North Carolina Highway 18

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North Carolina Highway 18 marker

North Carolina Highway 18
Route of NC 18 highlighted in red
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
 
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 primary state highway in the state of North Carolina. Traveling north–south through the Foothills region, it connects the cities of Shelby, Morganton, Lenoir, Wilkesboro and North Wilkesboro.

Route description[edit]

A 1920s map of NC 18

NC 18 is a predominantly two-lane rural highway that travels 145.5 miles (234.2 km) in western North Carolina. Starting as a continuation of SC 18, at the South Carolina state line near Earl, NC 18 travels north into Shelby, where it overlaps with NC 150 and crosses US 74/NC 226. North of Shelby, it goes through the towns of Fallston and Belwood, before entering Lincoln County. At Toluca, it connects with NC 27; at Laurel Hill, it overlaps briefly with NC 10, before entering Catawba County. With no major interchanges in Catawba County, it enters Burke County and goes northwesterly towards Morganton.[2][3][4]

Entering Morganton from the southeast, it crosses under I-40 (exit 105) and follows Sterling Street into the downtown area. After passing US 70 (Fleming Drive), the highway splits along one-way streets, via Green Street (northbound) and Sterling Street (southbound). At Meeting Street, NC 181 begins and also joins US 64 Business. At Avery Street, NC 181 continues along Green Street towards Linville. Near the Catawba River, NC 18 connects with mainline US 64 at Sanford Drive and continue as a shared concurrency into Caldwell County.[5]

In Caldwell County, US 64/NC 18 go through the town of Gamewell before entering Lenoir, where it crosses with US 321 and merge with NC 90. East of Lenoir, US 64/NC 90 split and continue towards Taylorsville; while NC 18 goes northeasterly, adjacent to the Brushy Mountains, through the Cedar Rock and Kings Creek before entering Wilkes County.[6]

After passing through Thankful and Boomer, it joins NC 16 at Moravian Falls, then goes north towards Wilkesboro. After crossing over US 421 (exit 286A), it ends its concurrency with NC 16, but soon NC 268 along Main Street. Crossing the Yadkin River, NC 18/NC 268 enters North Wilkesboro and travels through its downtown area via Wilkesboro Avenue, CBD Loop, D Street, Sixth Street and finally B Street. With a short concurrency with US 421 Bus., it continues north along Second Street. NC 268 splits at Elkin Highway towards Elkin. After passing through Mulberry, Halls Mill and McGrady, NC 18 takes its ascent along a curvy stretch of highway into Alleghany County.[7]

Entering the county at Mulberry Gap (3,100 feet (940 m)), NC 18 hugs along the Ashe-Alleghany county line before crossing under the Blue Ridge Parkway. At Laurel Springs, NC 18 connects with NC 88, where it goes westerly towards Jefferson. Heading northeasterly, through Whitehead, it crosses US 21 in Sparta. Crossing the Little River, at Blevins Crossroads, NC 18 goes easterly, near the Virginia state line. North of Cumberland Knob, NC 18 crosses under the Blue Ridge Parkway again and enters Surry County. After .64 miles (1.03 km) from the county line, it NC 18 ends at NC 89, near the community of Lowgap and .3 miles (0.48 km) from the Virginia state line. Continuing on NC 89 will take travelers south to Mount Airy or north to Galax, Virginia.[8][9]

History[edit]

NC 18 was established in 1921 as an original state highway, traveling from NC 20, in Shelby, to NC 67, in Moravian Falls; connecting the cities of Morganton and Lenoir.[10]

In 1925, NC 18 was extended south to its current southern terminus at the South Carolina state line, near Earl. South Carolina reciprocate in 1930 with the establishment of SC 111 from the state line to Gaffney, which was later renumbered SC 18 in 1937. In 1929, NC 18 was extended north, replacing NC 67, through Wilkesboro and North Wilkesboro, to US 21/NC 26 in Sparta. Also in 1929, NC 18 was rerouted south of Morganton going through the Sunnyside community and leaving behind Enola and Enola Road (SR 1922). In 1930, NC 18 was extended northeast along new primary routing to its current northern terminus at NC 89, near Lowgap.[11][12]

In 1948 or 1949, NC 18 was rerouted onto new bypass south of downtown Lenoir; its old alignment along Harper Avenue became NC 18A.[13] In 1952, NC 18 was placed on new routing between Laurel Hill and Morganton with a 3.1-mile (5.0 km) routing through Catawba County; the old routing through Camp Creek and Sunnyside was downgraded to secondary road "Old North Carolina Highway 18" (SR 1100 Gaston County, SR 1555 Cleveland County and SR 1924 Burke County).[14]

