North Carolina Highway System


North Carolina Highway System
NC 8.svg NC 150.svg
NC state route shields
System information
Notes: State roads maintained by the NCDOT with future toll roads managed by the NCTA
Highway names
Interstates: Interstate X (I-X)
US Routes: U.S. Highway X (US X)
State: North Carolina Highway X (NC X)

The North Carolina Highway System consists of a vast network of Interstate highways, U.S. routes, and state routes, managed by the North Carolina Department of Transportation. Due to all roads in North Carolina being maintained by either municipalities or the state, counties do not maintain roads and there is no such thing as a "county road" within the state, with the exception of Charlotte Route 4 in Mecklenburg County. As a result, North Carolina has the largest state maintained highway network in the United States. [1]

Contents

Interstate highways

Interstate highways that pass through or are located entirely within the state of North Carolina, along with auxiliary routes:

  • I-26.svg Interstate 26, traverses the state's western mountainous region through Asheville.
  • I-40.svg Interstate 40, spans nearly the entire state from west to east, passing through Asheville, Winston-Salem, and Raleigh to Wilmington.
  • I-73.svg Interstate 73, future central North Carolina Interstate mostly along US 220 through Greensboro and Rockingham.
  • I-74.svg Interstate 74, Future Interstate traveling northwest/southeast across the state from I-77 and Wytheville, VA through High Point and Lumberton to Wilmington.
    • I-274.svg Interstate 274, future western segment of the Northern Beltway around Winston-Salem.
  • I-77.svg Interstate 77, travels mostly straight north/south through central North Carolina from Charlotte to Virginia.
  • I-85.svg Interstate 85, travels northeast/southwest through the state, linking Atlanta, GA to Charlotte, Greensboro, and Durham, traveling toward Richmond, VA.
    • Business Loop 85.svg Interstate 85 Business, business freeway/expressway loop through High Point and Greensboro
    • I-285.svg Interstate 285, planned future spur from Lexington to I-40 in Winston-Salem.
    • I-485.svg Interstate 485, outerbelt around Charlotte
    • I-785.svg Interstate 785, planned future spur from Greensboro to Danville, VA
  • I-95.svg Interstate 95, traverses the state's Coastal Plain region through Rocky Mount, Fayetteville, and Lumberton.

U.S. routes

Current routes

Former routes

  • U.S. Route 17-1
  • US 121.svg U.S. Route 121
  • US 170.svg U.S. Route 170
  • US 217.svg U.S. Route 217
  • US 411.svg U.S. Route 411

North Carolina State Routes

A typical North Carolina Highway shield.

Numbering

North Carolina State Highways numbered under 1000 are primary state highways,[2] and numbers greater than or equal to 1000 are secondary. Secondary highways are not signed with shields; regular green or white road signs are most commonly used to designate secondary roads. On these signs, the prefix "SR" for "secondary road" sometimes precedes the road number. Nearly all secondary highways also have other names, and many primary routes are also signed with other titles. North Carolina routes may be referred to as "North Carolina Highway x", "N.C. Highway x", "NC Route x", or just "NC x", where x is the route number.

Unlike highways in the primary system, secondary road numbers may be repeated multiple times throughout the system, provided that they are not repeated within the same county. For example, SR2000 may refer to the physical roadway signed as Wake Forest Road or Falls of Neuse Road in Wake County, or it may refer to the physical roadway signed as Hickory Grove Road in Gaston County. Some road numbers are quite common. In fact, the designation SR1101 is currently used, or has in the past, been used nearly 100 times by almost every county in the state.

Secondary roads that cross a county line are generally given a new number in the new county. For example, Rustic Court is a very short road, barely one tenth of a mile in length; yet, it crosses the Durham-Orange county line. The section in Durham County (0.03 miles in length) is designated SR2397 while the section is Orange County (0.08 miles in length) is designated SR1604. The exception to this rule applies to roads designated SR10xx (where the x's represent additional digits) which are generally given to regionally significant roads or roads crossing one or more county lines, but which are not part of the primary system. For example, SR1006-Old Stage Road, is located both in Wake and Harnett Counties.

The significance of secondary road numbers is almost exclusive to NCDOT operations, generally maintenance, rather than for navigational purposes by the driving public. Certainly, the secondary road numbering system is not organized to help unfamiliar motorists find their way. Rather, this is the job of the phonetic names, which are generally established at the local level, but which often share a sign with an SR designation for convenience. In many rural areas of the state, typically in the Mountain and Coastal Plain regions, many roads lack a phonetic name, in which case they are known by the SR designation.

It is not uncommon for maintenance responsibility of secondary roads to transfer from NCDOT to particular municipalities as they increase in size due to annexation. When this occurs, the SR designations are eliminated. The SR road designation is also eliminated from physical roadways that are elevated into the primary system. For example, NC 157 (Guess Road) in Durham and Person counties was once a secondary road designated SR1008. Although it ascended into the primary system years ago, some of the old signs identifying Guess Road as SR1008 remain.

