U.S. Route 70 In North Carolina
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U.S. Route 70 in North Carolina

U.S. Route 70 marker

U.S. Route 70
Route of US 70 in North Carolina highlighted in red
Route information
Maintained by NCDOT
Length: 488 mi[1] (785 km)
Existed: 1926 - present
Tourist
routes:
Appalachian Medley
Clayton Bypass Scenic Byway
Outer Banks Scenic Byway
Major junctions
West end: / at the TN line near Paint Rock
 
East end: School Drive in Atlantic
Location
Counties: Madison, Buncombe, McDowell, Burke, Catawba, Iredell, Rowan, Davidson, Randolph, Guilford, Alamance, Orange, Durham, Wake, Johnston, Wayne, Lenoir, Jones, Craven, Carteret
Highway system
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U.S. Route 70 (US 70) is a part of the United States Numbered Highway System that runs from Globe, Arizona, to the Crystal Coast of the US state of North Carolina. In North Carolina, it is a major 488-mile-long (785 km) east-west highway that runs from the Tennessee border to the Atlantic Ocean. From the Tennessee state line near Paint Rock to Asheville it follows the historic Dixie Highway, in concurrency with U.S. Route 25 (US25). The highway connects several major cities including Asheville, High Point, Greensboro, Durham, Raleigh, Goldsboro, and New Bern. From Beaufort on east, US 70 shares part of the Outer Banks Scenic Byway, a National Scenic Byway, before ending in the community of Atlantic, located along Core Sound.

US 70 is an original US Highway, signed on November11, 1926, when the US Highway System was approved. Since then, the highway has been realigned in places. One of the larger extensions of US 70 came in 1931 when the highway was extended concurrently along NC 101 from Beaufort to Atlantic. While sections of US70 have been converted to freeway standards, along most of the routing it is a four-lane highway. Several new projects beginning in the 2000s have placed US70 on interstate grade freeways, such as the Clayton and Goldsboro Bypasses. On May24, 2016, AASHTO assigned the FutureI-42 designation to the majority of US70's routing east of Garner.

Route description

US 70 travels through several diverse regions in North Carolina, including the Bald and Black Mountains of Western North Carolina, the rural Foothills, the urban Piedmont, the farmlands of the Inner Banks, and the coastal communities of the Crystal Coast. All of US70 east of Durham, and smaller segments including Statesville to Salisbury and Lexington to Greensboro, are listed in the National Highway System, a network of roads important to the country's economy, defense, and mobility.[2][3] US70 also overlaps two state scenic byways: the Appalachian Medley, from Hot Springs to Walnut, and the Clayton Bypass Scenic Byway, from I-40 to US 70 Bus.[4]

Western Mountains and Foothills

US 70, in concurrency with US 25, enters from Tennessee as a two-lane mountain highway meandering through the Bald Mountains. In Hot Springs it crosses the French Broad River and the Appalachian Trail, then goes northeasterly through Tanyard Gap to Hurricane. Proceeding south, it goes through the Walnut Mountains and then joins NC 213 near Walnut. Continuing on a more southeasterly routing, it becomes the US 25 Bus./US 70 Bus. split-off towards downtown Marshall at Mashburn Gap. At the Hayes Run Road interchange, NC213 splits and continues towards Mars Hill. Before US25 Bus./US70 Bus. rejoins at Ivy River Road, the highway widens to four lanes; afterwards, it follows along Ivy Creek before crossing the Madison/Buncombe county line.[5]

In Weaverville, US25/US70 joins Future I-26/US19/US23 (exit19), then continues south on the Morris L. McGough Freeway to Asheville.[6] US25 separates at Merrimon Avenue (exit23), continuing solo into downtown Asheville. At the Patton Avenue interchange, US70 switches to an I-240/US 74A concurrency as it goes east along the Billy Graham Freeway.[6] At Charlotte Avenue (exit5B), US70/US74A splits from I-240 before it goes through the Beaucatcher Cut. At College Street, which changes into Tunnel Road, US70/US74A passes through Beaucatcher Tunnel (built in 1927).[7] On the eastern side of Beaucatcher Mountain, US70/US;74A goes through a commercial corridor that leads to Asheville Mall, where US74A splits and continues along South Tunnel Road and connects with I-240 at a unique three-level diamond interchange. In the East Asheville area is the historic Oteen Veterans Administration Hospital Historic District as well as the Blue Ridge Parkway. At Jones Mountain, US70 leaves the Asheville city limits and begins its parallel north of I-40, as it goes through Swannanoa and Black Mountain. At Ridgecrest, US70 merges with I-40 (exit65). At Swannanoa Gap it crosses the Eastern Continental Divide (elevation 2,786 feet (849 m)) and enters McDowell County.[8]

At the top of the gap, in addition to a reduced speed limit there is a truck information station that requires all trucks to go through before continuing. The following 5-mile (8.0 km) descent is a 6% grade along Youngs Ridge to Old Fort, along which are several reduce-speed warning lights and three runaway truck ramps. It is likely that, on both on the ascent and the descent, most trucks and some cars will be going slower than posted speed limits, and that, despite the fact that this section is six lanes wide, slower vehicles may be traveling in the passing lanes. At Old Fort, US70 splits from I-40 (at exit72) and travels through the downtown area and by the Mountain Gateway Museum and Heritage Center. East of Old Fort, US70 travels northeasterly towards Marion and forms the southern boundary of the Pisgah National Forest. At Pleasant Gardens, it connects with NC 80, which travelers can follow towards Mount Mitchell, the highest peak east of the Mississippi River. Crossing the Catawba River and entering Marion, US70 connects with US 221/NC 226 and then forms a short concurrency with US 221 Bus. along Main Street. East of Marion, US70 connects with NC 126 in Nebo, where travelers can visit Lake James State Park.[9]