In 1962, NC 18 was rerouted in downtown North Wilkesboro, from B Street to a split with northbound along 10th Street and southbound along D Street and Forester Avenue.[15] In 1966, NC 18 was rerouted in downtown Shelby, from South Washington and East Graham Streets to South Lafayette Street.[16] In 1969, NC 18 was rerouted at Moravian Falls onto NC 16, leaving Moravian Falls Road (SR 1194).[17] In 1977, NC 18 was rerouted in downtown Morganton from Avery Avenue to Bouchelle Street.[18] In 1978, NC 18 was rerouted again in downtown North Wilkesboro, from Forester Avenue to CBD loop.[19][20] In 1992, NC 18 was rerouted back to its former alignment in downtown Morganton, via Avery Avenue.[21]

Major intersections[edit]

County Location mi km Destinations Notes
Cleveland 0.0 0.0 SC 18 south (Shelby Highway) – Gaffney South Carolina state line
Patterson Springs 2.2 3.5 NC 180 north (Post Road) – Shelby Southern terminus of NC 180
Shelby 6.0 9.7 NC 150 west (College Avenue) – Boiling Springs South end of NC 150 overlap
8.0 12.9 US 74 / NC 226 (Dixon Boulevard) – Mooresboro, Polkville, Kings Mountain, Grover
8.9 14.3
US 74 Bus. / NC 150 (Marion Street) – Lincolnton
North end of NC 150 overlap
13.3 21.4 NC 180 south (Post Road) – Patterson Springs Northern terminus of NC 180
Fallston 19.4 31.2 NC 182 (Stage Coach Trail) – Polkville, Lincolnton
Lincoln Toluca 27.2 43.8 NC 27 (Poe Road) – Lincolnton, Charlotte
Laurel Hill 28.3 45.5 NC 10 south – Casar South end of NC 10 overlap
28.5 45.9 NC 10 north – Newton North end of NC 10 overlap
Catawba
No major junctions
Burke Morganton 45.8 73.7 I‑40 – Hickory, Marion I-40 exit 105
47.7 76.8 US 70 (Fleming Drive) – Glen Alpine, Valdese
48.3 77.7
US 64 west (Union Street) / US 70 Bus. west (Meeting Street) / NC 181 (Green Street) – Rutherfordton, Pineola
South end of very short overlap with Business US 70 on one-way pair; South end of US 64 overlap; Southern terminus of NC 181
48.5 78.1
US 70 Bus. east (Union Street)
North end of Business US 70 overlap
Caldwell Lenoir 61.5 99.0
NC 18 Bus. north (Harper Avenue)
Diamond interchange
64.3 103.5
NC 18 Bus. south / NC 90 west (Harper Avenue) – Collettsville
South end of NC 90 overlap
64.4 103.6 US 321 (Hickory Boulevard) – Hickory, Blowing Rock Diamond interchange
65.8 105.9 US 64 east / NC 90 east (Taylorsville Road) – Taylorsville, Statesville North end of US 64 / NC 90 overlaps
Wilkes Moravian Falls 88.7 142.7 NC 16 south – Taylorsville South end of NC 16 overlap
Wilkesboro 91.9 147.9 US 421 / NC 16 north (Watson Brame Expressway) – Yadkinville, Boone, Jefferson North end of NC 16 overlap
92.4 148.7 NC 268 west (Main Street) – Lenoir South end of NC 268 overlap
North Wilkesboro 94.0 151.3
US 421 Bus. north (6th Street)
South end of Business US 421 overlap
94.9 152.7
US 421 Bus. south / NC 115 south – Statesville, Troutman
North end of Business US 421 overlap; northern terminus of NC 115
95.8 154.2 NC 268 east (Elkin Highway) – Ronda North end of NC 268 overlap
Alleghany 115.4 185.7 Blue Ridge Parkway
Laurel Springs 117.4 188.9 NC 88 west – Jefferson Eastern terminus of NC 88
118.3 190.4 NC 113 north – Scottville Southern terminus of NC 113
Sparta 129.9 209.1 US 21 (Main Street) – Elkin, Independence
Surry Lowgap 144.7 232.9 Blue Ridge Parkway
145.5 234.2 NC 89 (Pine Street) – Mount Airy, Galax
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

Special routes[edit]

Shelby truck route[edit]


North Carolina Highway 18 Truck
Location: Shelby, North Carolina
Length: 3.9 mi[22] (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]


