North Carolina Highway 18

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NC 18 marker

NC 18
Route information
Maintained by NCDOT
Length: 145.5 mi[1] (234.2 km)
Existed: 1921 – present
Major junctions
South end: SC 18 at the SC line near Earl
  US 74 / NC 226 in Shelby
I‑40 in Morganton
US 70 in Morganton
US 64 in Morganton
US 321 / NC 90 in Lenoir
US 421 / NC 16 in Wilkesboro
US 21 in Sparta
North end: NC 89 near Lowgap
Location
Counties: Cleveland, Lincoln, Catawba, Burke, Caldwell, Wilkes, Alleghany, Surry
Highway system
US 17 US 19

North Carolina Highway 18 (NC 18) is a 145-mile (233 km) North Carolina state highway that travels north–south through the Foothills and Mountain regions of the state.

Route description[edit]

A 1920s map of NC 18

Surry County[edit]

NC 18's northern terminus is at NC 89, just shy of the North Carolina/Virginia state line near the independent city of Galax, Virginia. From this point, NC 18 travels in a westerly direction (signed south) for approximately one-half mile before meeting the Blue Ridge Parkway at the Surry/Alleghany county line.

Alleghany County[edit]

From the Blue Ridge Parkway, NC 18 continues westerly to the town of Sparta. Traveling through the heart of the town, NC 18 crosses US 21, and then exits Sparta in a more southerly direction. Curving through the Blue Ridge Mountains, NC 18 meets the termini of NC 113 and NC 88 in the small community of Laurel Springs. Shortly after crossing the Blue Ridge Parkway again, NC 18 hugs the Ashe/Alleghany county line before entering Wilkes County.

Wilkes County[edit]

NC 18 curves around the mountainous terrain and continues south into Mulberry and then North Wilkesboro. NC 268 joins NC 18 (and later US 421 Business) through the town of North Wilkesboro, where both routes are also known at various points as Second Street, Main Street, and Wilkesboro Boulevard. After crossing the Yadkin River into Wilkesboro, NC 18 and NC 268 wind through the town's streets (Wilkesboro Avenue, East Main Street), splitting near the center of town; NC 18 continues south as South Cherry Street. Joining with NC 16 at a junction with the US 421 Bypass freeway, the routes exit the town to the south. Arriving in the community of Moravian Falls, NC 18 splits from NC 16 to the southwest. NC 18 hugs the Yadkin River and southern shores of the W. Kerr Scott Reservoir on its way to Lenoir in Caldwell County.

Caldwell County[edit]

Entering the city of Lenoir as Wilkesboro Boulevard, NC 18 joins US 64 through the heart of the city. The two routes cross US 321 (Hickory Boulevard), turn left onto Morganton Boulevard, cross US 321 Alternate (Norwood Street), and continue through downtown. US 64 and NC 18 stay joined after exiting Lenoir, through the town of Gamewell, and after exiting Caldwell County.

Burke County[edit]

Entering Burke County, US 64 and NC 18 bypass Rhodhiss Lake and enter into the city of Morganton. Shortly crossing the Catawba River, US 64 splits between a bypass route and a business route. NC 18 follows US 64 Business and Lenoir Road into downtown Morganton. After sharing Lenoir Street and Avery Avenue, both routes meet a terminus of NC 118, and then split between two one-way streets: Green Street and Sterling Street. In downtown, US 64 Business joins US 70 Business, while NC 18 continues southeasterly. After crossing a few railroad tracks, both streets join into a normal 2-lane road still known as Sterling Street. The state highway then meets US 70 and eventually arrives at an interchange with Interstate 40 (exit 105). Exiting Morganton, NC 18 travels through rural Burke County to the Catawba County line.

Catawba, Lincoln, and Cleveland counties[edit]

Shortly after entering Catawba County, NC 18 exits it, entering into Lincoln County. There, in the small community of Laurel Hill, NC 18 meets NC 10 and NC 27 before entering Cleveland County. Heading in a nearly due south direction, NC 18 travels through Belwood and Fallston, where it intersects with NC 182. Further south, the route meets the northern terminus of NC 180 before entering the city of Shelby. Routed along the city streets of Fallston Road, Grover Street, and Lafayette Street, NC 18 crosses US 74 Business and joins NC 150. After crossing US 74 Bypass/NC 226, both NC 150 and NC 18 exit the city to the south before splitting shortly after. NC 18 then heads due south, picking up NC 180 on its way to the South Carolina border, where both routes terminate; SC 18 begins at this terminus, near the town of Earl, North Carolina.