Signage

A North Carolina Highway shield has the route's number in black inside a white equilateral diamond shape. A square of black surrounds the diamond shape. The diamond shape does not alter to accommodate larger route numbers; the numbers are reduced in size to fit within the diamond.

Rules and exceptions

  • North Carolina Highway numbers cannot be the same as any U.S. Highway or Interstate Highway in the state. If a new federal route is commissioned in North Carolina that has the same number as a North Carolina Highway, the NC route number more than likely will be changed. (Current only exceptions: NC 73 and NC 540)
  • There are no alphabetic letters in a state route designation, nor any alternate routes in the system, except for NC 226A.

List of NC Highways

NC 2 through NC 50

NC 51 through NC 100

NC 101 through NC 150

NC 151 through NC 200

NC 205 through NC 242

NC 251 through NC 294

NC 304 through NC 481

NC 522 through NC 694

NC 700 through NC 905

Former routes

  • North Carolina Highway 1
  • NC 6.svg North Carolina Highway 6
  • NC 10A.svg North Carolina Highway 10A
  • NC 13.svg North Carolina Highway 13
  • NC 15.svg North Carolina Highway 15
  • NC 17.svg North Carolina Highway 17
  • NC 19.svg North Carolina Highway 19
  • NC 21.svg North Carolina Highway 21
  • NC 23.svg North Carolina Highway 23
  • NC 25.svg North Carolina Highway 25
  • NC 25A.svg North Carolina Highway 25A
  • North Carolina Highway 26
  • NC 29.svg North Carolina Highway 29
  • NC 31.svg North Carolina Highway 31
  • NC 36.svg North Carolina Highway 36
  • NC 40.svg North Carolina Highway 40
  • NC 44.svg North Carolina Highway 44
  • NC 49A.svg North Carolina Highway 49A
  • NC 62A.svg North Carolina Highway 62A
  • NC 64.svg North Carolina Highway 64
  • NC 70.svg North Carolina Highway 70
  • NC 74.svg North Carolina Highway 74
  • North Carolina Highway 76
  • NC 77.svg North Carolina Highway 77
  • NC 85.svg North Carolina Highway 85
  • NC 95.svg North Carolina Highway 95
  • NC 95A.svg North Carolina Highway 95A
  • NC 105A.svg North Carolina Highway 105A
  • NC 107E.svg North Carolina Highway 107E
  • NC 117.svg North Carolina Highway 117
  • NC 155.svg North Carolina Highway 155
  • NC 170.svg North Carolina Highway 170
  • NC 176.svg North Carolina Highway 176
  • NC 190.svg North Carolina Highway 190
  • NC 192.svg North Carolina Highway 192
  • NC 195.svg North Carolina Highway 195
  • North Carolina Highway 206
  • NC 220.svg North Carolina Highway 220
  • NC 242A.svg North Carolina Highway 242A
  • NC 260.svg North Carolina Highway 260
  • NC 262.svg North Carolina Highway 262
  • NC 264.svg North Carolina Highway 264
  • NC 271.svg North Carolina Highway 271
  • NC 272.svg North Carolina Highway 272
  • NC 276.svg North Carolina Highway 276
  • NC 277.svg North Carolina Highway 277
  • NC 282.svg North Carolina Highway 282
  • NC 283.svg North Carolina Highway 283
  • NC 284.svg North Carolina Highway 284
  • NC 285.svg North Carolina Highway 285
  • NC 286.svg North Carolina Highway 286
  • NC 287.svg North Carolina Highway 287
  • NC 288.svg North Carolina Highway 288
  • NC 289.svg North Carolina Highway 289
  • NC 292.svg North Carolina Highway 292
  • NC 293.svg North Carolina Highway 293
  • NC 301.svg North Carolina Highway 301
  • NC 302.svg North Carolina Highway 302
  • NC 303.svg North Carolina Highway 303
  • NC 311.svg North Carolina Highway 311
  • NC 321.svg North Carolina Highway 321
  • NC 341.svg North Carolina Highway 341
  • NC 342.svg North Carolina Highway 342
  • NC 350.svg North Carolina Highway 350
  • NC 401.svg North Carolina Highway 401
  • NC 402.svg North Carolina Highway 402
  • NC 422.svg North Carolina Highway 422
  • NC 482.svg North Carolina Highway 482
  • NC 485.svg North Carolina Highway 485
  • NC 500.svg North Carolina Highway 500
  • NC 501.svg North Carolina Highway 501
  • North Carolina Highway 502
  • NC 512.svg North Carolina Highway 512
  • NC 515.svg North Carolina Highway 515
  • NC 562.svg North Carolina Highway 562
  • NC 601.svg North Carolina Highway 601
  • NC 602.svg North Carolina Highway 602
  • NC 603.svg North Carolina Highway 603
  • NC 605.svg North Carolina Highway 605
  • NC 630.svg North Carolina Highway 630
  • NC 661.svg North Carolina Highway 661
  • NC 681.svg North Carolina Highway 681
  • NC 691.svg North Carolina Highway 691
  • NC 692.svg North Carolina Highway 692
  • NC 693.svg North Carolina Highway 693
  • NC 694.svg North Carolina Highway 694
  • NC 695.svg North Carolina Highway 695
  • NC 701.svg North Carolina Highway 701
  • NC 702.svg North Carolina Highway 702
  • NC 703.svg North Carolina Highway 703
  • NC 708.svg North Carolina Highway 708
  • NC 709.svg North Carolina Highway 709
  • NC 721.svg North Carolina Highway 721
  • NC 741.svg North Carolina Highway 741
  • North Carolina Highway 752
  • NC 761.svg North Carolina Highway 761
  • NC 800.svg North Carolina Highway 800
  • NC 802.svg North Carolina Highway 802
  • NC 803.svg North Carolina Highway 803
  • NC 891.svg North Carolina Highway 891
  • NC 892.svg North Carolina Highway 892
  • NC 893.svg North Carolina Highway 893
  • NC 897.svg North Carolina Highway 897

