30, 2006, SCDOT announced its preferred routing of I-73 between Myrtle Beach and I-95. I-73 will begin where S.C. Highway 22 starts at U.S. Route 17 near Briarcliffe Acres. It will then proceed northwest crossing the proposed routing of Interstate 74 (currently S.C. Highway 31, the Carolina Bays Parkway). After passing Conway I-73 will leave SC 22 at a new interchange to be constructed two miles (3 km) west of U.S. Route 701, and will then use a new highway to be built between SC 22 and SC 917 north of Cool Springs. I-73 will then use an upgraded SC 917 to cross the Little Pee Dee River. It will then proceed on a new freeway alignment between SC 917 and I-95 that would have an interchange with U.S. Route 76 west of Mullins and then would proceed northwest to an exit with U.S. Route 501 near Latta, passing that city to the south before intersecting Interstate 95 near S.C. Highway 38. [19] After crossing Interstate 95, I-73 will use the chosen middle route, one of six potential alternative corridors that were studied all of which roughly paralleling SC 38 to proceed further north to the North Carolina state line. These alternative corridors were formally announced to the public on September 7, 2006 at a meeting in Bennettsville, South Carolina. A final decision was announced on July 19, 2007. [20] The North and South Carolina Departments of Transportation previously agreed to an I-73 corridor crossing the state line along SC/NC 38 near Hamlet, North Carolina on February 11, 2005. Previously I-73 had been planned to cross the state line further west, near U.S. Route 1 south of Rockingham, North Carolina.


In Virginia, I-73 will continue north from the state line parallel to the U.S. 220 corridor all the way to Roanoke. U.S. 220 is currently a rural four-lane highway with many safety issues. As such, Virginia has decided to have I-73 immediately diverge from U.S. 220 upon entering the state from North Carolina and travel around the east side of Martinsville, with U.S. 220 as a freeway around the west side of Martinsville. The two will meet briefly south of Rocky Mount. I-73 will continue its northbound journey paralleling US 220 to the east until they converge south of Roanoke. At that point, I-73 and U.S. 220 will run concurrent to Interstate 581, which I-73 will follow to I-81. I-73 Location Study

If I-73 is extended northward, from Roanoke, it will turn southwest on I-81, running concurrent to east of Blacksburg, and then using the Smart Road to Blacksburg. The rest of the way to West Virginia will be an upgrade of U.S. 460, Corridor Q of the Appalachian Development Highway System.

Interestingly, I-73/81 will be the second wrong-way concurrency in Virginia on I-81, the first being I-77 in Wytheville to the south. (A future section of I-74 is planned to overlap I-77 for its entire distance in Virginia, including the section shared with I-81.)

West Virginia

I-73 will continue next to US 460 (Corridor Q) from the Virginia state line west to Bluefield, where it will join with Interstate 74. (I-74 will use I-77 through Virginia.) For the rest of its path through West Virginia, from Bluefield to Huntington, I-73 will follow U.S. Route 52, which is currently being upgraded to a four-lane divided highway as the King Coal Highway to Williamson and the Tolsia Highway the rest of the way to Huntington. This section has been sporadically marked as the Future I-73/I-74 Corridor with signs, but is not being built to Interstate standards.


In Ohio, I-73 was planned to parallel U.S. Route 52 to Portsmouth, where it would split with I-74, and U.S. Route 23 the rest of the way through Columbus to Toledo and the Michigan state line. The part from Portsmouth to Columbus is Corridor C of the Appalachian Development Highway System. Ohio has abandoned further study of the I-73 corridor, since much of the US-23/US-52 corridor is scheduled to be upgraded to freeway status under separate projects. Nonetheless, the option to designate the corridor as I-73 once all upgrades are complete remains open, contingent upon what happens with the route in West Virginia.

On 5 February, 2009, the governor of Ohio, Ted Strickland, proposed allowing tolls to be collected on newly built sections of highway.[21] One of the proposed routes includes the Columbus-Toledo corridor which is currently served by US 23 as an expressway largely without limited access.