Entering Burke County near Bridgewater, US70 passes through Glen Alpine and then enters Morganton, where it forms a brief concurrency with US 64 as it proceeds along Fleming Drive, while US 70 Bus. passes through the downtown area. Continuing east, it goes through the towns of Drexel, Valdese, Rutherford College, Connelly Springs and Hildebran before crossing into Catawba County at Long View. In Hickory, US70 serves as the town's commercial corridor as US 321 Bus. begins its concurrency at the US 321 interchange. In Conover, US321 Bus. turns at Northwest Boulevard towards Newton and then crosses NC 16. Continuing east through Claremont and Catawba, US70 crosses the Catawba River for the second time and enters Iredell County.[10][11]

Piedmont Triad and the Triangle

After passing through Celeste Hinkle and by the Statesville Regional Airport, US70 enters the city limits of Statesville and connects with US64/NC 90 at the intersection of Newton Drive and Garner Bagnal Boulevard. Passing south of the downtown area, it begins to parallel the Norfolk Southern Railway south to Salisbury. Crossing US 21 at Shelton Avenue and I-77 (exit43A), it leaves Statesville and proceeds southeasterly along the Jim Graham Highway, through an area of farmland and factories that are wedged between the four-lane highway and the railway.[6] After crossing into Rowan County, US70 goes through Cleveland and shares a short concurrency with NC 801 near Barber before entering Salisbury. On Jake Alexander Boulevard, US70 shares a concurrency with US 601 until the Rowan Mills area, where it switches onto Main Street with US 29 and later NC 150. Traveling northeasterly through downtown Salisbury, it then goes by the North Carolina Transportation Museum before passing through Spencer. At the Yadkin River, the four-lane highway reduces to two-lanes as it crosses over into Davidson County. Adjacent to the bridge over which US29/US70/NC150 travels are the Wil-Cox Bridge, a concrete arch pedestrian bridge, and two North Carolina Railroad (NCRR) Warren truss bridges.[12][13]

US 29/US 70/NC 150, along WilCox Way towards Spencer

At 1.16 miles (1.87 km) from the Yadkin River, NC150 splits towards Churchland while US29/US70 merges with I-85/US 52 (at exit84). After a 4.31-mile (6.94 km) concurrency, I-85 splits off and continues towards Greensboro, and I-85 Bus. begins (at exit87). Entering the Lexington city limits, additional route changes occur; US52 departs (at exit87) towards Winston-Salem, and US64 merges from Mocksville. After skirting north of downtown Lexington, US64 departs again towards Asheboro, and the highway continues northeasterly as a four-lane expressway. After passing through Thomasville, it then proceeds briefly through Randolph County and then into High Point and Guilford County. Staying south of the downtown area, it connects with I-74/US 311 with its second three-level diamond interchange. Near Groometown, the highway merges with I-85 for a brief 1-mile (1.6 km) concurrency (between exits 118 and 120A). To connect with I-73/US 421 (Greensboro Urban Loop), travelers must continue on I-85 or stay in the left travel lanes; this stretch of freeway features numerous sign gantries and surface markings to guide travelers. Continuing northeasterly along Preddy Boulevard into Greensboro, it connects with US 220 (at exit35), where travelers can connect to reach I-40 west or the Greensboro Coliseum.[6] Merging onto I-40/US 220 (at exit219), the following 2-mile (3.2 km) stretch of freeway is known locally as "Death Valley", a nickname given because of the high number of deaths due to car crashes in this area.[14] Separating from I-40/I-85 Bus. at the O'Henry Boulevard interchange (at exit223), US29/US70/US220 continue north, passing by the North Carolina A&T campus to the Wendover Avenue interchange. With US29 continuing north along the expressway towards Reidsville and US220 going west on Wendover Avenue, US70 again proceeds solo, east towards Burlington. At the eastern edge of Greensboro's city limit, US70 connects with I-795/I-840 (Greensboro Urban Loop). Near McLeansville, US70 becomes Charlotte Hawkins Brown Memorial Highway, as the road goes from four lanes to two lanes and goes through Sedalia and Gibsonville; at Whitsett, it enters Alamance County.[6][15][16][17]

Passing south of Elon, US&70 widens to four lanes again as it enters Burlington's city limits. Sharing a brief concurrency with NC 62 through the downtown area, it then proceeds southeasterly to Haw River. As it nears the town of Haw River, it then goes northeasterly again to bypass the town and crosses over the Haw River via Three Governors Bridge; heading easterly again, the highway drops back to two lanes after connecting with NC 49.[6] At Mebane, US70 crosses into Orange County. Passing through the communities of Miles and Efland, and parallels the NCRR railroad just to the north, US70 makes a unique median divide in Duke Forest to merge with the I-85 Connector (SR1239); constructed in the mid-1950s when US70 was rerouted here onto what is now I-40/I-85. Crossing the Eno River, US70 passes along the northern edge of Hillsborough, while US 70 Bus. goes through its downtown area. Crossing the Eno River again, it borders along the Eno River State Park, while traveling through another area of the Duke Forest. At Eno, US70 merges onto I-85 (exit 170), while US 70 Bus. continues along its former alignment to Bennett Place.[18][19]

Entering both Durham and Durham County, I-85/US70 maintains an east-west routing north of the downtown area. At exit174A US 15/US 501 begins a concurrency; at exit176B US501 continues north along Duke Street. At exit178 US70 leaves I-85/US15, which continues towards Oxford and Petersburg. Traveling on a southeasterly direction along four-lane freeway, it rejoins US70 Bus. at Miami Boulevard and becomes an expressway. At Bethesda, Miami Boulevard (SR1959) continues south into the Research Triangle Park, while US70 enters Wake County along New Raleigh Highway.[20]

