Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Interstate 40 Detour

So by now, most people who read this space and who might be traveling on Interstate 40 from points east of Winston-Salem into Tennessee should know about the big rock slide that has I-40 blocked and detoured. Why am I posting about it then? Because the DOT detour is REALLY BAD for anyone coming from anywhere further east than Winston-Salem. Their detour is an extra 53 miles. It makes a certain amount of sense to publish this as the official detour since there could be a lot of people coming from in between Winston-Salem and Asheville, but for everyone else there is a better way.

Check out this map:

View Larger Map

This detour is 13 miles further than just staying on I-40 would have been. It's also the way I go almost exclusively because it's an easier and safer drive. Going up Fancy Gap is much preferred to me over going up the mountain near Asheville. It's a wider and safer road. The speed limit is higher on most of this route and the traffic is usually better, resulting in the extra distance not actually causing any extra time. To summarize it:
  • I-40 West to Highway 52 North
  • Highway 52 North to I-74 West
  • I-74 West to I-77 North
  • I-77 North to I-81 South
  • I-81 South to I-40 West
(If towing, use the above. If driving a car and it's not rush-hour, you might consider taking I-40 West to Business I-40 West and then to Highway 52 North. But know that the ramp from Business 40 to 52N is VERY short and a potential problem in a tow vehicle.)

It's driving me nuts that the only published detour by the news outlets is the official one, even though I pointed out to WRAL that their entire viewing area is east of Winston-Salem and thus they were being irresponsible by posting only the DOT detour. For almost all of their viewers my detour is better. And it will save fuel and time. So it's greener. WRAL did respond to me, but ignored my request to add the better detour.


Angie said...

Funny, this is the way I go when travelling to TN, and (as you know) I live in WS. When my cousin was dating her husband, he was living west of Knoxville and we always went 52-77-81 when going to visit. It's just a better trip, period. Oh, and the sunrise going up the mountain is fabulous! I'm going to have to look at the DOT map to see what the turkeys posted.

Unknown said...

I am travelling from cincinnati to hilton head. Do you have any recommendations for me around this issue on I 40 so I can have a less than 12 hour drive, any help is greatly appreciated

Donnie Barnes said...

Honestly, it looks like the DOT detour is probably the best way for you. I don't much care for the I-77 route through Charlotte nor the I-16 route around and through Atlanta.

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Mike Tober said...

Can someone tell me if this is cleared up yet?

Donnie Barnes said...

According to:

It's open now for passenger vehicles. Two lanes eastbound, but only one westbound.