U.S. Route 21
|Length:||394 mi (634 km)|
|Existed:||1926 – present|
|South end:||Hunting Island State Park, SC|
| I-95 near Yemassee, SC
I-26 (three times in SC)
I-20 in Columbia, SC
I-77 (numerous times in SC/NC)
I-85 in Charlotte, NC
I-40 in Statesville, NC
|North end:||I-81 / US 52 in Wytheville, VA|
North Carolina Highway System
Route description 
South Carolina 
US 21 travels 233.2 miles (375.3 km) through the state. Beginning at Hunting Island State Park, US 21 travels west toward Beaufort, where it widens to four lanes. The route bypasses Beaufort to the south, going through Port Royal, Shell Point, and Burton. In the Beaufort area, US 21 passes by the entrances to Parris Island and MCAS Beaufort, the major Marine Corps installations in the area. North of Beaufort, US 21 continues as a four-lane divided highway and intersects with US 17. The route travels in a wrong-way concurrency with US 17 south for seven miles (11 km) before turning north towards Yemassee, South Carolina, where it becomes a rural two-lane road and intersects with US 17 Alternate. North of Yemassee, US 21 splits off and crosses Interstate 95 (I-95) at exit 42.
The two-lane route continues through rural portions of the state. US 21 goes through Smoaks and Branchville, South Carolina and bypasses Orangeburg. North of Orangeburg, US 21 runs roughly parallel to I-26 until Gaston where it conjoins US 321 and becomes an urban highway. US 21 passes through Cayce, West Columbia, and Columbia (passing by the State House).
North of Columbia, US 21 splits from US 321, reverting to a rural two-lane road parallel to I-77. In York County, US 21 enters urban areas again, connecting Rock Hill and Fort Mill. Near the North Carolina state line, US 21 merges with I-77 near Carowinds, then enters North Carolina.
North Carolina 
US 21 begins as a concurrency with I-77, which it repeats three times within the state. Its first break with I-77 is along Statesville Avenue, then proceeding through Huntersville and Cornelius, however, because of its close proximity to I-77 and North Carolina Highway 115 (NC 115), it has no interchange with I-485. The second break with I-77 occurs at Mooresville, where US 21 travels through the city and then northwest into Statesville. After Statesville, US 21 travels northeast to Harmony and Brooks Crossroads, before merging back with I-77 near Jonesville. North of Elkin, US 21 splits with I-77 for the last time and goes north to Sparta, passing the Blue Ridge Parkway after a major, curvy section. North of Sparta, at Twin Oaks, US 221 overlaps with US 21 before entering Virginia. US 21 travels 124.5 miles (200.4 km) through the western Piedmont of North Carolina, either combined with I-77 or as a two-lane rural road; from the South Carolina state line to Elkin, travelers can easily skip a majority of US 21 via I-77.
After a few miles crossing the state line, US 21 reaches the town of Independence, where it splits with US 221 and continues north. The route goes through the Mount Rogers National Recreation Area before entering the city of Wytheville. After a short concurrency with US 11 in downtown Wytheville, it goes north and ends at the intersection of I-81/US 52. US 21 travels 35 miles (56 km) through western Virginia, mostly as a two-lane rural mountain road.
US 21 in the pre-Interstate era was a north–south highway connecting the area around Lake Erie and the coastal South. One of the few true north–south routes to cross the middle Appalachian Mountains, it became an important corridor for motor traffic between northeastern Ohio, western Pennsylvania, (with US 19) and western New York state and central North Carolina, central and southeastern South Carolina, and by connecting with other highways, coastal Georgia and most of Florida.
US 21 originally (in 1926) connected Cleveland, Ohio, and Yemassee, South Carolina. In 1935 it was extended to Beaufort, South Carolina, and again in 1953 to its current southern terminus at the Atlantic Coast at Hunting Island State Park, between the city of Beaufort and Fripp Island.
In the Interstate Highway era much of US 21 became an obvious corridor for a long-distance expressway. The West Virginia Turnpike between Charleston, West Virginia, and Princeton, West Virginia, was the first segment of a planned series of toll highways along or near US 21 from Cleveland to Charlotte, North Carolina. All of the other toll highways were shelved in favor of freeways built with Interstate funding; these freeways and the West Virginia Turnpike became I-77, which completely supplanted old US 21 as a long-distance through route. I-77 was later extended to Columbia, South Carolina, also within a few miles of US 21.