After crossing Raleigh city limits, US 70, here called Glenwood Avenue, makes a connection with I-540 (exit 292), which goes to the front entrance of RDU Airport; the following Lumley Road/Westgate Road interchange (at exit 293) goes to the North Cargo and General Aviation area of RDU Airport. Adjacent to the airport is William B. Umstead State Park. With NC 50 joining US70 at Creedmoor Road, US70 crosses under I-440/US 1 after passing by Crabtree Valley Mall. Inside the Raleigh Beltline, US 70/NC 50 travel through a residential area until Wade Avenue, where they join US 401 along Capital Boulevard. In the downtown area, Capital Boulevard splits into Dawson and McDowell Streets; various sites are adjacent or nearby, including the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences and North Carolina Museum of History (via Jones Street), the North Carolina State Capitol (via Morgan Street), the Raleigh Convention Center, the Red Hat Amphitheater, and the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts (via South Street). Leaving the downtown area after the Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard/Western Boulevard interchange, Dawson-McDowell Streets merge and become Saunders Street, which promptly exits the Raleigh Beltline crossing under I-40/US 64. In Garner, US 401 departs along Fayetteville Street towards Fuquay-Varina, followed by NC 50 along Benson Road towards Benson. East of Garner, US 70 merges with I-40 (exit 306A), while US 70 Bus. head towards Clayton. At the Wake/Johnston county line, US 70 splits from I-40 for the last time (at exit 309) and onto the Clayton Bypass.[21]

Coastal Plain and Down East

Oxeye daisies and Coreopsis lanceolata along the Clayton Bypass

After 10.7 miles (17.2 km) along the Clayton Bypass, US 70 crosses US 70 Bus., from Clayton to Smithfiled, and changes from freeway to expressway. Continuing through Wilson's Mills and crossing the Neuse River, it enters Selma, where travelers have the choice to stay on mainline US 70, connecting with US 301/NC 39/NC 96, I-95, and US 70A, or take US 70 Bypass to avoid all that. Southeast of Selma, US 70 Bus. rejoins from Smithfield and near Princeton, US 70A rejoins from Pine Level. East of Princeton, it enters Wayne County. Northwest of Goldsboro, the North Carolina Highway 70 Bypass spurs northeast towards I-795, while 70 goes into Goldsboro. In Goldsboro, it also connects with I-795 and then joins a concurrency with US 13/US 117, passing north of the downtown area while US 70 Bus. goes through it via Grantham Street. After .61 miles (0.98 km), US 117 separates and continues north; at Berkeley Boulevard, US 13 separates towards Snow Hill and also connects to Seymour Johnson Air Force Base. East of Goldsboro, US 70 Bus. reunites along Ash Street. Entering Lenoir County, near LaGrange, US 70 connects with NC 148 at Falling Creek, which goes to the North Carolina Global TransPark. As it enters Kinston, it is joined by US 258, from Snow Hill, as they both bypass south of the downtown area, while US 70 Bus./US 258 Bus. go through the downtown area. Near Dupreeville, US 70 Bus./US 258 Bus. rejoin; they then separate, with US 258 continuing south to Richlands, while NC 58 shares a short concurrency before continuing towards Trenton.[22][23][24]

Bypassing south of Dover, in Jones County, US 70 travels through the Great Dover Swamp, most of which has been drained and converted to farmland. After 11.9 miles (19.2 km) it enters Craven County, south of Cove City. At Clarks Road (exit 409) is the Craven County Rest Area.[25] At exit 410A US 17 joins in concurrency as the freeway enters New Bern. The freeway, designated the Richard Spaight Memorial Highway, passes southeast of the downtown area and enters James City after crossing the Trent River via the Freedom Memorial Bridges.[6] Traveling southeast along the U.S. Marine Corp Highway, US 70 passes by the Coastal Carolina Regional Airport, and then enters the Croatan National Forest before reaching the Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, in Havelock.[6][26] Going south, it crosses into Carteret County and then passes west of Newport as it leaves the Croatan National Forest and into Morehead City. After connecting with the eastern terminus of NC 24, which goes to Swansboro, US 70, along Arendell Street, is split in the middle by the NCRR railroad. Adjacent to the Carteret Community College is the Carteret County Visitor Center; the Atlantic Beach Bridge connects Bogue Banks and Fort Macon State Park.[25] Through the downtown area, it reaches the end of the peninsula and the Port of Morehead City. Crossing over the Newport River/Intracoastal Waterway, it travels along Radio Island and then crosses Beaufort Channel (Gallants Creek) via Grayden Paul Bridge into downtown Beaufort. Traveling along Cedar and Live Oak Streets, US 70 goes north out of Beaufort and then east, crossing over the North River and Ward Creek to Otway. Going southeast to Smyrna, it then turns northeasterly along the Core Sound. After crossing the Salter's Creek via Dan Taylor Memorial Bridge it connects with NC 12 continuing to Cedar Island and the Outer Banks.[6] Through the Sea Level community and into Atlantic, where US 70 ends at School Drive, at 2,500 feet (760 m), the road ends at Little Port Brook.[27][28][29]

History

Established as an original U.S. Route (1926), US 70 was assigned along the Great Central Highway, in concurrency with NC 10, between Asheville and Beaufort; northwest of Asheville, US 70 shared concurrency with US 25/NC 20 (Dixie Highway) to the Tennessee state line. The original routing of US 70 connects the same cities as it does today through North Carolina, with interstate highways in parallel or in concurrency with it.[30][31]

Early state routes

In 1916 the North Carolina State Highway Commission prepared a map for the Five Year Federal Aid Program. The general present-day routing of US 70 was a mix of both improved and unimproved highways. When the highways were signed, the majority of US 70's routing ran along NC 10 which was built from the Georgia state line south of Murphy to Beaufort. However, the routing north and west of Asheville comprised parts of NC 20 and NC 29. US 70 was established as an original U.S. route in 1926.