History[edit]


Major intersections[edit]

County Location Mile Destinations Notes
South Carolina state line 0.0 SC 18 south (Shelby Highway) – Gaffney Southern terminus
Cleveland Patterson Springs 2.2 NC 180 north (Post Road) – Shelby Southern terminus of NC 180
Shelby 6.0 NC 150 west (College Avenue) – Boiling Springs South end of concurrency with NC 150
8.0 US 74 / NC 226 (Dixon Boulevard) – Mooresboro, Polkville, Kings Mountain, Grover
8.9
US 74 Bus. / NC 150 (Marion Street) – Lincolnton
North end of concurrency with NC 150
13.3 NC 180 south (Post Road) – Patterson Springs Northern terminus of NC 180
Fallston 19.4 NC 182 (Stage Coach Trail) – Polkville, Lincolnton
Lincoln Toluca 27.2 NC 27 (Poe Road) – Lincolnton, Charlotte
Laurel Hill 28.3 NC 10 south – Casar South end of concurrency with NC 10
28.5 NC 10 north – Newton North end of concurrency with NC 10
Catawba No major intersections
Burke Morganton 45.8 I‑40 – Black Mountain, Hickory Exit 105; Partial cloverleaf interchange
47.7 US 70 (Fleming Drive) – Glen Alpine, Valdese
48.3
US 64 west (Union Street) / US 70 Bus. west (Meeting Street) / NC 181 (Green Street) – Rutherfordton, Pineola
South end of very short concurrency on one-way pair eastbound Business US 70; South end of concurrency with US 64; Southern terminus of NC 181
48.5
US 70 Bus. east (Union Street)
North end of concurrency with Business US 70
Caldwell Lenoir 61.5
NC 18 Bus. north (Harper Avenue)
Diamond interchange
64.3
NC 18 Bus. south / NC 90 west (Harper Avenue) – Collettsville
South end of concurrency with NC 90
64.4 US 321 (Hickory Boulevard) – Hickory, Blowing Rock Diamond interchange
65.8 US 64 east / NC 90 east (Taylorsville Road) – Taylorsville, Statesville North end of concurrency with US 64 and NC 90
Wilkes Moravian Falls 88.7 NC 16 south – Taylorsville South end of concurrency with NC 16
Wilkesboro 91.9 US 421 / NC 16 north (Watson Brame Expressway) – Yadkinville, Boone, Jefferson North end of concurrency with NC 16
92.4 NC 268 west (Main Street) – Lenoir South end of concurrency with NC 268
North Wilkesboro 94.0
US 421 Bus. north (6th Street)
South end of concurrency with Business US 421
94.9
US 421 Bus. south / NC 115 south – Statesville, Troutman
North end of concurrency with Business US 421; Northern terminus of NC 115
95.8 NC 268 east (Elkin Highway) – Ronda North end of concurrency with NC 268
Alleghany 115.4 Blue Ridge Parkway
Laurel Springs 117.4 NC 88 west – Jefferson Eastern terminus of NC 88
118.3 NC 113 north – Scottville Southern terminus of NC 113
Sparta 129.9 US 21 (Main Street) – Elkin, Independence
Surry Lowgap 144.7 Blue Ridge Parkway
145.5 NC 89 (Pine Street) – Mount Airy, Galax Northern terminus
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

Bannered routes[edit]

Shelby truck route[edit]


NC 18 Truck
Location: Shelby, North Carolina
Length: 3.9 mi[2] (6.3 km)

North Carolina Highway 18 Truck (NC 18 Truck) provides an alternative route for truck drivers that are passing through Shelby. Its routing, entirely on Dekalb Street, is both four-lane and provides a bypass from the downtown/county courthouse area. Signage along the route only appears at key intersections.

Morganton truck route[edit]


NC 18 Truck
Location: Morganton, North Carolina
Length: 5.0 mi[3] (8.0 km)

North Carolina Highway 18 Truck (NC 18 Truck) is a 5.0-mile (8.0 km) bypass west and north around downtown Morganton. It starts by going west along Fleming Drive (overlapping US 70) and then north along Sanford Drive (overlapping US 64), reconnecting with mainline NC 18 at Lenoir Road. Signage along the route only appears at key intersections.

