The project consisted of railroad components, eight bridges, and multiple aesthetic features including the Winston-Salem Gateway Arch. In total, nearly five years of continuous work by Blythe Construction crews went into finishing the project, whose contract value exceeded $88 million.
The Salem Creek Connector was designed to better connect downtown Winston-Salem with the Research Triangle Corridor. The majority of the work was conducted in the historic Happy Hills neighborhood, within an area of approximately four square miles centered on US Hwy 52. The confined workspace was just one obstacle in a project characterized by challenges, not least of which was coordinating traffic in one of the most heavily travelled areas of the city. The NCDOT contract stipulated that traffic on Hwy 52 be maintained during every phase of construction. To accomplish this, Blythe implemented a complex traffic control plan that included numerous lane shifts and temporary diversions.
To complicate operations even further, not only was vehicular traffic maintained, but daily railroad activity of Winston-Salem’s Southbound trains couldn’t be interfered with either. The Salem Creek project included replacing two railroad bridges that were travelled twice daily by trains. In order to maintain the rail schedule, Blythe constructed temporary tracks to divert train activity during replacement of the primary tracks.