Original routing

US 70 was established as an original US highway running from US 66 near Holbrook, Arizona, to Beaufort, North Carolina. The highway entered the state at the Tennessee state line and followed along a topsoil road concurrently with NC 20. In Marshall, US 70 turned onto NC 20's former routing and followed it to the south. Upon reaching NC 29, US 70 turned to the south along the hard surface road and followed it to Asheville. North of Biltmore, US 70 turned left and followed along a hard surfaced road in concurrency with NC 10. Between Old Fort and Garden City the road switched to an oil-treated road and then briefly switched to a topsoil road between Garden City and Marion. As the road left Marion to the east, it again became a hard surface road. The highway continued east through Morganton and Hickory. In Conover, the highway turned due south until reaching Newton. In Newton, US 70/NC 10 turned to the left and followed a topsoil road to the southeast. The highway made several turns between the northeast and the southeast before reaching Statesville. The highway turned left in Statesville to follow along a hard-surfaced highway to Salisbury. Upon reaching Salisbury, US 70/NC 10 turned to the left and followed concurrently along US 170 to the northeast. In Greensboro, the route turned to the east through Burlington to Graham. The highway followed a brief concurrency with NC 62 between Graham and Mebane before again turning to the east. The route ran through Hillsborough and Durham before turning south through Brassfield and Nelson. In Cary, US 70/NC 10 met up with US 1/NC 50 and followed a brief concurrency between Cary and Raleigh. After passing through Raleigh, US 70 turned to the south to run through Garner before turning east to pass through Auburn and Clayton. Upon reaching Smithfield, the highway turned to the left and followed briefly along NC 22 to the northeast. Just before reaching Selma, US 70/NC 10 turned right to head to the southeast. The hard-surfaced highway passed through Goldsboro and LaGrange before reaching Kinston. In Kinston, the highway turned to the northeast and ran briefly concurrent with NC 11 before running east toward Fort Barnwell. As the highway neared the Neuse River, it turned to the southeast to parallel the river to New Bern. Passing through New Bern, the highway continued to follow the Neuse until reaching Havelock where the river turns further to the east. Shortly after passing Havelock, the road turned toward the east. After intersecting NC 101 the road type changed to a topsoil road. The highway continued as a topsoil road until North Harlowe, where it became a graded road. Just before entering Beaufort the highway changed back to a hard surface road. US 70 and NC 10 both ended in Beaufort.

Early 20th century

In 1928 US 70/NC 10 was swapped with route NC 101 towards Beaufort. Around 1929 US 70 was placed on its modern routing between Marion and Nebo; its former routing becoming part of NC 105. North of Newton, US 70 was given a new primary routing in concurrency with NC 110. In Raleigh, US 70 was placed on a new primary routing along Western Boulevard, then north along Boylan Avenue to South Street, then Fayetteville Street to Lenoir Street, and finally East Street; the old alignment along Hillsborough Road and by the state capital remained part of US 1/NC 50.[32] In 1930 US 70/NC 10 was swapped with NC 100 between Gibsonville and Burlington. Also around that time US 70/NC 10 was rerouted in downtown Salisbury via Innis Street to Main Street, leaving behind Fulton and Liberty streets.[30]

In 1931 US 70 was extended northeast from Beaufort to Atlantic, ending at Cedar Island Road (SR 1387). Around 1932 US 70 was rerouted in downtown Asheville from Biltmore Avenue onto Tunnel Road; the old alignment remained part of US 25.[33] In 1934 both NC 10 and NC 20 were removed along US 70's route. By 1936, US 70 was placed on First Avenue through Hickory and was removed from Beaman Road near New Bern.[34] In 1939 US 70 was removed from Hollins Road in Marshall.[35]

Mid 20th century

In 1941 US 70 was swapped with NC 55 from Kinston to west of New Bern. Also around that same year, US 70 was given its modern routing between the Yadkin River and Lexington. By 1944, US 70 was removed from Old Highway 70 Loop (SR 1620) near Icard; in Havelock, US 70 was removed from Church Road, Miller Boulevard and Roosevelt Boulevard to its modern alignment. Around 1948, US 70 was swapped with US 70A in the Hickory-Conover area and with US 70A in Hillsborough.[36] By 1949, US 70 was placed on its modern routing between Swannanoa and Black Mountain and between Lexington and Thomasville, swapped with US 70A in High Point, removed from Bennett Memorial Drive in Durham, and switched from Wilson Street to Kornegay Street in Dover.[37]

In 1952 US 70 was placed on new bypasses in Lexington, Thomasville, and Durham; all former alignments became individual or extensions of existing US 70A. By 1953, US 70 was rerouted back onto Fulton Street and Liberty Street in Salisbury, US 70 was split on one-way streets in downtown Greensboro, and US 70 was rerouted onto Eden and Front Streets in New Bern.[38] In 1954 US 70 was rerouted onto Woodfin Street in Asheville; placed on its modern alignment between Black Mountain and Old Fort, leaving behind Mill Creek Road (SR 1407)/Old US 70 (SR 1400), placed on one-way streets in downtown Raleigh, and rerouted on a more direct route between Smithfield and Princeton along existing secondary roads, leaving behind US 70A through Selma. Around 1956 US 70 was placed on new bypass south of Morganton. By 1957, US 70 was split on one-way streets in downtown Marion, replaced US 70A in Salisbury, leaving the downtown area, and placed on its modern alignment in western Rowan County. It was placed on its modern alignment from Thomasville to Greensboro, then continued east on freeway to Efland, its old alignment becoming US 70A; it was placed on new bypass east of Durham, its former alignment along Avondale Drive, Greer Street, and Miami Boulevard becoming parts of NC 55, NC 98, and US 70A respectively. It was placed on bypass north Goldsboro, leaving behind US 70A through the downtown area, and placed on bypass south of Kinston, also leaving behind US 70A through its downtown area.[39] Around 1958 US 70 was removed from Ann Street to its current routing along Cedar Street in Beaufort. In 1960 US 25/US 70 was placed on new bypass north of Marshall, leaving behind US 25 Bus./US 70 Bus.[40]

In 1961 US 70 was removed from Woodfin Street and onto the East-West Freeway in Asheville; in Salisbury, US 70 was rerouted following Innis Street south to I-85, then continued north in concurrency into Davidson County.[41] In 1963 US 70 was rerouted back along its former alignment between Greensboro and Efland, replacing part of US 70A; the former freeway alignment remains part of I-85.[42] Around 1964 US 70 was placed on new causeway over the Newport River/Intracoastal Waterway; bridges on the old alignment were removed, leaving Old Causeway Road (SR 1205) on Radio Island. Around 1965 US 70 was removed from I-85 in Rowan County, rerouted through downtown Salisbury on one-way streets, then north along Main Street in concurrency with US 29. In 1967 US 70 was rerouted onto O.Henry Boulevard to Wendover Avenue in Greensboro; its old alignment along Market Street was downgraded to secondary roads. In the same year, US 70 was adjusted at the Salisbury and Wilmington Street split.[43] By 1968, US 70 was placed on a new bypass west of Newport, leaving behind Chatham Street (SR 1247).[44] In 1969 US 70 was placed on a new bypass south of LaGrange, leaving behind Washington Street (SR 1603).[45] In 1970 US 70 eastbound was removed from Main Street and onto Logan Street in Marion.[46] In the same year, US 70 was placed on a new bypass north of Princeton, leaving behind Dr.Donnie H. Jones Jr. Boulevard (SR 2556).[47]

