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I-40 Construction

I-40 Construction

This view is from the Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center on “Hawthorne Hill”. The construction and realignment of the famous “Hawthorne Curve” was located on the original I-40 freeway, (now Business 40) just a short distance from the Medical Center. The freeway ran 18 miles long through the city of Winston-Salem from 1957-1992. Before the realignment the speed limit dropped to 45 mph and the flashing light in the curve read: “Too Fast For Curve When Flashing!”. The cost of the project was estimated at twenty million dollars. The state also spent six million to acquire the extra property needed for the construction. The new construction opened for traffic in 2000.

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  1. The description accompanying this photo is correct with one small detail. The base speed limit for the entire length of the original I-40 freeway through Winston-Salem was (and, essentially, still is) 45 mph. The infamous “Hawthorne Curve” with it’s flashing “Too Fast For Curve” signage reduced speed to 35 mph for the curve.

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Supported by grant funds from the Institute of Museum and Library Services under the provisions of the federal Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) as administered by the State Library of North Carolina, a division of the Department of Cultural Resources.