U.S. Route 23 in North Carolina

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This article is about the section of U.S. Route 23 in North Carolina. For the entire length of the highway, see U.S. Route 23.

U.S. Route 23 marker

U.S. Route 23
Route information
Maintained by NCDOT
Length: 106 mi[1] (171 km)
Existed: 1930 – present
Major junctions
South end: US 23 / US 441 / SR 15 at the GA line near Dillard, GA
  US 74 / US 441 in Dillsboro
I‑26 / I‑240 / US 19 / US 70 in Asheville
North end: I-26 / US 23 at the TN line near Flag Pond, TN
Counties: Macon, Jackson, Haywood, Buncombe, Madison
Highway system
NC 22 NC 24

U.S. Route 23 is a north–south United States highway that runs for 106 miles (171 km) from the Georgia state line, near Dillard, to the Tennessee state line, near Flag Pond.

Route description[edit]

From the Georgia state line, with US 441, it goes through the communities of Norton and Otto before reaching Franklin, where it bypasses the city to its east. Continuing north into Jackson County, it reaches the Great Smoky Mountains Expressway in Dillsboro, where it switches partners from US 441 to US 74. Going east, it bypasses Sylva and Waynesville; in Clyde, it switches partners again from US 74 to US 19 as it goes through downtown Clyde and Canton, parallel to I-40/US 74.

In Asheville, it connects with I-26/I-240 while crossing the French Broad River; it then continues northbound with I-26/US 19/US 70. US 23 stays in concurrency with I-26 to the Tennessee state line. Almost the entire route is four-lane, the exception being between Canton and Candler.

ADHS corridors A and B[edit]

US 23 overlaps with two corridors that are part of the Appalachian Development Highway System (ADHS), which is part of Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC). Passed in 1965, the purpose of ADHS is to generate economic development in previously isolated areas, supplement the interstate system, connect Appalachia to the interstate system, and provide access to areas within the Region as well as to markets in the rest of the nation.[2]

  • Corridor A – US 23 shares this corridor with US 64 in North Carolina; from the Georgia state line, south of Hayesville to I-40, near Clyde, a total of 82.7 miles (133.1 km). US 23 overlaps from Franklin to Clyde, all of which has been completed as required under ADHS, which features a limited-access road grade highway with interchanges at major intersections.[3]
  • Corridor B – US 23 shares this corridor with I-26 in North Carolina; from I-40, in Asheville to the Tennessee state line, a total of 31.0 miles (49.9 km). US 23 overlaps majority of this corridor, with exception to I-26/I-240 piece. All of this corridor in North Carolina has been completed as required under ADHS, which features a four-to-six-lane controlled-access highway.[3]

Dedicated and memorial names[edit]

US 23 in North Carolina has three dedicated or memorialized sections of highway.

Scenic byways[edit]

US 23 is part of one scenic byway in the state (indicated by a Scenic Byways sign).[5]

I-26 Scenic Byway is an 9-mile (14 km) byway from the Tennessee state line to exit 9 (US 19/US 23A), near Mars Hill. US 23, in concurrency with I-26, traverses the entire length, known for its unspoiled views of the North Carolina Mountains.[5]


Established in 1930, it entered from Georgia and followed a similar route as the route today to Enka. In Asheville, its went along route Haywood St across the French Broad River to Jefferson Dr to Patton Dr to Broadway then finally Merrimon north and out of the city. Going through Weaverville, it continued its concurrency with US 19 till Bald Creek, where it went north with US 19W into Tennessee.[6]

By 1932, US 23 was rerouted in Asheville to use Haywood to Clingman to Hilliard to Biltmore which turns into Broadway. By 1937, US 23 was rerouted again, using Clingman to Patton to College to Biltmore. Between 1939-44, US 23 was rerouted in Waynesville to use US 276 Russ St to Walnut St back to US 23 Bus. The old Main St routing became US 19A-23A. In 1949, US 23 was moved west onto new bypass (Patton Avenue) around western Asheville, leaving US 23 Alternate (later US 23 Business). In 1952, US 23 was rerouted north of Mars Hill, replacing NC 36 into Tennessee. In 1961, US 23 was removed from downtown Asheville and placed on the East-West Expressway, however continuing north on Merrimon Avenue. In 1966, it was placed on new freeway east, bypassing Weaverville; then in 1973, it was removed from Merrimon Avenue onto freeway.[6]

In 1968, US 23 was placed on new freeway bypass west of Waynesville, leaving US 23 Business through town. In 1974, US 23 bypassed Franklin to the east, its old route is signed today as US 441 Business. Also in same year, Sylva was bypassed to the north, leaving US 23 Business following the old route through town.[6]

In 2006, US 23 moved onto I-26, north of Mars Hill, leaving US 23A following the old route through northern Madison County.[6]


US 19/23, from Canton to Candler, is to be widen to a multi-lane highway and its bridge replaced over the Pigeon River. This project is currently funded.[7][8]

US 23, in concurrency with Interstate 26 and US 19, is planned to be realigned onto a new interchange at Interstate 240 and freeway improvements north from it. Right-of-way purchases is to begin in 2023, however project is unfunded.[9][10]

Junction list[edit]