Lenoir alternate route[edit]

NC 18A
Location: Lenoir, North Carolina
Length: 2.9 mi[4] (4.7 km)
Existed: 1949–1960

North Carolina Highway 18 Alternate (NC 18A) was established around 1948-1948 as a renumbering of mainline NC 18, which was placed on a new bypass alignment south of downtown Lenoir. The route traversed along Harper Avenue entirely. In 1960, it was rebannered as NC 18 Bus.


Lenoir business loop[edit]


NC 18 Business
Location: Lenoir, North Carolina
Length: 2.9 mi[4] (4.7 km)
Existed: 1960–2012

North Carolina Highway 18 Business (NC 18 Bus) was established 1960 as a rebannering of mainline NC 18A, which traversed along Harper Avenue in downtown Lenoir. In 1968, westbound was rerouted along Mulberry and West Avenue; Sometime between 1969-1982, westbound was adjusted along Ridge Street onto West Avenue, eliminating Mulberry Avenue from the route. In 2006, a major realignment in downtown Lenoir took place, eliminating US 321A; at that time signage for NC 18 Bus was removed, but the route was not decommissioned. In December, 2012, NCDOT approved a change package that decommissioned the business loop and transferred control of the roads to the city of Lenoir.[5]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Google Inc. "North Carolina Highway 18". Google Maps (Map). Cartography by Google, Inc. https://maps.google.com/maps?saddr=SC-18+S%2FShelby+Hwy&daddr=35.4642846,-81.5047797+to:35.8299669,-81.6380712+to:36.3757561,-81.2470656+to:NC-18+N&hl=en&ll=35.860118,-81.125793&spn=1.938745,3.56781&sll=35.711953,-81.260376&sspn=0.971205,1.783905&geocode=FTGyGAIdOUwj-w%3BFVwkHQId9VUk-yn9kZXz6NdWiDGllKbxNTURtA%3BFc64IgIdSU0i-ym7zUaNWtpQiDHlId75X9eV8g%3BFcwMKwIdp0Qo-ylbhwEO_qNRiDEFUTgUicrY3g%3BFT_SLQIdPpQt-w&mra=dpe&mrsp=2&sz=10&via=1,2,3&t=p&z=9. Retrieved December 1, 2013.
  2. ^ Google Inc. "NC 18 Truck - Shelby, North Carolina". Google Maps (Map). Cartography by Google, Inc. https://maps.google.com/maps?saddr=S+Dekalb+St&daddr=35.2857593,-81.537504+to:N+Dekalb+St&hl=en&ll=35.281781,-81.547136&spn=0.060677,0.111494&sll=35.262546,-81.554646&sspn=0.030205,0.055747&geocode=FVT7GQIdU24j-w%3BFf9qGgIdINYj-ylh2CgdFiBXiDFy0NdIgT9XNA%3BFXypGgIdGd4j-w&mra=dme&mrsp=0&sz=15&via=1&t=p&z=14. Retrieved May 13, 2014.
  3. ^ Google Inc. "NC 18 Truck - Morganton, North Carolina". Google Maps (Map). Cartography by Google, Inc. https://maps.google.com/maps?saddr=US-70+W&daddr=35.7334558,-81.7080665+to:Sanford+Dr&hl=en&ll=35.745607,-81.680946&spn=0.060675,0.111494&sll=35.758667,-81.692705&sspn=0.030472,0.055747&geocode=FQFYIQIdMqoh-w%3BFc8_IQId3jsh-yn3SysCFM5QiDFr55GTGQwULA%3BFeG5IQIdioAh-w&t=p&mra=dme&mrsp=2&sz=15&via=1&z=14. Retrieved December 1, 2013.
  4. ^ a b Google Inc. "NC 18 Business - Lenoir, North Carolina". Google Maps (Map). Cartography by Google, Inc. https://maps.google.com/maps?saddr=US-70+W&daddr=35.7334558,-81.7080665+to:Sanford+Dr&hl=en&ll=35.745607,-81.680946&spn=0.060675,0.111494&sll=35.758667,-81.692705&sspn=0.030472,0.055747&geocode=FQFYIQIdMqoh-w%3BFc8_IQId3jsh-yn3SysCFM5QiDFr55GTGQwULA%3BFeG5IQIdioAh-w&t=p&mra=dme&mrsp=2&sz=15&via=1&z=14. Retrieved December 1, 2013.
  5. ^ "Correction to Caldwell County Route" (PDF). North Carolina Department of Transportation. December 11, 2012. Retrieved December 1, 2013. 

External links[edit]