North Carolina Highway 16

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"NC 16" redirects here. For the album NC 16 by By2, see By2 discography.

NC 16 marker

NC 16
Route information
Maintained by NCDOT
Length: 143.8 mi[1] (231.4 km)
Existed: early 1920s – present
Major junctions
South end: NC 75 in Waxhaw
  I‑485 in Charlotte
I‑277 / US 74 in Charlotte
I‑77 / US 21 in Charlotte
I‑85 in Charlotte
I‑40 in Conover
US 70 in Conover
North end: SR 16 at the VA line near Grassy Creek
Counties: Union, Mecklenburg, Gaston, Lincoln, Catawba, Alexander, Wilkes, Ashe
Highway system
US 15 US 17

North Carolina Highway 16 (NC 16) is a primary state highway in the U.S. state of North Carolina. It runs from NC 75, in Waxhaw, to the Virginia state line, near the community of Grassy Creek.

Route description[edit]

Starting in the heart of Waxhaw, NC 16 goes north through Weddington and into Charlotte as Providence Road. In Uptown Charlotte, NC 16 briefly overlaps 3rd Street, then merges with I-277, goes north around Uptown and then exits the city in a northwest direction as Brookshire Boulevard (Note - Southbound travelers exiting I-277 (exit 2A) must make a u-turn at the end of the exit ramp to the left, then take another left onto 3rd Street, to stay on NC 16).

After passing the Catawba River, NC 16 becomes a rural freeway through Gaston, Lincoln, and most of Catawba counties (currently an 8.5-mile (13.7 km) gap between freeway's end and Newton). After passing Conover, NC 16 become a two-lane rural road through Alexander and Wilkes counties (with exception in Wilkesboro).

Entering Ashe County, it connects with the Blue Ridge Parkway and then travels, on a somewhat curvy-road, to Jefferson. From Jefferson, it goes north, as a relatively straight mountain road, into the Commonwealth of Virginia near Grassy Creek. Though changed as Virginia State Route 16, it continues through the state then entering West Virginia as West Virginia Route 16, ending in St. Marys, West Virginia (a three-state grand total of 474.3 miles (763.3 km)).[1]


NC 16's southern terminus in Waxhaw
  • Before 1928: NC 16 was one of the original North Carolina state highways. It ran due south from NC 10 in Newton to the South Carolina border, following mostly what is today US 321 Business.[2]
  • 1928: The route was extended north all the way to the Tennessee border; from Newton to Wilkesboro it was cosigned with NC 18.[2]
  • 1933: NC 16 south of Conover was truncated in favor of US 321.[2]
  • 1937: NC 16 dropped its former routing along SR 1562 in the foothills of North Carolina for a more direct route.[2]
  • 1939: The route's northern terminus was moved to the Virginia border and its southern terminus was extended southward through Charlotte.[2]
  • 1954: NC 16 was rerouted away from North Wilkesboro.[2]
  • 1958: NC 16 was slightly diverted for an interchange with the newly constructed Interstate 85.[2]
  • 1959: NC 16 gained its own unshared route from US 221 to the Virginia border.[2]
  • Late 1950s and early 1960s: NC 16's routing through Charlotte changed numerous times.[2]
  • 1963: A zigzag routing in southern Charlotte was removed for NC 16.[2]
  • 1988: NC 16 follows the newly built Brookshire Boulevard in northern Charlotte; it used to follow parts of Bellhaven Boulevard and Rozzelles Ferry Road, which still exist.[2]
  • 1990: NC 16 is rerouted along a newly built 4-lane bypass through Catawba, Lincoln, and Gaston counties. The old route was designated as NC 16 Business.[2]
  • Late 1990s and early 2000s: Numerous road widenings are made along NC 16 in the Charlotte area.
  • 2008: A new 4 lane divided portion of NC 16 is opened. This new four lane section of NC 16 had dead ended and exited on NC 73 near Denver, NC in Southeastern Lincoln County. It is expected the 4 lane portion will be extended to NC 150 by 2012.