County Location Mile[1] km Exit Destinations Notes
Macon State line 0.0 0.0 US 23 south / US 441 south / SR 15 south – Dillard Continuation into Georgia
Franklin 12.3 19.8
US 64 west / US 441 Bus. north – Franklin, Murphy
West end of US 64 overlap
14.4 23.2 US 64 east / NC 28 (Highlands Road) – Franklin, Highlands East end of US 64 overlap
15.7 25.3
US 441 Bus. west (Main Street) – Franklin
Jackson   29.1 46.8 NC 116 east (Webster Road) – Webster Superstreet intersection, southbound must u-turn first
Dillsboro 31.8 51.2
US 23 Bus. north (Haywood Road) – Dillsboro, Sylva
32.4 52.1 81 US 74 west / US 441 north (Great Smoky Mountains Expressway) – Cherokee, Bryson City West end of US 74 and north end of US 441 overlap
Sylva 34.4 55.4 83 Grindstaff Cove Road – Sylva
36.5 58.7 85
US 23 Bus. to NC 107 – Sylva
To Western Carolina University
Haywood Balsam 45.3 72.9 Blue Ridge Parkway
Waynesville 49.6 79.8 98
US 23 Bus. – Waynesville
50.8 81.8 100 Hazelwood Avenue
52.8 85.0 102 US 276 – Waynesville, Brevard, Maggie Valley Northbound signed exits 102A (south) and 102B (north)
Lake Junaluska 54.5 87.7 103 US 19 south – Maggie Valley, Cherokee South end of US 19 overlap; southbound exit and northbound entrance
55.1 88.7 104
US 23 Bus. / NC 209 – Lake Junaluska, Waynesville, Hot Springs
56.4 90.8 105 West Jones Cove No southbound entrance
Clyde 57.1 91.9 106 US 74 east (Great Smoky Mountains Expressway) to I‑40 – Asheville, Knoxville East end of US 74 overlap
Canton 61.3 98.7 NC 215 north (Blackwell Drive) North end of NC 215 overlap
61.8 99.5 NC 215 south (Reed Street) South end of NC 215 overlap
62.0 99.8 NC 110 south (Pisgah Drive)
Buncombe Candler 71.0 114.3 NC 151 south (Pisgah Highway)
Enka 72.4 116.5 NC 112 east (Sand Hills Road)
Asheville 74.0 119.1 I‑40 / US 74 / US 74A – Statesville, Knoxville West end of US 74A overlap
76.5 123.1
US 19 Bus. north / US 23 Bus. north (Haywood Road)
77.0 123.9 NC 63 north (Leicester Highway) – Leicester
78.0 125.5 3A
Future I‑26 east / I‑240 west / US 19 Bus. south / US 23 Bus. south
East end of Future I-26 overlap, west end of I-240 overlap; business routes hidden at intersection
3B Westgate / Resort Drive
I‑240 east / US 70 east / US 74A east / Patton Avenue East end of I-240/US 70/US 74A overlap
Hill Street
25 NC 251 – University of North Carolina at Asheville
Woodfin 24 Elk Mountain Road  Woodfin
US 25 / US 19 Bus. (Merrimon Avenue) – North Asheville, New Bridge
South end of US 25 overlap
Weaverville 21 New Stock Road – Weaverville
19 US 25 north / US 70 west – Marshall, Weaverville North end of US 25 and west end of US 70 overlap
US 19 Bus. south / Monticello Road – Weaverville
Flat Rock 17 Old Mars Hill Highway
  15 NC 197 – Jupiter, Barnardsville
  13 Stockton Road – Forks of Ivy
Madison Mars Hill 11 NC 213 – Mars Hill, Marshall
  9 US 19 north / US 23A north – Burnsville, Spruce Pine North end of US 19 overlap; east end of I-26 and west end of Future I-26
  3 US 23A south – Wolf Laurel
State line I-26 west / US 23 north – Johnson City Crosses through Sam's Gap; continuation into Tennessee
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Google Inc. "US 23". Google Maps (Map). Cartography by Google, Inc. http://maps.google.com/maps?f=d&source=s_d&saddr=US-23+N%2FUS-441+N%2FGeorgia+Rd&daddr=35.5345522,-82.826245+to:35.545357,-82.673101+to:35.57735,-82.61078+to:I-26+W&hl=en&geocode=FUj6FQIdnLEH-w%3BFdg2HgId-ysQ-ynpvhfqVoNZiDFiqP043jtSjQ%3BFQ1hHgIdM4IS-ylRWfBgQY5ZiDEQQBpjW08RaA%3BFQbeHgIdpHUT-ym38pnTXYxZiDFtIM1NsSCOvw%3BFb6fJAIdJzsU-w&mra=dpe&mrsp=3&sz=13&via=1,2,3&sll=35.564071,-82.611179&sspn=0.104311,0.222988&ie=UTF8&ll=35.503164,-82.998962&spn=1.6702,3.56781&z=9. Retrieved 2011-02-17.
  2. ^ "Appalachian Development Highway System". Appalachian Regional Commission. Retrieved June 30, 2014. 
  3. ^ a b "Status of Corridors in North Carolina" (PDF). Appalachian Regional Commission. September 30, 2013. Retrieved June 29, 2014. 
  4. ^ a b c "North Carolina Memorial Highways and other Named Facilities" (PDF). North Carolina Department of Transportation. Retrieved December 2, 2012. 
  5. ^ a b "North Carolina Scenic Byways" (PDF). North Carolina Department of Transportation. Retrieved December 2, 2012. 
  6. ^ a b c d "NCRoads.com: U.S. 23". Retrieved 2011-02-17. 
  7. ^ Staff. "Project #B-3656". Project Details. North Carolina Department of Transportation. Retrieved December 2, 2012. 
  8. ^ Staff. "Project #R-4406". Project Details. North Carolina Department of Transportation. Retrieved December 2, 2012. 
  9. ^ Staff. "Project #A-0010". Project Details. North Carolina Department of Transportation. Retrieved December 2, 2012. 
  10. ^ Staff. "Project #I-2513". Project Details. North Carolina Department of Transportation. Retrieved December 2, 2012. 

External links[edit]

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