The portion of I-840, which is the official name of the Urban Loop between Battleground Avenue and Lawndale Drive, officially opened to traffic Monday, Dec. 30.
Although the Urban Loop, at one time called Painter Boulevard, is being constructed to provide a route around Greensboro, this portion solves a much more local traffic issue, traveling from Lawndale to Battleground or vice versa. Cotswald Avenue was built about 20 years ago to provide a temporary route, but when construction started on this section of the loop, the portion of that road built in the right-of-way disappeared and traffic once again began twisting through neighborhoods north and south of the new I-840.
Now, with a way to travel between the two roads legally at 65 mph, the route through neighborhoods should become obsolete.
The ribbon cutting for this portion of the outer loop was held Nov. 7, with Gov. Roy Cooper as the chief ribbon cutter. At that time it was also announced that the section of I-840 from Bryan Boulevard to Battleground was being named for former Chairman of the NC Department of Transportation Board J. Douglas Galyon, who died in February. In his many years of service to the community, Galyon also served as a Greensboro city councilmember and Guilford County commissioner.
The current chairman of the NC Board of Transportation, Mike Fox, who is an attorney with Tuggle Duggins, texted, “I’m excited about the opening of the Battleground to Lawndale section of the Greensboro Urban Loop to traffic today. This new section will allow citizens better access to jobs, education and healthcare as well as promote economic development in the entire region. Our incredible transportation infrastructure is one of the key economic assets of our area and we are pleased to open this latest improvement.”
At the ribbon cutting it was announced that this section of the Urban Loop would open by “the end of the year” and the NCDOT made the deadline with a full day to spare.
Watching traffic on the newly opened section Monday, it was evident that a lot of folks were trying it out because cars would come off the exit ramp only to zip around and get on the entrance ramp going back the way they came.