Between Cleveland and Charleston, all but a relatively short segment of US 21 was completely deleted in favor of I-77, the relics being State Route 21 (SR 21) and SR 821 between Byesville and Marietta, Ohio. The section of US 21 between Mineral Wells and Charleston is now signed as County Route 21 in all four counties along the route (Wood, Wirt, Jackson, and Kanawha).
Between Charleston and its current northern terminus at Wytheville, Virginia, almost all of US 21 coincided with either US 60, US 19, or US 52, which remained as US 21 was deleted. The short segment of US 21 in southern West Virginia not coinciding with another U.S. Highway became an extension of West Virginia Route 16.
In North Carolina, US 21 originally entered the state along today's NC 51 into Pineville, then followed Old Pineville Road into Charlotte. In the mid-1930s, US 21 moved over to South Boulevard from Old Pineville Road. In 1969, US 21 was rerouted following today's I-77 alignment, the old route was replaced by an extension of US 521. From 1975–87, US 21 moved north in segments onto I-77 to its current alignment ending at exit 16A (Sunset Road). Further north, US 21 originally followed Old Statesville Road, replaced in 1956 by NC 115. In 1966, US 21 was bypassed around Jonesville and Elkin, replaced with US 21 Business.
Junction list 
||This section contains a table that is missing mileposts for one or more junctions. Please help by|
||0.0||0.0||Hunting Island State Park||US 21 begins at intersection of walking trail, road continues south to Fripp Island|
US 21 Bus. north / SC 802 east
|17||27||SC 281 north (Ribaut Road)|
|20.8||33.5||SC 128 west (Savannah Highway) – Bluffton, Hardeeville, Hilton Head Island|
|23.9||38.5||SC 170 west – Beaufort|
US 21 Bus. south – Beaufort
|27||43||SC 116 west – Laurel Bay|
|Gardens Corner||34.5||55.5||US 17 north (Charleston Highway) – Charleston||North end of US 17 overlap|
US 17 south / US 17 Alt. north – Ridgeland, Yemassee
|South end of US 17 and US 17 Alt. overlap|
||Yemassee||45||72||SC 68 west (Yemassee Highway) – Varnville, Hampton|
US 17 Alt. north (Hendersonville Highway) – Walterboro
|North end of US 17 Alt. overlap|
|51||82||I-95 – Florence, Savannah|
|61||98||SC 63 (Sniders Highway) – Varnville, Walterboro|
|67.5||108.6||SC 64 (Bells Highway) – Ehrhardt, Walterboro|
|Smoaks||76||122||SC 217 (Lodge Highway) – Lodge|
||82||132||SC 61 (Edisto River Road) – Bamberg|
|US 78 – Bamberg, Charleston||0.2-mile (0.32 km) concurrency|
|88.5||142.4||SC 210 north – Bowman|
US 21 Bus. north (Rowesville Road)
US 178 east (Charleston Highway) / US 178 Bus. – Summerville, Charleston
|East end of US 178 overlap|
|105||169||US 301 (Five Chop Road) – Santee|
|106||171||SC 33 (Russel Street) – Cameron|
|107||172||US 601 (Magnolia Street) – St. Matthews|
US 178 (Chestnut Street) / US 21 Bus. (Columbia Road) – North
|West end of US 178 overlap|
||120||193||SC 6 south (Cawcaw Road) / SC 172 west (Bull Swamp Road) – St. Matthews, North||South end of SC 6 overlap|
|122||196||SC 6 north (Center Hill Road) – Swansea||North end of SC 6 overlap|
||127||204||I-26 – Columbia, Charleston|
||130||209||US 176 east (Old State Road) – St. Matthews||East end of US 176 overlap|