The original defined alignment of I-73 would have simply run along Interstate 75 to Detroit. However, the definition was amended in 1995 to have a branch along the U.S. Route 223 corridor to south of Jackson and the U.S. Route 127 corridor north to I-75 near Grayling, where I-73 would terminate. Except south of Jackson, where it is a two-lane road (as well as a brief stretch of road north of Lansing where the freeway reverts to a divided highway with grade-level intersections[22]), this is mostly a rural four-lane freeway. MDOT abandoned further study of I-73 in 1998, since existing freeways make up the vast majority of the specified corridor, although not all freeway segments are built to Interstate Highway standards. MDOT has plans to upgrade the few remaining non-freeway segments, but it is expected that the routes will retain their original designations instead of receiving the I-73 designation.

Exit list

This list contains exits for roadways currently signed as I-73 or future I-73, and will change in the future as new parts of I-73 are opened to traffic.

North Carolina

County Location # Mile Destinations Notes
Begin Future I-73 (Start of overlap with I-74 Northbound, End Southbound)
8 0
US 220 Bus. north
11 3 Millstone Rd
13 5 John Barwell Rd
16 8 NC 73
Norman 18 10 Moore Street
Montgomery 22 14 Tabernacle Church Road
Emery 24 16
US 220 Alt. north – Candor
End Future I-73/I-74, Begin I-73.svg I-74.svg
Candor 28* 20.5 NC 211.svg NC 211 - Candor/Pinehurst
Biscoe 33* 27.5 NC 24.svg NC 27.svg NC 24/NC 27 - Biscoe/Carthage/Troy
36 30.7 Star/Robbins
Ether 39 33.7 Ether/Steeds
Randolph 41 36.4 Black Ankle Road
45 38.5 NC 705.svg NC 705 - Seagrove/Robbins
49 42.5 New Hope Church Road
51 44.4
US 220 Bus. north /NC 134 south - Ulah/Troy
End I-73.svg I-74.svg, Begin Future I-73/I-74
Asheboro 55* 48.2 McDowell Road
56* 49.3 US 64.svg NC 49.svg US 64/NC 49 - Raleigh/Lexington/Charlotte
58* 51.0 NC 42.svg NC 42 - Asheboro
59* 51.8 Presnell Street
60* 52.3 No image wide.svgTo plate.svg

US 220 Bus. north - North Fayetteville Street/Vision Drive
62* 54.1 Spero Road
63* 55.4 Pineview Street
Madison 65* 57.2 US 311.svg US 311 - High Point/Randleman Future I-74 overlap ends northbound and starts southbound
67* 59.2 Randleman
71* 63.2
US 220 Bus. south - Level Cross
Guilford 74* 65.9 NC 62.svg NC 62 - Climax/High Point
77 70.9 Old Randleman Road
Greensboro 78A 71.6 I-85.svg Interstate 85 north US 421 south - Durham/Raleigh exit 78 southbound
78B 72.3 I-73.svg Interstate 73 north U.S. 421 north/ Winston-Salem/To Groometown Road northbound exit only, need to use US 220 exit (79B) to access I-85.svg Interstate 85 south. Exit number on I-73 South at US 220 is Exit 95.
End Future I-73, Begin I-73.svg
122A 73 Groometown Road Access to I-73 and US 421 from I-85 South are from Exit 120, Southbound Exits for I-85 and Business 85 from I-73 are 97A and 97B.
102 78 Wendover Avenue Loop exits use I-73 mileage from SC border
103A 80 I-40.svg Interstate 40 East-Fordham Blvd combined into Exit 1 I-40 East/I-40 West U.S. 421 North southbound
103B 80 I-40.svg Interstate 40 West US 421 North Westbound only
End I-73.svgI-840.svg, Begin Future I-73/I-840
2 81 W. Friendly Avenue Interchange features SPUI under freeway
3 83 Bryan Blvd, PTI Airport Freeway Ends/Temporary End of I-73 North/Beginning of I-73 South