On Thursday, July 30, 2009 The four-lane divided NC16 opened to traffic to Optimist Club Rd. in the Triangle community, south of Denver in eastern Lincoln County, with the next section to open in October, 2009 which will extend to St. James Church Rd. just west of Denver, NC in eastern Lincoln County, NC. Northbound drivers on NC16 will need to exit at St. James Church Rd. and travel east app. 1 mile to intersect with present-day NC16 and then turn left to continue north on NC16 toward Conover, NC.

North Carolina Highway 262[edit]

NC 262
Location: Waxhaw-Charlotte, NC
Length: 22.4 mi[3] (36.0 km)
Existed: 1930–1940

North Carolina Highway 262 (NC 262) appeared in 1930 as new primary routing from NC 25, in Waxhaw, to US 74/NC 20 (7th Street), in Charlotte. In 1940, it was entirely replaced by an extension of NC 16.

North Carolina Highway 271[edit]

NC 271
Location: Thrift-Charlotte, NC
Existed: 1926–1940

North Carolina Highway 271 (NC 271) appeared in 1926 running from Thrift to NC 20 near Charlotte. In 1931 the road was extended north to NC 10 in Newton. The next year the original section of NC 271 was renumbered as part NC 27A. Two years later NC 271 was truncated to Triangle with the routing from Triangle to Newton becoming a part of NC 73. In 1940 the rest of the road was renumbered as part of NC 16.


NC 16 is expected to be rerouted onto a new bypass route in northwestern Mecklenburg, eastern Gaston, eastern Lincoln, and southeastern Catawba counties. When completed, this will become the second limited-access stretch of NC 16 (as such, I-277 shares part of the one existing portion). The new bypass is expected to be completed by 2010. In 2008, widening began on the fast-growing part of the road in Union County, which consists of the southernmost part of the highway. The road will be widened from I-485 to Rea RD, south of Weddington. Construction of a new 4-lane "Superstreet" design portion of NC 16 is underway starting in Conover at the Wal-Mart at I-40 and will end in Charlotte.

Junction list[edit]

County Location mi[1] km Destinations Notes
Union Waxhaw 0 0 NC 75 (Main Street) – Monroe, Lancaster NC 16 begins
Weddington 6.5 10.5 Rea Road
7 11 NC 84 east (Weddington Road) – Monroe
Mecklenburg Charlotte 10 16 I‑485 (Governor James G. Martin Freeway) – Pineville, Concord
13 21 NC 51 (Pineville-Matthews Road)
22 35 I‑277 south / US 74 west to NC 27 (John Belk Freeway) End I-277 south and US 74 west overlaps
NC 16 overlaps with Interstate 277 (exits 2A to 5)
24.5 39.4 I‑77 / I‑277 / US 21 (Bill Lee Freeway) – Statesville, Columbia North end of I-277 overlap
25 40 Beatties Ford Road–– Johnson C. Smith University
26.5 42.6 I‑85 – Greensboro, Spartanburg
32 51 I‑485 (Craig Lawing Freeway) – Pineville, Huntersville
Gaston Lucia 35 56 To NC 273 (Lucia Riverbend Highway)
37.5 60.4
NC 16 Bus. north (Lucia Riverbend Highway)
Lincoln Lowesville 42 68 NC 73 – Lincolnton, Huntersville
Catawba   51 82 NC 150 – Lincolnton, Mooresville
  53 85
NC 16 Bus. south – Denver
  61.5 99.0
NC 16 Bus. north (Charlotte Highway)
  62.5 100.6 NC 10 – Catawba
Conover 65.5 105.4 US 70 (Conover Boulevard East) – Conover, Claremont
67 108 I‑40 – Conover, Hickory, Statesville
67.2 108.1
NC 16 Bus. south (1st Avenue North and 1st Avenue South)
Alexander Taylorsville 81 130 US 64 – Lenoir, Statesville
82.5 132.8 NC 90 (Main Street) Brief .5-mile (0.80 km) concurrency
Wilkes Moravian Falls 96 154 NC 18 south – Lenoir South end of NC 18 overlap
Wilkesboro 99.5 160.1 US 421 south / NC 18 north – Winston-Salem South end of US 421 and north end of NC 18 overlaps
NC 16 overlaps with US 421 (mile markers 283–287)
104 167 US 421 north – Boone North end of US 421 overlap
Ashe   120 193 Blue Ridge Parkway
  120.5 193.9 NC 163 west – West Jefferson
  127 204 NC 88 east – Laurel Springs, Sparta East end of NC 88 overlap
Jefferson 130 209 US 421 south / NC 88 west – Jefferson, West Jefferson South end of US 221 and west end of NC 88 overlaps
132 212 US 221 north – Twin Oaks North end of US 221 overlap
  136 219 Old Highway 16 – Crumpler
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