Aerial photograph of US 70 bypassing the city of New Bern, crossing the Neuse and Trent Rivers

Late 20th century

In 1972 US 19/US 23/US 70 was removed from Merrimon Avenue, between Asheville and Woodfin, and placed on a new freeway; US 25 remains along the old alignment.[48] In Raleigh, US 70/NC 50 were removed from Glenwood Avenue and placed on the Raleigh Beltline to North Boulevard/Downtown Boulevard.[49] In Atlantic, US 70 was truncated to its current eastern terminus at School Drive; the former alignment was abandoned, with a bridge removed from the Atlantic Harbor of Refuge Channel.[50][51] From 1978 to 1979, in phases, US 70 was placed on a new bypass south of Dover and New Bern; the former alignment became Old US Highway 70 (SR 1005).[52][53][54][55][56]

In 1981 US 70 was rerouted from Crosstown Expressway onto Charlotte, Poplar, and Pine Streets (the latter two removed for College Street) to Beaucatcher Tunnel; this replaced part of NC 694, while Crosstown Expressway was rerouted through Beaucatcher Cut.[57] In Salisbury, US 70 was rerouted south along Jake Alexander Boulevard, in concurrency with US 601, to Main Street, where it joined US 29 through the city; the old alignment along Innis, Liberty, Fulton, and Lee Streets was downgraded to secondary roads.[58][59] In Burlington, US 70/NC 62 was realigned along one-way streets along Church and Fisher Streets, eliminating the use of Davis and Hoke Streets.[60] In 1982 US 25/US 70 was placed on a new alignment north of Marshall to Weaverville; the old alignment became an extension of existing business loops in Marshall and Weaverville, and some sections were downgraded to secondary roads around Woodfin. In the same year, upgrades between Black Mountain and Old Fort were completed, allowing the addition of I-40 alongside US 70.[61] In 1987 US 25/US 70 was placed on a new bypass west of Walnut, leaving behind Walnut Drive (SR 1349).[62] In 1989 US 70 was removed from downtown Raleigh and was completely rerouted onto the Raleigh Beltway going east, then south, continuing at I-40 southeasterly to exit 306; the former alignment through Raleigh and Garner became US 70 Bus., though unsigned inside the Raleigh Beltline.[63][64] In 1990 US 70 was rerouted onto Industrial Boulevard and Monroe Street, from Newton Drive to east of I-77, in Statesville; the former alignment along Front Street and Salisbury Road was downgraded to secondary roads.[65][66][67]

In 1991 one-way streets along Logan, New, and Garden Streets were discontinued and reallocated to the city of Marion to maintain; US 70 reverted to two-way traffic along Main and Court Streets.[68][69] In the same year, US 70 was removed from the Raleigh Beltline and rerouted along Gleenwood Avenue, Wade Avenue, Capital Boulevard, Dawson-McDowell Streets, and Saunders Street. South of the Raleigh Beltline, it continued along Saunders, then Wilmington Street, and through Garner to I-40; the reroute in Wake County replaced all of US70Bus.[70][71] In 1993 US 70 was rerouted onto a new bypass north of Haw River, leaving Main Street (SR 1801) and a short concurrency with NC 49.[72] In Orange and Durham counties, US 70's concurrency with I-85 was extended 2.5 miles (4.0 km) as part of a major reconfiguration of exits 172 and 173. The original configuration had Hillsborough Road weave in and out of I-85 between the two exits; the realignment of US 70 allowed NCDOT to remove the weave and re-purpose exit 172 as an interchange for NC 147 (completed in 2001). The former alignment became an extension of US 70 Bus., which for the remainder of the decade had a hidden concurrency with I-85/US 70, with the weave persisting during construction.[73][74] In 1997 NCDOT established the oddity known as the four US 70s of Selma-Smithfield: US 70, US 70A, US 70 Bus. and US 70 Bypass. Before 1997, US 70 was routed through Smithfield while US 70A followed the pre-1954 route through Selma. The new configuration established US 70 following its former route east to Selma, with a short bypass route of I-95 (no interchange), then reconnecting to an existing section of US 70 east of I-95; US 70A was truncated near the I-95 interchange in Selma, while the former alignment through Smithfield became a business route.[75][76][77][78]

21st century

On June 9, 2008, the Clayton Bypass opened, redirecting US 70 onto I-40 between exits 306 to 309 and then on a new 10.7-mile (17.2 km) four-lane freeway bypass south of Clayton.[79][80] Planning for the bypass began in 1991, but construction did not start until 2005 because of several delays regarding the Dwarf wedgemussel, an endangered species, habitat in the area. Originally scheduled for completion in June 2009, a severe drought in 2007-2008 allowed construction to proceed more rapidly than anticipated.[81][82] NCDOT was given the approval by AASHTO to officially designate US 70 along the bypass on May6, 2008, with the former alignment becoming an extension of US70Bus.[83] Compared to the former alignment through Clayton, the bypass is estimated to cut fifteen minutes of travel time for drivers traveling between Raleigh and eastern North Carolina.[84][85] In 2010 US 70 was placed on a new 3.81-mile (6.13 km) four-lane expressway east of Statesville; the former alignment was downgraded to a secondary road.[86]

In 2013 US 70 was placed on a new freeway, with an interchange with NC 148 at Falling Creek. Justification for the improvement was given as a need for better service to the Global TransPark; the old alignment was reduced from four to two lanes, becoming Sanderson Way (SR 2032).[87]