||137||220||I-26 – Columbia, Charleston|
|138||222||US 321 south – Gaston, Swansea||South end of US 321 overlap|
|Cayce||141||227||To I-77 (Fish Hatchery Road) – Charlotte|
|141.5||227.7||I-26 – Charleston, Spartanburg|
|142.5||229.3||SC 2 north (Frink Road)|
|West Columbia||144||232||SC 302 south (Airport Boulevard) – Aiken, Columbia Metropolitan Airport|
|146||235||SC 2 (State Street)|
||Columbia||147||237||US 1 / US 378 (Gervais Street)||To South Carolina State House|
|147.5||237.4||SC 12 (Hampton/Tylor Streets)||To Finlay Park and Columbia Museum of Art|
|148||238||I-126 west / US 76 west – Greenville, Spartanburg||West end of US 76 overlap|
|148.5||239.0||US 76 east (Elmwood Avenue)||East end of US 76 overlap|
|149||240||US 176 west (River Drive)||West end of US 176 overlap|
|150||241||SC 16 (Sunset Drive)|
|151||243||SC 215 north (Montichello Road)||To Columbia International University|
|152||245||US 321 north (Fairfield Street)|
|154||248||I-20 – Florence, Augusta|
|161||259||I-77 – Columbia, Charlotte|
|161||259||SC 555 (Farrow Road) – Columbia|
|SC 34 – Lugoff, Camden, Winnsboro Mills||0.2-mile (0.32 km) concurrency|
|188||303||SC 200 – Winnsboro||South end of SC 200 overlap|
||Great Falls||191||307||SC 99 north (Chester Avenue) – Richburg|
|192||309||SC 97 / SC 200 north – Chester, Lancaster||North end of SC 200 overlap, brief 0.1-mile (0.16 km) concurrency with SC 97|
|Fort Lawn||200||322||SC 9 (Chester Avenue) – Richburg, Lancaster|
|205||330||SC 223 (Wylies Mill Road) – Richburg|
||Lesslie||212||341||SC 5 south – Lexington|
|Rock Hill||216||348||Springfield Road – Lesslie||Exit ramps not clearly marked|
|217||349||I-77 – Columbia, Charlotte|
US 21 Bus. north / SC 5 north (Main Street)
|North end of SC 5 overlap|
|218||351||SC 121 south (Cowan Road)||South end of SC 121 overlap|
|219||352||SC 122 (Dave Lyle Boulevard)|
US 21 Bus. south (Cherry Road) / SC 121
|North end of SC 121 overlap|
|222||357||I-77 / SC 161 west (Celanese Road) – Columbia, Charlotte|
US 21 Bus. north (Spratt Street)
|228||367||SC 460 (Springfield Parkway) – Tega Cay, Fort Mill|
US 21 Bus. south (Old Nation Road)
|230||370||SC 51 north (Pineville-Rock Hill Road) – Pineville|
|230.5||371.0||I-77 south / Carowinds Boulevard – Columbia||South end of I-77 overlap; to Carowinds|
||South Carolina–North Carolina state line|
||Charlotte||1A||Westinghouse Boulevard||Formerly exit 1 before August 2010|
|1B||I-485 – Huntersville, Pineville||Formerly exit 2 (southbound) before August 2010|
|3||Arrowood Road||Formerly exit 2 (northbound) before August 2010|
|4||Nations Ford Road|
|6A||Woodlawn Road south – Queens University||To Pfeiffer University|
|6B||NC 49 (South Tryon Street) / Billy Graham Parkway||To Billy Graham Library|
|7||To NC 49 / Clanton Road|
|8||To NC 160 / Remount Road||Northbound exit and southbound entrance|
|9A||NC 160 (West Boulevard)||Southbound exit and northbound entrance|
|9B||I-277 north (John Belk Freeway) / US 74 east|
|9C||US 74 west (Wilkinson Boulevard)|
|10A||US 29 / NC 27 (Morehead Street)||Northbound exit is via exit 9C|
|10||Trade Street, Fifth Street||Signed as exits 10B (Trade Street east) and 10C (Trade Street west, Fifth Street) southbound|
