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Charlotte Area

New Interstate Approved For Triad Area

North Carolina will get a new interstate highway that will stretch between Interstate 40 in Winston-Salem and Interstate 85 in Lexington.

Gov. Roy Cooper's office announced that the Federal Highway Administration has approved Interstate 285, which recognizes recent upgrades to Highway 52, and will span 23 miles between the two cities.

"This new interstate is great news for the Triad region and all of North Carolina," Cooper said in a statement. "Interstates serve as a catalyst for economic growth and make it easier for people and goods to get where they need to go."

The plans for the new interstate have been in the works for more than a decade, according to the governor's office. Several signs for "Future Interstate 285 Corridor" dot the highway. The new interstate is one of several that the state has identified to help improve mobility, including Interstate 87 (between Raleigh and Norfolk), Interstate 42 (Raleigh to Morehead City), and Interstate 140 (Brunswick to New Hanover counties).

The North Carolina Department of Transportation made a request in September 2017 to upgrade the highway to a regular interstate after finishing several changes, including a pavement and interchange project.

“We have increased safety with new designs and upgrades, with the goal of spurring efficiency and future economic development,” NCDOT Secretary Jim Trogdon said in a statement. “The interstate shield is a highly prized designation for new businesses.”