In December 2011 the first section of the Goldsboro Bypass was opened from I-795 to Wayne Memorial Drive. The section was temporarily numbered as NC44, while the western and eastern sections were under construction. The western section of the bypass from US70 west of Goldsboro to I-795 opened on October17, 2015. The final section from Wayne Memorial Drive to US70 was completed in May 2016.[88] The route is currently listed as US70Bypass.[89]

Future

East End Connector

Located in Durham along Miami Boulevard, the East End Connector connects US 70 with NC 147 (the Durham Freeway) and possible establishment of I-885. The justification for its construction is to address the fact that two major east-west highways in Durham had no direct connection, causing motorists and truckers to use other streets to access either highway. Environmental studies were concluded in 2011 and property acquisition began in April 2012. At a cost of $142 million, construction began in February 2015 and is scheduled to be completed in January 2020.[90] The project will also add or change interchanges at Miami Boulevard/Carr Road and NC98 (Holloway Street).[91][92]

Raleigh to Morehead City

A multi-county project, also known as the "US 70 Corridor" or "Super 70",[93] is a collection of several projects along US 70 to improve passenger and freight movement. The project involves the counties of Wake, Johnston, Wayne, Lenoir, Jones, Craven, and Carteret.[94][95]

Kinston bypass

The Kinston Bypass is a project that has been in the planning stages since the 1990s. The project was put on hold until 2007 when NCDOT revitalized the project. While several northern bypasses were planned, in January 2014 the northern bypasses were removed in favor of a southern alternative. The project was de-funded in the 2016-2025 State Transportation Improvement Plan, and studies have been suspended for the time being.[96]

Havelock bypass

The Havelock Bypass is a planned 10-mile (16 km) four-lane freeway intended to improve existing sections of US 70 and a bypass west of Havelock, through the Croatan National Forest. Draft and environmental studies began in September 2011 and were completed in January 2016. Property acquisition started in 2016, with construction to begin in 2018. Estimated to cost $173 million, it is scheduled to be completed in 2021.[97]

Gallants channel bridge

The Gallants Channel Bridge is a project to replace the Dan Taylor Memorial Bridge by rerouting US 70 over Gallants Channel with a 65-foot (20 m) fixed span bridge, widened to four-lanes with a median at a new location, and building a new bridge on Turner Street, for an estimated $66.4 million. Construction began on March25, 2015, by Conti Enterprises, Inc., of Edison, NJ. All work but landscaping is scheduled to be completed by July15, 2018, with final completion expected in January 2019. Once complete, the existing bascule bridge will be removed and US 70 will be routed out of downtown Beaufort.[98]

Other corridor projects

In James City, a 2.5-mile (4.0 km) segment of the US70 improvement project will upgrade the existing thoroughfare to freeway standards, and will cost an estimated $66 million. Property acquisition is scheduled to start in 2021.[99] Other projects, including in Pine Level, Slocum Gate, Wilson's Mills, and the Newport River Bridge, are at various stages of planning or completion at this time.[94]

Future Interstate 42

Future Interstate 42
Location: Garner - Morehead City, NC
Length: 142 mi (229 km)

The Fixing America's Surface Transportation Act (FAST Act), signed by President Obama on December14, 2015, added the US 70 corridor between Garner and Morehead City to the Interstate system as a future Interstate. Justification for the designation included better connections with Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, the North Carolina Global Transpark, Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, and the Port of Morehead City with the rest of state and the eastern seaboard.[100][101][102] With no specified number codified in the act, the Regional Transportation Alliance (RTA) expected this corridor to be called I-46 or another suitable designation, and the US Highway 70 Corridor Commission recommended I-50.[103][104] On March30, 2016, Governor Pat McCrory and various officials unveiled "Future Interstate" signage along the corridor.[105]

In the upcoming AASHTO Special Committee on U.S. Route Numbering, NCDOT proposed I-36 for this route.[106] On May24, 2016, AASHTO assigned Interstate 42 for the route.[107][108]

