The state Department of Transportation stands to regain about $3 million a year in lost highway money when it returns Interstate 40 to its old route through Greensboro’s clogged, polluted Death Valley corridor.
Doug Galyon of Greensboro, chairman of the state Board of Transportation, cited complaints from Greensboro residents when he announced plans last week to remove I-40 signs from Greensboro’s new Urban Loop bypass.
Residents in neighborhoods near the bypass complained of losing sleep because of noisy nighttime truck traffic. I-40 motorists said they frequently lose their way on the eight-lane Urban Loop.
But DOT officials acknowledge that the deciding factor was a chance to restore federal interstate maintenance money that had been lost to the Greensboro area after the old Death Valley route was renamed Business 40 in February.
Lacy Love, DOT asset management director, said today the state will qualify for roughly $2.7 million to $3.2 million each year in additional federal money for repaving and repairs after it restores the interstate highway designation to the 15-mile I-40 route through Greensboro’s Death Valley.
The change, which will take effect later this year, also will mean a shorter journey for I-40 travelers. The new bypass added five miles to the odometer for every I-40 journey — although DOT stretched its mile markers to mask the difference.