See also

Local projects


  1. ^ "I-73 Segment 9/I-74 Segment 10". Retrieved 2009-11-19. 
  2. ^ Bruce Siceloff, "I-40 Bypass Opens in Greensboro," The News & Observer, February 21, 2008.
  3. ^ a b "I-73 Segment 4". Retrieved 2009-11-19. 
  4. ^ "I-73 Segment 6". Retrieved 2009-11-19. 
  5. ^ "I-73 Segment 7/I-74 Segment 8". Retrieved 2009-11-19. 
  6. ^ "I-73 Segment 8/I-74 Segment 9". Retrieved 2009-11-19. 
  7. ^ "I-73 Segment 10/I-74 Segment 11". Retrieved 2009-11-19. 
  8. ^ SCDOT I-73 Environmental Study [1] Downloaded August 14, 2007
  9. ^ Michael King, Interstate 73/74 in use now in NC!, misc.transport.road May 5, 1997
  10. ^ I-73 North Carolina Progress Page, I-73 Segments 1 to 5 [2] Accessed October 24, 2008
  11. ^ Jack Scism, "New Interstates Likely Impossible Dream," Greensboro News & Record, June 9, 1991.
  12. ^, Retrieved on 2008/05/06.
  13. ^ Jack Scism, "Coming Soon - to a Highway Near You - I-73," Greensboro News & Record, January 3, 1993.
  14. ^ Kelly Thompson, "Interstate to Run Through Triad Detroit to Charleston, S.C.," Greensboro News & Record, May 15, 1993.
  15. ^ Helen Lounsbury, "Road to Roanoke Vital, Group Says Lobbying for New Interstate," Greensboro News & Record, November 11, 1993.
  16. ^ Justin Catanoso, "New Proposal for I-73 Stirs Triad Rivalry," Greensboro News & Record, April 14, 1995.
  17. ^ Justin Catanoso, "New Interstates May Cross Triad," Greensboro News & Record, May 2, 1995.
  18. ^ Fuller, Kerry Marshall. 2007. "Tolling on I-73 Gains Federal Approval" [3], Accessed 8/11/2007
  19. ^ Interstate 73 Environmental Impact Study (SC)
  20. ^ I-73 Environmental Impact Study
  21. ^
  22. ^,+mi&sll=42.333654,-83.46132&sspn=0.009486,0.022724&ie=UTF8&ll=43.182148,-84.486237&spn=0.598824,1.454315&z=10

External links

Main Interstate Highways (major interstates highlighted)
4 5 8 10 12 15 16 17 19 20 22 24 25 26 27 29 30
35 37 39 40 43 44 45 49 55 57 59 64 65 66 68 69
70 71 72 73 74 75 76 (W) 76 (E) 77 78 79 80 81 82
83 84 (W) 84 (E) 85 86 (W) 86 (E) 87 88 (W) 88 (E) 89 90
91 93 94 95 96 97 99 (238) H-1 H-2 H-3
Unsigned  A-1 A-2 A-3 A-4 PRI-1 PRI-2 PRI-3
Lists  Primary  Main - Intrastate - Suffixed - Future - Gaps
Auxiliary  Main - Future - Unsigned
Other  Standards - Business - Bypassed

Simple English

[[File:|80px|right]] Interstate 73 is an Interstate Highway in the state of North Carolina in the United States. The route goes from Candor north to Greensboro. This road is to be a part of a longer Interstate 73 going from South Carolina to Michigan.

Main Interstates (numbers that end in 0 or 5 are colored pink)
4 5 8 10 12 15 16 17 19 20 22 24 25 26 27 29 30
35 37 39 40 43 44 45 49 55 57 59 64 65 66 68 69
70 71 72 73 74 75 76 (W) 76 (E) 77 78 79 80 81 82
83 84 (W) 84 (E) 85 86 (W) 86 (E) 87 88 (W) 88 (E) 89 90
91 93 94 95 96 97 99 (238) H-1 H-2 H-3
Unsigned  A-1 A-2 A-3 A-4 PRI-1 PRI-2 PRI-3


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