Major intersections

County Location mi[1] km Exit Destinations Notes
Madison Paint Rock 0.0 0.0 north / west (SR 9 west) - Newport Continuation into Tennessee
Hot Springs 5.8 9.3 south (Lance Avenue) - Lake Junaluska
Hurricane 11.0 17.7 north - Greeneville
Walnut 16.5 26.6 west - Walnut West end of NC 213 overlap
Marshall 20.0 32.2
south / south (Main Street) - Marshall
22.3 35.9 east (Hayes Run Road) - Mars Hill East end of NC 213 overlap
23.5 37.8 south (Tillery Branch Road)
25.3 40.7
north / north (Ivy River Road) - Marshall
Buncombe Weaverville 32.0 51.5 19
west / north / north - Mars Hill, Johnson City
West end of Future I-26 and north end of US 19/US 23 overlap
34.3 55.2 21 New Stock Road - Weaverville
Woodfin 36.3 58.4 23
south / north (Merrimon Avenue) - Woodfin, North Asheville
South end of US 25 overlap
37.2 59.9 24 Elk Mountain Road  Woodfin
Asheville 38.5 62.0 25  - University of North Carolina at Asheville
40.0 64.4 Hill Street Northbound exit and southbound entrance
40.2 64.7
/ east / / south / west / Patton Avenue - Downtown, West Asheville
East end of Future I-26/I-240/US 74A and south end of US 19/US 23 overlap
40.7 65.5 4C Montford Avenue / Haywood Street
41.2 66.3 5A (Merrimon Avenue)
41.5 66.8 5B east - Oteen East end of I-240 overlap
41.8 67.3 north (Town Mountain Road) To Blue Ridge Parkway
42.6 68.6 / Chunns Cove Road
43.4 69.8 east (South Tunnel Road) East end of US 74A overlap
43.6 70.2 Three-level diamond interchange
45.5 73.2 west (Swannanoa River Road)
46.1 74.2 Blue Ridge Parkway
Black Mountain 55.8 89.8 (Montreat Road / Broadway Avenue) - Montreat, Bat Cave
56.5 90.9 65 west - Asheville West end of I-40 overlap, eastbound exit and westbound entrance
Ridgecrest 57.9 93.2 66 Dunsmore Avenue - Ridgecrest
McDowell Old Fort 63.5 102.2 72 east - Marion, Statesville East end of I-40 overlap, eastbound entrance and westbound exit
73.0 117.5 north (Lake Tahoma Road) To Mount Mitchell State Park
Marion 74.8 120.4 /  - Spruce Pine, Newland
75.0 120.7
north (Main Street) - Spruce Pine, Newland
North end of US 221 Business overlap
77.2 124.2
south (Main Street) - Rutherfordton
South end of US 221 Business overlap
Nebo 82.2 132.3 east To Lake James State Park
Burke Morganton 96.2 154.8
east / east (Union Street)
East end of US 64 overlap
97.3 156.6
west / east (Burkemont Avenue) - Rutherfordton
West end of US 64 overlap
98.4 158.4 (Sterling Street) - Shelby
100.5 161.7
west (Union Street)
Drexel 104.0 167.4 (Drexel Road)
Catawba Hickory 118.5 190.7
/  - Lenoir, Boone, Lincolnton, Gastonia
North end of US 321 Business overlap
119.5 192.3
121.5 195.5 Lenoir Rhyne Boulevard
Conover 126.5 203.6
south to  - Newton
South end of US 321 Business overlap
127.8 205.7  - Denver
Catawba 134.5 216.5  - Newton
Iredell Statesville 145.8 234.6 /  - Taylorsville
148.0 238.2 / (Shelton Avenue) - Troutman
149.2 240.1  - Charlotte, Elkin
Rowan 162.4 261.4 south - Mooresville South end of NC 801 overlap
164.0 263.9 north - Cooleemee North end of NC 801 overlap
Salisbury 170.0 273.6 north (Jake Alexander Boulevard) - Mocksville North end of US 601 overlap
172.5 277.6 (Mooresville Road) - Mooresville
173.5 279.2 south (Main Street) / south (Jake Alexander Boulevard) - China Grove South end of US 29/US 601 overlap
174.3 280.5 west (Mooresville Road) South end of US 29/US 601 overlap
175.5 282.4 Innes Street
Davidson 182.2 293.2 82 / south - Charlotte Permanently closed as of April, 2010[109][110][111][112]
183.0 294.5 84 / south / east - Charlotte South end of I-85/US 52 and east end of NC 150 overlap
184.0 296.1 85 Clark Road Permanently closed as of November, 2012[113]
185.4 298.4 86 Belmont Road
Lexington 187.5 301.8 87 north - High Point, Greensboro North end of I-85 and south end of I-85 Bus overlap; northbound exit and southbound entrance
188.0 302.6 84 east to north - Linwood To Davidson County Airport
188.8 303.8 85 Green Needles Road
190.0 305.8 86 Salisbury Road - Downtown Lexington
191.0 307.4 87 north - Winston-Salem North end of US 52 overlap; Eastbound exit and westbound entrance
192.0 309.0 Old US 64
192.7 310.1 west - Mocksville West end of US 64 overlap
193.5 311.4 (Winston Road) - Lexington, Winston-Salem
194.0 312.2 east - Asheboro East end of US 64 overlap
Thomasville 201.5 324.3 Lexington Avenue - Thomasville Eastbound exit and westbound entrance
204.0 328.3 (Salem Street) - Thomasville, Winston-Salem
205.5 330.7 (National Highway) - Thomasville, West High Point To PTI Airport
Randolph High Point 207.0 333.1 Old Thomasville Road - High Point
Guilford 207.5 333.9 Prospect Street
208.5 335.5 West Green Drive
209.3 336.8 Surrett Drive
210.0 338.0 Main Street - High Point
211.0 339.6 / / Brentwood Street - Winston-Salem, Asheboro Brentwood Street has a separate exit northbound; three-level diamond interchange
212.0 341.2 Baker Road
213.5 343.6 Kivett Drive - East High Point
Greensboro 216.0 347.6 Vickery Chapel Road / Guildford College Road - Jamestown
217.0 349.2 118 south - Salisbury, Charlotte South end of I-85 overlap
218.2 351.2 119 Groometown Road to Grandover Parkway Southbound exit incorporated with exit 33
219.0 352.4
north / south to east - Durham, Sanford
north / north to west / Groometown Road - Winston-Salem
North end of I-85 overlap; southbound exit and northbound entrance
220.0 354.1 34 Holden Road
221.0 355.7 35A south - Asheboro
221.2 356.0 35B north to west Coliseum Area No westbound exit
221.8 357.0 35C Rehobeth Church Road / Vandalia Road
223.0 358.9 219 west - Winston-Salem West end of I-40 overlap; eastbound exit and westbound entrance
223.3 359.4 220 Randleman Road
223.9 360.3 221 South Elm-Eugene Street - Downtown Greensboro
225.0 362.1 222 Martin Luther King Jr. Drive
225.1 362.3 223 east / north - Burlington, Durham, Raleigh East end of I-40 and north end of I-85 Business overlap; westbound exit and eastbound entrance
225.8 363.4 Florida Street Eastbound exit and entrance only
226.5 364.5 Lee Street Two exits signed east and west
227.2 365.6 Market Street To North Carolina A&T State University
