Image of NC Interstate 74 shield (from Shields Up!) Segment 2

Where: From I-77 Exit 101 to US 52 South of Mt. Airy, Surry County

Length: 12 Miles


Signed as: Image of NC Interstate 74 shield (from Shields Up!

Segment Info

From I-77, I-74 travels by itself (the only current portion of I-74 not signed with another route) to US 52. This segment was the second section of I-74 to be signed as a full Interstate. The entire route was fully opened to traffic on June 30, 1999. Work on this highway occurred in three segments starting in 1991. The first section from I-77 to NC 89, predates the I-74 designation, cost $10 million to build, and was signed as NC 752 when it opened in 1994. Work on the second section to extend the freeway to US 601 began in 1994 and cost $22.5 million. When this part of the highway was completed in 1998 the entire route was re-designated I-74. Travelers reaching the temporary eastern end at US 601 were directed back to US 52 South with, it turns out, very optimistic "To East Interstate 74" signs.1 The segment was completed with the construction of the remaining 5 miles from US 601 to US 52 at a cost of about $30 million.2 This segment is the only part of I-74 where exit numbers use I-74's mileage (numbers run from 5 to 17, see the I-74 Exit List for more information). There is currently an end I-74 sign before merging with US 52 southbound (see last of the photos below). The only thing to have happened to this stretch of roadway since 1999 was a repaving job from I-77 to US 601 that was completed during the fall of 2007 and the replacing of exit signs for US 52 (see photos below).3

"Drive" This Segment Using Google Maps Street View

I-74 East at I-77: Using I-74 Off-Ramp from I-77 (June 2009)

I-74 West from US 52: Using I-74 West Off-Ramp from US 52 North (September 2015)

Segment Photos

Photo of signs for Exit 6 (NC 89) awaiting installation in 1998, Courtesy of
Adam PrinceExit 6 (NC 89) signs awaiting installation on I-74 East in early 1998 (photo courtesy of Adam Prince)

Photos taken in November 2002:

Photo of completed sign assembly at Exit 6, NC 89, Nov. 2002Sign assembly at NC 86 interchange

Photo Jct I-74 sign approaching interchange on Red Brush RoadJct I-74 sign at Red Brush Road interchange

Photo of I-74 sign assembly at I-74 West on-ramp, Nov. 2002Sign assembly at Red Brush Road West I-74 ramp

Photo of Jct I-74 sign on approaching Park Drive interchange, Nov. 2002Jct I-74 sign at Park Drive interchange

Photos from September 2009

On I-74 East to mark (belatedly) the 10th anniversary of the highway's opening:

Photo with view on I-74 East approaching US 601 exit, Sept. 2009Approaching the original End of I-74 at US 601. (9/18/09)

Photo of exit sign for Exit 11, US 601, Sept. 2009The next Exit 11, US 601 sign. (9/18/09).

Photo of exit sign for Park Drive on I-74 East, Mount Airy, Sept. 2009Now approaching Park Drive, the next to last exit before reaching US 52. (9/18/09)

Photo of 2 Mile Advance Exit Sign for US 52 on I-74 East, Mount AiryApproaching US 52. As with most exit signs, the first one is 2 miles away. (9/18/09)

Photo of original US 52 Exit Sign Assembly on I-74 East, Sept. 2009The final exit sign assembly for this section of I-74 put up in 1999, you can notice in the distance an End I-74 sign (photo below). The gap in the overhead sign reflected the unknown date at that time when I-74 would be signed along US 52. (9/18/09)

Photos from October 2010

Photo of new US 52 Exit Sign Assembly on I-74 East, Oct. 2010Same place as above. You will notice, however, that this new sign put up during the Summer of 2010 dropped the space for I-74, a reaction to the current delay in building the Winston-Salem Beltway? (see Segment 4). (10/24/10)

Photo of the End I-74 sign on US 52 South near Mount Airy, Oct. 2010A closer view of the End I-74 sign (10/24/10)

Photo of Exit Signs at I-74 interchange with I-77 near Mount Airy, from Chris

Heading back the other way on I-74 West, this sign marks the end of this segment of I-74. As with the signs for I-74 along US 52, the control city is true of I-77, but not I-74. Photo courtesy of Chris Curley through Adam Prince. This sign was replaced with a newer one in the last couple years that now has a yellow 'Left Exit' tab over the Exit 5 tab.