|11A||I-277 south / NC 16 south (Brookshire Freeway east) – Downtown Charlotte|
|11B||NC 16 north (Brookshire Freeway west)||Northbound left exit|
|13||I-85 – Greensboro, Spartanburg||Signed as exits 13A (north) and 13B (south)|
|16||26||16||I-77 north – Statesville||North end of I-77 overlap|
|16.5||26.6||NC 155 north (Old Statesville Road)|
|19||31||NC 24 (W.T. Harris Boulevard)|
|Huntersville||25.5||41.0||NC 73 (Sam Fur Road) – Concord|
|Cornelius||25.5||41.0||28||I-77 south – Charlotte||South end of I-77 overlap|
|Davidson||30||Davidson, Davidson College|
|33.5||53.9||33||I-77 north – Statesville||North end of I-77 overlap|
|36.5||58.7||NC 150 (Plaza Drive)|
|36.5||58.7||NC 155 south (Statesville Highway)||South end of NC 155 overlap|
|43||69||I-77 – Charlotte, Statesville|
|Statesville||51||82||US 70 (Garner Bagnal Boulevard) – Conover, Salisbury|
|52||84||US 64 west (Front Street) / NC 90 west (Water Street) / NC 115 north (Center Street)||US 21 zig-zags through downtown Statesville; west end of US 64 overlap, north end of NC 115 overlap|
|53||85||US 64 east (Davie Avenue) – Mocksville||East end of US 64 overlap|
|54||87||I-40 – Hickory, Winston-Salem|
|57.5||92.5||I-77 – Statesville, Elkin|
|Harmony||67||108||NC 901 (Memorial Highway) – Union Grove|
||Brooks Crossroads||79||127||US 421 – Wilkesboro, Yadkinville, Winston-Salem|
I-77 south / US 21 Bus. north – Statesville, Jonesville
|South end of I-77 overlap|
|Jonesville||82||NC 67 – Jonesville, Boonville, Elkin|
||Elkin||90||145||83||I-77 north – Wytheville||North end of I-77 overlap; southbound exit and northbound entrance|
|91.5||147.3||NC 268 – Elkin||To Elkin Municipal Airport|
US 21 Bus. south / Popular Springs Road – Elkin
|Northbound turn left on Popular Springs Road to US 21 Business|
||111||179||Blue Ridge Parkway|
|Sparta||118.5||190.7||NC 18 (Whitehead Street) – Laurel Springs|
|Twin Oaks||121||195||US 221 south – Jefferson||South end of US 221 overlap|
||North Carolina–Virginia state line|
||Independence||4||6||US 58 / US 221 north (Main Street) – Mouth of Wilson, Galax||North end of US 221 overlap|
|Elk Creek||13||21||Corners Rock Road|
||Speedwell||21||34||SR 619 east / SR 749 west|
|Wytheville||33.5||53.9||US 11 (Lee Highway/Main Street)||0.4-mile (0.64 km) concurrency|
|35||56||I-81 / US 52 – Bristol, Roanoke|
Business routes 
South Carolina business loops 
There are four U.S. Route 21 Business loop in South Carolina:
- Beaufort – A 5.4-mile (8.7 km) route that goes through downtown Beaufort, via Sea Island Parkway, Carteret Street and Boundary Street.
- Orangeburg – A 2.7-mile (4.3 km) route that goes through downtown Orangeburg, via Magnolia Street.
- Rock Hill – A 6.6-mile (10.6 km) route that goes through downtown Rock Hill, via Main Street, Oakland Street and Cherry Road.
- Fort Mill – A 7.1-mile (11.4 km) route that goes through downtown Fort Mill, via Spratt Street and Old Nation Road.
North Carolina business loop 
There is one U.S. Route 21 Business loop in North Carolina:
- Elkin – It is a 7.8-mile (12.6 km) route that goes through downtown Jonesville and Elkin. The route was established in 1966 after mainline US 21 moved east onto a completed section of I-77.