Bannered routes[edit]

Lowesville–Denver business loop[edit]

NC 16 Business
Location: LuciaKillian Crossroads, NC
Length: 16.2 mi[4] (26.1 km)
Existed: 2007–present

North Carolina Highway 16 Business (NC 16 Bus) was established in December, 2007 when NC 16 was placed on new construction between Lucia and Lowesville, its old alignment becoming a business loop. In March, 2012, NC 16 Bus was extended north to its current terminus at Anderson Mountain, north of Killian Crossroads, after mainline NC 16 was moved onto new construction bypassing Denver. NC 16 Bus also connects the communities of Triangle and Westport, along the western banks of Lake Norman.[5][6]

Newton–Conover business loop[edit]

NC 16 Business
Location: NewtonConover, NC
Length: 6.6 mi[7] (10.6 km)
Existed: 2008–present

North Carolina Highway 16 Business (NC 16 Bus) was established in January, 2008 when NC 16 was placed on new construction east Newton and Conover, its old alignment becoming a business loop. In Newton, it traverses along Charlotte Highway, D Street, College Street (northbound only) and Main Street. In Conover, it traverses completely on 1st Avenue. In November, 2012, a new overpass was built over I-40; the old overpass was originally connected to the I-40 (exit 131) before exit 132 was built.[8][9]

Newton truck route[edit]

NC 16 Truck
Location: Newton, North Carolina
Length: 2.7 mi[10] (4.3 km)

North Carolina Highway 16 Truck (NC 16 Truck) provides a different routing along NC 16 Bus for truck drivers, bypassing downtown Newton. The route begins west on D and C Streets (overlap with NC 10), then north on Southwest Boulevard (overlap with US 321 Bus) and finally east on 20th Avenue, reconnecting with NC 16 Bus.

Taylorsville truck route[edit]

NC 16 Truck
Location: Taylorsville, North Carolina
Length: 2.0 mi[11] (3.2 km)

North Carolina Highway 16 Truck (NC 16 Truck) provides truck drivers, that are passing through, a different route that bypasses the downtown area of Taylorsville, via US 64 and Liledoun Road.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Google (2011-02-01). "NC 16" (Map). Google Maps. Google. Retrieved 2011-02-01. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l " N.C. 16". Retrieved 2011-01-05. 
  3. ^ Google (December 14, 2013). "North Carolina Highway 262" (Map). Google Maps. Google. Retrieved December 14, 2013. 
  4. ^ Google (December 1, 2013). "NC 16 Business - Lowesville-Denver, North Carolina" (Map). Google Maps. Google. Retrieved December 1, 2013. 
  5. ^ "NC 16 Route Change (2007-12-05)" (PDF). North Carolina Department of Transportation. December 5, 2007. Retrieved December 1, 2013. 
  6. ^ "NC 16 Route Change (2012-03-01)" (PDF). North Carolina Department of Transportation. March 1, 2012. Retrieved December 1, 2013. 
  7. ^ Google (December 1, 2013). "NC 16 Business - Newton-Conover, North Carolina" (Map). Google Maps. Google. Retrieved December 1, 2013. 
  8. ^ "NC Route Change (2008-01-23)" (PDF). North Carolina Department of Transportation. January 23, 2008. Retrieved December 1, 2013. 
  9. ^ "Closures Scheduled for I-40 West Near Conover". Hickory, NC: WHKY-TV. August 17, 2012. Retrieved December 1, 2013. 
  10. ^ Google (December 1, 2013). "NC 16 Truck - Newton, North Carolina" (Map). Google Maps. Google. Retrieved December 1, 2013. 
  11. ^ Google (May 13, 2014). "NC 16 Truck - Taylorsville, North Carolina" (Map). Google Maps. Google. Retrieved May 13, 2014.