A New Gateway to Downtown Winston-Salem is Now Open

A New Gateway to Downtown Winston-Salem is Now Open

5:43pm Oct 22, 2013
Mayor Pro Tem Vivian H. Burke & Mayor Allen Joines (center) lead the ribbon cutting Tuesday for Research Parkway. The road will help connect the North and South districts of Wake Forest Innovation Quarter and help connect neighborhoods that some people felt were divided by U.S. 52.
Keri Brown

On Tuesday, officials with the city, Forsyth County and Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center held a ribbon cutting to celebrate the opening of Research Parkway near the Innovation Quarter.

The Research Parkway is almost a mile long, and runs south from Third Street to Rams Drive. The road provides access to the central and southern districts of Wake Forest Innovation Quarter.

Greg Turner, assistant city manager for the city of Winston-Salem, says the road accommodates bicycles, pedestrians and vehicles. 

“There are some interesting new things in this project like LED pedestrian level lighting. We have sidewalks along the entire roadway, parking on the road, so it is both multi-modal. It also has a round-about, which is a nice new innovative traffic device.   It introduces a lot of new technology.”

City officials say a southern extension of the new parkway will be completed in 2015. This will help with traffic patterns while Business 40 is closed for construction beginning in 2016.

But for some community members, the road is more than just an economic growth engine.  City Councilman James Taylor represents residents in the Southeast ward.

“This road is very important because it no longer divides our community, it unites our community. This isn’t just an impervious surface to me. It is a road that leads to prosperity, a road that leads to expanding growth, and again a road that seeks to expand our community,” says Taylor.

The project was a collaborative effort.  The state chipped in half of the cost for the $8-million project. The city, county and Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center also helped pay for the roadway.

On Thursday, WFDD’s Keri Brown will take a closer look at the economic development projects underway in Innovation Quarter.

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