North Carolina Highway 73

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NC 73 marker

NC 73
Map of southern North Carolina with NC 73 highlighted in red
Route information
Maintained by NCDOT
Length: 118.54 mi[1] (190.77 km)
Major junctions
West end: NC 27 east of Lincolnton
  I‑77 north of Huntersville
I‑85 west of Concord
US 52 / NC 24 / NC 27 in Albemarle
I‑73 / I‑74 / US 220 north of Ellerbe
East end: US 15 / US 501 north of Pinehurst
Highway system
I-73 I-74

North Carolina Highway 73 (NC 73) is a state highway that extends for 118.54 miles (190.77 km) through south-central North Carolina in the United States. Most of the route is a two-lane highway that passes through both rural scenic areas; however, it also serves several small and moderate-sized cities in the state, including Concord and Albemarle. The western terminus of NC 73 is at an intersection with NC 27 east of Lincolnton and its eastern terminus is at a junction with US 15-501 in Eastwood (between Pinehurst and Carthage).

Route description[edit]

NC 73 begins at an intersection with NC 27 east of Lincolnton in Lincoln County. It heads eastward, passing to the south of Lincolnton-Lincoln County Regional Airport and intersecting NC 16. It passes into Mecklenburg County upon crossing over the Catawba River just below the Cowans Ford Dam at Lake Norman. The route heads along the lake shore to the vicinity of Huntersville, where it meets Interstate 77 an interchange near the NorthCross development. Past I-77, NC 73 passes through the northern part of Huntersville on its way into Cabarrus County.

Just across the county line, NC 73 crosses the Rocky River and passes through the center of the Odell School community before running along the southern edge of the Coddle Creek reservoir. East of the reservoir, the highway intersects with the Kannapolis Parkway and Interstate 85 as it enters the city of Concord. The route proceeds through the downtown district, meeting U.S. Route 601 and NC 3 before leaving Concord. NC 73 passes through the town of Mount Pleasant—where it connects to NC 49 by way of an interchange—before passing into Stanly County.

The highway goes through the crossroads community of Finger on its way to Albemarle. Here, NC 73 avoids the city center by following a four-lane bypass around the southern part of the city that also carries NC 24 and NC 27. All three routes leave the bypass at Albemarle Plaza Mall and head southeastward as a two-lane highway toward the Uwharrie Mountains. The highways enter rural Montgomery County after crossing over the Pee Dee River at Lake Tillery.

NC 73 leaves NC 24 and NC 27 just east of the county line. While the latter two routes pass through Uwharrie National Forest, NC 73 bypasses it to the south, following a southeasterly routing through the community of Pee Dee to the town of Mount Gilead. The highway passes near Town Creek Indian Mound before crossing into Richmond County, where it turns to follow a more easterly routing toward the town of Ellerbe. NC 73 joins US 220 Alternate north of the town and follows it to the vicinity of Norman, where the two highways split just west of an interchange with U.S. Route 220, Interstate 73 and Interstate 74.

Past the freeway, NC 73 heads northeastward through a small portion of Montgomery County and the community of Windblow on its way into Moore County. Here, it serves Jackson Springs as it progresses toward the town of West End, built up around the junction of NC 73 and NC 211. The two highways overlap for one block through the center of town before splitting and continuing on their separate ways. NC 73 leaves West End and heads generally eastward to Eastwood, a community south of the county seat of Carthage and north of the village of Pinehurst, where it ends at an intersection with US 15-501.


The portion of modern NC 73 between Concord and Mount Gilead was a state highway as early as 1922. At the time, the remainder of what is now NC 73 was not part of the state highway system.[2] By 1926, the Concord – Mount Gilead highway was designated as part of NC 74, a route that continued east to Sanford by way of modern NC 109, NC 24 and NC 27, and US 15 and US 501. Also assigned by this time was NC 51,[3][4] which followed modern NC 73 between Mount Gilead and Ellerbe. NC 74 was altered by 1930 to bypass Mount Gilead to the north on what is now SR 1174. The west leg of its former routing became part of NC 515. NC 74 was also extended westward to Caldwell by this time. Meanwhile, NC 75 was rerouted by 1930 to utilize the modern routing of NC 73 between Ellerbe and West End.[5]

In 1934, NC 74 was renumbered to NC 73 to eliminate numerical duplication with the nearby US 74,[6] a route assigned as part of the establishment of the U.S. Highway System in 1926.[7] The new NC 73 began at an intersection with NC 18 in Toluca and proceeded northeastward to Newton on what is now NC 10. From there, it followed modern NC 16 to a junction south of Denver, where it turned to continue east to West End on what had been NC 74, NC 515, NC 51, and NC 75.[6][8] In the late 1930s, NC 73 was extended to its current eastern terminus at US 15-501 north of Pinehurst and truncated on its west end to NC 16 south of Denver.[8][9]

At some point between 1940 and 1951, the segment of current NC 73 west of Machpelah became part of an extended NC 273, which traveled from its current northern terminus to Machpelah by way of an overlap with NC 16 and Old Plank Road.[9][10] NC 273 was truncated back to its current northern terminus in the 1960s, at which time its former routing west of Machpelah became an extension of NC 73. In between Machpelah and NC 16, NC 73 was routed along its modern alignment.[11][12]

Junction list[edit]