Related U.S. routes 
See also 
- Droz, Robert V. (June 1, 2010). "North–South US Highways with Daughter Routes". US Highways from US 1 to US 830. Self-published. Retrieved June 2, 2012.[unreliable source]
- Google Inc. Google Maps – Overview Map of US 21 in SC (Map). Cartography by Google, Inc. http://maps.google.com/maps?f=d&source=s_d&saddr=US-21+N%2FState+Rd+S-7-406&daddr=32.39446,-80.68124+to:32.92403,-80.85831+to:33.69169,-80.93173+to:33.85501,-81.022+to:33.91695,-81.07418+to:33.98799,-81.04643+to:34.11547,-80.98999+to:34.260892,-80.9616175+to:34.73667,-80.90525+to:34.9506,-80.99774+to:35.07296,-80.93542+to:I-77+N&hl=en&geocode=FdIX7gEduoY0-w%3BFdxM7gEd6OYw-ykb7RYx3gz8iDHGPNLiL0d0ew%3BFX5h9gEdOjMu-yl9JU6egE35iDErBacgoCGK4A%3BFSoYAgIdbhQt-ymPxxkX9874iDFmOgDlxE2boQ%3BFSKWBAId0LMr-yl5I2VMRLj4iDE87_PFx9RZ2w%3BFRaIBQId_Ocq-ylpTcIDVbn4iDHLXuBHIw96Fw%3BFZadBgIdYlQr-ykbW7gIPLv4iDFT6WiJmpR8YA%3BFY6PCAId2jAs-ynj73XeIKb4iDGG2D_eSO6WLw%3BFZzHCgIdr58s-ykfyx4lYQNWiDHg6jKVz1daxg%3BFR4KEgId3nst-ylf4OS4LnpWiDH2WzYgWfFZXQ%3BFchNFQIdlBIs-yn33j0yo4hWiDGaFIc2a4ywrg%3BFcArFwIdBAYt-ynnTKxxIptWiDF_kexPt6IOZA%3BFf6hFwIdDBct-w&mra=dpe&mrcr=0&mrsp=5&sz=12&via=1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11&sll=33.916013,-80.968895&sspn=0.212826,0.445976&ie=UTF8&ll=33.715202,-80.419922&spn=3.41286,7.13562&z=8. Retrieved February 1, 2011.
- Google Inc. Google Maps – Overview Map of US 21 in NC (Map). Cartography by Google, Inc. http://maps.google.com/maps?f=d&source=s_d&saddr=I-77+N&daddr=35.33978,-80.84222+to:35.450738,-80.8669896+to:35.60639,-80.83859+to:35.736758,-80.8980744+to:35.7843879,-80.8854998+to:35.827681,-80.874724+to:35.93103,-80.78013+to:36.14551,-80.78297+to:US-21+N%2FUS-221+N&hl=en&geocode=Ff6hFwIdDBct-w%3BFQQ-GwIdFHIu-ynXhM_jD6dWiDHqjwYW4gPVWg%3BFXLvHAIdUxEu-ynDMEdtEKlWiDEqvqAdEJGcgA%3BFXZPHwIdQoAu-ymHyzxpCVVRiDFp7RYGin8CXg%3BFbZMIQId5pct-ymPSpwvU1dRiDGyPDp24QndKQ%3BFcMGIgIdBckt-ynxR4kCnVlRiDFb3Evqye4Vsw%3BFeGvIgIdHPMt-ymX5mAWNVlRiDEsQC3zyFANjQ%3BFZZDJAIdnmQv-ynxgYOuwN9TiDFIMvYY--0Oeg%3BFWaJJwIdhlkv-ykXsYEqQtZTiDHif8x5kl90UQ%3BFbgDLgId3rEp-w&mra=dpe&mrcr=0&mrsp=5&sz=15&via=1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8&sll=35.785931,-80.868173&sspn=0.026005,0.055747&ie=UTF8&ll=35.773258,-79.898071&spn=3.328915,7.13562&z=8. Retrieved February 1, 2011.
- Google Inc. Google Maps – Overview Maps of US 21 in VA (Map). Cartography by Google, Inc. http://maps.google.com/maps?f=d&source=s_d&saddr=US-21+N%2FUS-221+N%2FNew+River+Pkwy&daddr=N+4th+St&hl=en&geocode=FbgDLgId3rEp-w%3BFY73MwIdA4gq-w&mra=dme&mrcr=0&mrsp=1&sz=16&sll=36.95946,-81.097255&sspn=0.012808,0.027874&ie=UTF8&ll=36.830172,-80.973358&spn=0.821096,1.783905&z=10. Retrieved February 1, 2011.