Bike routes

Other routes and highways

The old NC highway shield design.

History

The original highway numbering system for North Carolina was established in the 1920s. Major routes were multiples of 10, with 10, 20, and 90 running east/west, 30, 40, 50, 70, and 80 running north/south, and 60 running as a diagonal route. These cross-state routes were used as a basis for numbering the two-digit roads that served as the major city-city connectors. For example, NC 90 used to run along modern U.S. 64, which explains the multiple "90s" that branch off U.S. 64 today (NC 96, 97, and 98)

Three-digit numbered roads were less important spurs off the two-digit roads and often served as rural connectors. These were numbered in a scheme opposite of the U.S. and Interstate auxiliary routes; the spur routes received an extra "ones" digit instead of an extra "hundreds" digit. The first spur received the number "xx1" and the second received "xx2", where xx is the parent route number. This explains the predomination of such routes as 751, 191, 561, and the relatively few "xx0" routes (which would be the 10th assigned spur route ... few parent routes would have spurs numbered this high).

In 1933-34 many roads were renumbered to eliminate conflicts with the U.S. highways now crisscrossing the state. Some numbers (50, 90), which had become effectively U.S. routes (1 and 64 respectively) were moved or eliminated while others that conflicted with established U.S. route numbers in the state were changed to non-conflicting numbers. This seems to have been done without regard to the earlier numbering system, as were all future additions to the state highway system, which is where the modern "lack of any system" system came to be.

In 1937, several routes were renumbered to be contiguous with South Carolina routes, and in 1940 the same happened with Virginia. No effort has ever been made to match up with Tennessee or Georgia routes, but most cross-border numbered roads along this area are already U.S. highways anyway.[citation needed]

In the 1950s, routes that conflicted with Interstates were renumbered.

The most recent numbering change happened in 2002. Recently, NC 136 and NC 3 swapped numbers. This was to place NC 3 near Dale Earnhardt Sr.'s home of Kannapolis. The old NC 3/current NC 136 is a short spur in Currituck County. Currently, the only North Carolina highways in conflict with an Interstate number in the state are NC 73 and NC 540, the latter forming an extension of I-540.[3]

See also

References

External links


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • North Carolina Highway 73 — NC 73 Map of southern North Carolina with NC 73 highlighted in red Route information …   Wikipedia

  • North Carolina Highway 197 — NC 197 Route information Maintained by NCDOT Length: 65 mi (105 km) Existed …   Wikipedia

  • North Carolina Highway 12 — NC 12 redirects here. NC 12 may also refer to North Carolina s 12th congressional district. NC 12 Route information Maintained by NCDOT Length …   Wikipedia

  • North Carolina Highway 49 — NC 49 Route information Maintained by NCDOT Length: 180 mi (290 km) Existed …   Wikipedia

  • North Carolina Highway 24 — NC 24 Route information Maintained by NCDOT Length: 278 mi[2] …   Wikipedia

  • North Carolina Highway 10 — NC 10 redirects here. NC 10 may also refer to North Carolina s 10th congressional district. NC 10 Route information Maintained by NCDOT Length …   Wikipedia

  • North Carolina Highway 105 — NC 105 Route information Maintained by NCDOT Length: 17.7 mi[1] …   Wikipedia

  • North Carolina Highway 181 — NC 181 Route information Maintained by NCDOT Length: 36.2 mi[1] …   Wikipedia

  • North Carolina Highway 16 — NC 16 Route information Maintained by NCDOT Length: 143.8 mi[1] …   Wikipedia

  • North Carolina Highway 28 — NC 28 Route information Maintained by NCDOT Length: 81.2 mi[1] …   Wikipedia