County Location Mile[1] km Destinations Notes
Lincoln Boger City 0.0 0.0 NC 27 – Lincolnton, Stanley
Lowesville 10.8 17.4 NC 16 – Charlotte, Newton Partial cloverleaf interchange
11.5 18.5
NC 16 Bus.
Mecklenburg Huntersville 19.7 31.7 I‑77 – Charlotte, Statesville Diamond interchange, exit 25
20.0 32.2 US 21 (Statesville Road) – Charlotte, Cornelius
21.2 34.1 NC 115 (Old Statesville Road) – Charlotte, Davidson
Cabarrus Concord 32.2 51.8 I‑85 – Charlotte, Salisbury Diamond interchange, to be converted into a diverging diamond interchange in Summer, 2013; exit 55[13]
35.2 56.6 US 29 south / US 601 south (Concord Parkway) – Charlotte, Midland South end of US 29/US 601 overlap
35.5 57.1 US 29 north / US 601 north (Concord Parkway) – Kannapolis, Salisbury North end of US 29/US 601 overlap
38.3 61.6 NC 3 (Branchview Drive) – Kannapolis
Mount Pleasant 45.3 72.9 NC 49 – Harrisburg, Richfield Diamond interchange
Stanly Albemarle 60.4 97.2 US 52 north – New London, Lexington North end of US 52 overlap
61.3 98.7 NC 24 west / NC 27 west (Spaulding Street) / NC 138 south (Aquadale Road) – Charlotte, Oakboro West end of NC 24/27 overlap
61.5 99.0
US 52 south / US 52 Bus. north (1st Street) – Norwood
South end of US 52 overlap; diamond interchange
63.4 102.0 NC 740 north – New London
Montgomery   69.6 112.0 NC 24 east / NC 27 east – Troy East end of NC 24/27 overlap
Mount Gilead 77.3 124.4 NC 109 (Wadesboro Boulevard/Troy Road) – Wadesboro, Troy
77.6 124.9 NC 731 – Norwood, Candor
Richmond Ellerbe 94.8 152.6 US 220 south – Rockingham South end of US 220 overlap
  99.5 160.1 US 220 north – Candor North end of US 220 overlap
  99.8 160.6 I‑73 / I‑74 – Rockingham, Asheboro Diamond interchange, exit 33
Moore West End 110.8 178.3 NC 211 – Pinehurst, Candor Brief .2-mile (0.32 km) concurrency
Whispering Pines 118.5 190.7 US 15 / US 501 – Pinehurst, Carthage
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

Bannered routes[edit]

East-West NC 73 Truck, in Concord

Concord truck route[edit]

NC 73 Truck
Location: Concord, North Carolina
Length: 13.0 mi[14] (20.9 km)

North Carolina Highway 73 Truck (NC 73 Truck) is a bypass route for truck drivers that are traveling through the city of Concord. This 13-mile (21 km) route goes south around the downtown area, via US 601 (Concord Parkway North & Warren Coleman Boulevard) and NC 49.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Yahoo! Inc. "overview map of NC 73". Yahoo! Maps (Map). Cartography by Navteq. Retrieved January 5, 2010.
  2. ^ North Carolina State Highway Commission (1922). State Highway System of North Carolina (Map). Retrieved January 5, 2010.
  3. ^ Rand McNally and Company (1926). Rand McNally Auto Road Atlas (western Carolinas) (Map). Retrieved January 5, 2010.
  4. ^ Rand McNally and Company (1926). Rand McNally Auto Road Atlas (eastern Carolinas) (Map). Retrieved January 5, 2010.
  5. ^ North Carolina State Highway Commission (September 1, 1930). State Highway System of North Carolina (Map). Retrieved January 5, 2010.
  6. ^ a b "Mapmikey"; Prince, Adam (November 10, 2008). "N.C. 73". Annex. Retrieved January 5, 2010. 
  7. ^ United States Department of Agriculture (November 11, 1926). United States System of Highways (Map).
  8. ^ a b Thibodeau, William A. (1938). The ALA Green Book (1938–39 ed.). Automobile Legal Association. 
  9. ^ a b North Carolina State Highway Commission (1940). North Carolina Primary Highway System (Map). Retrieved January 5, 2010.
  10. ^ North Carolina State Highway and Public Works Commission (1951). North Carolina Primary Highway System (Map). Retrieved January 5, 2010.
  11. ^ North Carolina State Highway Commission (1960). North Carolina Highway System (Map). Retrieved January 5, 2010.
  12. ^ North Carolina State Highway Commission (1970). North Carolina Official Highway Map (Map). Retrieved January 5, 2010.
  13. ^ Marusak, Joe (February 4, 2012). "New interchange planned for bottlenecked I-77 exit". Charlotte, NC: Charlotte Observer. Retrieved March 2, 2013. 
  14. ^ Google Inc. "NC 73 Truck - Concord, North Carolina". Google Maps (Map). Cartography by Google, Inc.,-80.5638348+to:Unknown+road&hl=en&ll=35.406541,-80.538025&spn=0.120606,0.222988&sll=35.403743,-80.458975&sspn=0.030153,0.055747&geocode=FVGcHAIdRgAy-w%3BFaPgGwIdhrEy-ynLkpg7GA5UiDFR8MBrXKE_EA%3BFbc_HAIddW00-w&mra=dme&mrsp=2&sz=15&via=1&t=p&z=13. Retrieved May 13, 2014.

External links[edit]

Route map: Google / Bing