227.6 366.3 Sullivan Street Eastbound exit and entrance only
227.8 366.6 Bessemer Street
228.0 366.9 north / north (Wendover Avenue) - Reidsville North end of US 29/US 220 overlap, two exits signed east and west
229.5 369.3 Huffine Mill Road
232.0 373.4 (hidden I-840) to /
Whitsett 240.0 386.2 east - Gibsonville
240.2 386.6  - Gibsonville
Alamance Burlington 246.0 395.9 east (Chapel Hill Road) / south (Alamance Road) - Alamance South end of NC 62 overlap
247.8 398.8 / (Webb Avenue)
248.2 399.4 north (Rauhunt Street) - Yanceyville North end of NC 62 overlap
Haw River 252.8 406.8  - Graham
Mebane 257.5 414.4 (Second Street/Fifth Street) Brief .2 miles (0.32 km) concurrency
Orange 265.0 426.5 To / (I-85 Connector) - Greensboro South end of NC 86 Truck overlap; westbound exit and eastbound entrance
Hillsborough 266.8 429.4
east (Revere Road)
267.2 430.0 (Churton Street) to  - Yanceyville, Roxboro North end of NC 86 Truck overlap
271.0 436.1
west - Hillsborough
Eno 274.0 441.0 170
south / east - Greensboro, Durham
South end of I-85 overlap; eastbound exit and westbound entrance; to Bennett Place
Durham Durham 276.1 444.3 172 south - Downtown Durham, Research Triangle Park Northbound exit and southbound entrance; to North Carolina Central University
277.0 445.8 173 Cole Mill Road
277.5 446.6 174A
south / south to to / Hillsborough Road - Chapel Hill
South end of US 15/US 501 overlap; southbound exit and northbound entrance
278.1 447.6 174B Hillandale Road
278.8 448.7 175 (Guess Road) To NC School of Science & Math and Duke Homestead
280.0 450.6 176 north (Duke Street) / Gregson Street - Roxboro North end of US 501 overlap; signed northbound as exits 176A (Gregson St) and 176B (Roxboro)
281.0 452.2 177
south / (Roxboro Street) / east (Avondale Drive)
To North Carolina Central University
282.0 453.8 178 north / north - Sanford, Petersburg North end of I-85/US 15 overlap; westbound signed exit 285
283.0 455.4 286 Cheek Road
284.0 457.1 (Holloway Street) - Durham, Wake Forest
284.8 458.3
west (Miami Boulevard) - Durham
Westbound exit and Eastbound entrance
To  - RDU Airport Future interchange (under construction)[91]
Wake Raleigh 292.0 469.9 292 to to  - Wake Forest, RDU Airport
292.5 470.7 293 Lumley Road / Westgate Road
299.0 481.2 north - Creedmoor North end of NC 50 overlap
300.0 482.8 / to  - Sanford, Rocky Mount, Wake Forest, Wilson
303.0 487.6 north (Capital Boulevard) - Wake Forest, Louisburg North end of US 401 overlap; eastbound exit and westbound entrance
303.6 488.6 Peace Street
305.0 490.8 Martin Luther King Jr Boulevard / Western Boulevard
306.0 492.5 /  - Cary, Chapel Hill, Benson
307.0 494.1 Wilmington Street - Downtown Raleigh
Garner 308.0 495.7 south - Fuquay-Varina, Fayetteville South end of US 401 overlap; to Wake Tech College
310.0 498.9 Vandora Springs Road
311.0 500.5 south (Benson Road) - Garner, Benson South end of NC 50 overlap
313.0 503.7 306
west / east - Raleigh, Clayton
West end of I-40 overlap
317.6 511.1 309 east - Benson East end of I-40 overlap; westbound signed exit 318
Johnston 320.0 515.0 320  - Clayton
323.0 519.8 323 Ranch Road
326.0 524.6 326
 - Smithfield
333.0 535.9 333 Buffalo Road
334.0 537.5 334
east - Goldsboro
Eastbound exit and westbound entrance
Selma 335.0 539.1 / / north - Smithfield, Selma North end of NC 39 hidden overlap
335.6 540.1  - Benson, Wilson
335.9 540.6 east / end - Pine Level South end of NC 39 hidden overlap
336.2 541.1 336
west - Raleigh
Westbound exit and eastbound entrance
338.0 544.0
west - Smithfield
344.0 553.6 west - Pine Level
Wayne Goldsboro 352.2 566.8
east
353.0 568.1
356.5 573.7 to south - Wilson, Wilmington
357.0 574.5
south / south / east - Mount Olive, Goldsboro
South end of US 13/US 117 overlap
357.5 575.3 north - Wilson North end of US 117 overlap; eastbound exit and westbound entrance; to Gov. Charles B. Aycock Birthplace
358.0 576.1
/ north (William Street) to
North end of NC 111 overlap
359.0 577.8 Wayne Memorial Drive
360.7 580.5 Cuyler Best Road / Spence Avenue
361.5 581.8 north (Berkeley Boulevard) - Snow Hill North end of US 13 overlap; to Seymour Johnson AFB
363.0 584.2
west (Ash Street)
364.0 585.8 south - Beulaville South end of NC 111 overlap; to Cliffs of the Neuse State Park
Lenoir La Grange
west
372.0 598.7  - La Grange
Kinston 381.7 614.3 north - Snow Hill North end of US 258 overlap; to North Carolina Global TransPark
382.0 614.8
east / south - Kinston
384.5 618.8 / (Old Pink Hill Road) - Pink Hill, Mount Olive
385.0 619.6
south / west / north / north - Richlands, Kinston
South end of US 258 overlap, north end of NC 58 overlap
386.0 621.2 south - Trenton South end of US 58 overlap
Jones 393.0 632.5 Old US Highway 70 - Dover
Craven 402.0 647.0 west (Trenton Road) - Cove City, Trenton
408.0 656.6 Tuscarora-Rhems Road
411.0 661.4 409 Clark Road
411.5 662.2 411 south - Jacksonville South end of US 17 overlap
412.8 664.3 412 north - Greenville, Vanceboro Southern terminus of NC 43
New Bern 415.0 667.9 Glenburnie Road To Craven Community College
416.0 669.5
/ east - Jacksonville
417.7 672.2 416 Country Club Road
419.0 674.3 417
north / south / west /  - Bayboro, Washington
Signed as exits 417A (south) and 417B (north)
Havelock 435.0 700.1 east (Fontana Boulevard)
Carteret Morehead City 449.0 722.6 west - Jacksonville
453.0 729.0 To  - Atlantic Beach To Fort Macon State Park
Beaufort 458.0 737.1 west
467.0 751.6 Harkers Island Road - Harkers Island To Cape Lookout Lighthouse
Smyrna 469.0 754.8 Marshallberg Road - Marshallberg
Sea Level 483.0 777.3 north - Cedar Island
Atlantic 488.0 785.4 School Drive - Cedar Island East end of US 70; road ends 2,500 feet (760 m) at Little Port Brook
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

See also

References

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External links

Route map: Google

KML is from Wikidata
U.S. Route 70
Previous state:
Tennessee
North Carolina Next state:
Terminus

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.


U.S._Route_70_in_North_Carolina
 



 

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