- Sanderson, Dale (July 4, 2009). "End of US Highway 21". US Ends. Retrieved February 2, 2011. Unknown parameter
|published=ignored (help)[unreliable source]
- Mapmikey; Prince, Adam (August 28, 2009). "US 21". NCRoads.com Annex: More Highways of North Carolina. Self-published. Archived from the original on June 16, 2011. Retrieved February 2, 2011.[unreliable source]
- Google Inc. Google Maps – US 21 Bus., Beaufort (Map). Cartography by Google, Inc. http://maps.google.com/maps?f=d&source=s_d&saddr=U.S.+21+Business&daddr=Boundary+St&hl=en&geocode=FdeY7gEdl18x-w%3BFXwB7wEdqIww-w&mra=me&mrcr=0&mrsp=1,0&sz=17&sll=32.440267,-80.703034&sspn=0.006764,0.013937&ie=UTF8&ll=32.428876,-80.679216&spn=0.054117,0.111494&z=14. Retrieved February 2, 2011.
- Google Inc. Google Maps – US 21 Bus., Orangeburg (Map). Cartography by Google, Inc. http://maps.google.com/maps?f=d&source=s_d&saddr=US-21+N%2FRowesville+Rd&daddr=Magnolia+St&hl=en&geocode=Ffq5_gEdslsu-w%3BFZJG_wEdoFMu-w&mra=me&mrcr=0&mrsp=1,0&sz=17&sll=33.506772,-80.847777&sspn=0.006683,0.013937&ie=UTF8&ll=33.493522,-80.849161&spn=0.053469,0.111494&z=14. Retrieved February 2, 2011.
- Google Inc. Google Maps – US 21 Bus., Rock Hill (Map). Cartography by Google, Inc. http://maps.google.com/maps?f=d&source=s_d&saddr=S+Carolina+5+E%2FE+Main+St&daddr=34.9357292,-81.0270953+to:Cherry+Rd&hl=en&geocode=FVLJFAIdDy4s-w%3BFbETFQId6Z8r-yntv0-N_IhWiDFBY75CZQWBtA%3BFXeWFQIdviUs-w&mra=dpe&mrcr=0&mrsp=1&sz=14&via=1&sll=34.942096,-81.009064&sspn=0.052557,0.111494&ie=UTF8&ll=34.941111,-81.003914&spn=0.105116,0.222988&z=13. Retrieved February 2, 2011.
- Google Inc. Google Maps – US 21 Bus., Fort Mill (Map). Cartography by Google, Inc. http://maps.google.com/maps?f=d&source=s_d&saddr=Unknown+road&daddr=35.0402778,-80.9285446+to:US-21+BUS+S%2FOld+Nation+Rd&hl=en&geocode=FfDsFQIdFX4s-w%3BFRWsFgId4CAt-ykFfzIbz4RWiDGsX7Qed84qUQ%3BFeAnFwIdXAYt-w&mra=dpe&mrcr=0&mrsp=1&sz=13&via=1&sll=35.03604,-80.887356&sspn=0.104994,0.222988&ie=UTF8&ll=35.033651,-80.940399&spn=0.104997,0.222988&z=13. Retrieved February 2, 2011.
- Google Inc. Google Maps – US 21 Bus., Elkin (Map). Cartography by Google, Inc. http://maps.google.com/maps?f=d&source=s_d&saddr=US-21+S%2FUS-21+BUS+S&daddr=36.253992,-80.8487545+to:US-21+S%2FUS-21+BUS+S%2FPoplar+Springs+Rd&hl=en&geocode=FRpSKAId6uwu-w%3BFSgxKQIdjlgu-ykDy23-g39RiDH4yzuihBn3fA%3BFUm7KQIdU04u-w&mra=dpe&mrcr=0&mrsp=1&sz=13&via=1&sll=36.247734,-80.825558&sspn=0.103414,0.222988&ie=UTF8&ll=36.262823,-80.768051&spn=0.206788,0.445976&z=12. Retrieved February 2, 2011.
- Mapmikey; Prince, Adam (August 28, 2009). "US 21 Business". NCRoads.com Annex: More Highways of North Carolina. Self-published. Archived from the original on June 16, 2011. Retrieved February 2, 2011.[unreliable source]
- Media related to U.S. Route 21 at Wikimedia Commons