North Carolina Highway 18 Truck
Location: Morganton, North Carolina
Length: 5.0 mi[23] (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]

North Carolina Highway 18A
Location: Lenoir, North Carolina
Length: 2.9 mi[24] (4.7 km)
Existed: 1949–1960

North Carolina Highway 18 Alternate (NC 18A) was established around 1948-1949 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 redesignated as NC 18 Bus.[13]

Lenoir business loop[edit]


North Carolina Highway 18 Business
Location: Lenoir, North Carolina
Length: 2.9 mi[24] (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.[25]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Google (December 1, 2013). "North Carolina Highway 18" (Map). Google Maps. Google. Retrieved December 1, 2013. 
  2. ^ Cleveland County, North Carolina (PDF) (Map). North Carolina Department of Transportation. November 2015. Retrieved February 26, 2016. 
  3. ^ Lincoln County, North Carolina (PDF) (Map). North Carolina Department of Transportation. November 2015. Retrieved February 26, 2016. 
  4. ^ Catawba County, North Carolina (PDF) (Map). North Carolina Department of Transportation. November 2015. Retrieved February 26, 2016. 
  5. ^ Burke County, North Carolina (PDF) (Map). North Carolina Department of Transportation. September 2015. Retrieved February 26, 2016. 
  6. ^ Caldwell County, North Carolina (PDF) (Map). North Carolina Department of Transportation. September 2015. Retrieved February 26, 2016. 
  7. ^ Wilkes County, North Carolina (PDF) (Map). North Carolina Department of Transportation. September 2015. Retrieved February 26, 2016. 
  8. ^ Alleghany County, North Carolina (PDF) (Map). North Carolina Department of Transportation. September 2015. Retrieved February 26, 2016. 
  9. ^ Surry County, North Carolina (PDF) (Map). North Carolina Department of Transportation. September 2015. Retrieved February 26, 2016. 
  10. ^ State Highway System of North Carolina (PDF) (Map). Cartography by NCSHC. North Carolina State Highway Commission. 1922. Retrieved February 26, 2016. 
  11. ^ State Highway System of North Carolina (PDF) (Map). Cartography by NCSHC. North Carolina State Highway Commission. 1930. Retrieved February 26, 2016. 
  12. ^ North Carolina County Road Survey 1930 (PDF) (Map). Cartography by NCSHC / NCSTC / U.S. Bureau of Public Roads. North Carolina State Tax Commission. 1930. Retrieved February 26, 2016. 
  13. ^ a b North Carolina County Road Survey 1949 (PDF) (Map). Cartography by NCHPWC / USPRA. North Carolina State Tax Commission. 1949. Retrieved February 26, 2016. 
  14. ^ North Carolina County Road Survey 1953 (PDF) (Map). Cartography by NCHPWC / USPRA. North Carolina State Highway and Public Works Commission. 1953. Retrieved February 26, 2016. 
  15. ^ "Route Change (1962-05-31)" (PDF). North Carolina Department of Transportation. May 31, 1962. p. 3. Retrieved February 26, 2016. 
  16. ^ "Route Change (1966-03-02)" (PDF). North Carolina Department of Transportation. March 2, 1966. p. 2. Retrieved February 26, 2016. 
  17. ^ "Route Change (1969-12-04)" (PDF). North Carolina Department of Transportation. December 4, 1969. p. 5. Retrieved February 26, 2016. 
  18. ^ "Route Change (1977-05-01)" (PDF). North Carolina Department of Transportation. May 1, 1977. p. 4. Retrieved February 26, 2016. 
  19. ^ "Route Change (1978-08-01)" (PDF). North Carolina Department of Transportation. August 1, 1978. Retrieved February 26, 2016. 
  20. ^ "Route Change (1978-09-01)" (PDF). North Carolina Department of Transportation. September 1, 1978. Retrieved February 26, 2016. 
  21. ^ "Route Change (1992-04-10)" (PDF). North Carolina Department of Transportation. April 10, 1992. Retrieved February 26, 2016. 
  22. ^ Google (May 13, 2014). "NC 18 Truck - Shelby, North Carolina" (Map). Google Maps. Google. Retrieved May 13, 2014. 
  23. ^ Google (December 1, 2013). "NC 18 Truck - Morganton, North Carolina" (Map). Google Maps. Google. Retrieved December 1, 2013. 
  24. ^ a b Google (December 1, 2013). "NC 18 Business - Lenoir, North Carolina" (Map). Google Maps. Google. Retrieved December 1, 2013. 
  25. ^ "Correction to Caldwell County Route" (PDF). North Carolina Department of Transportation. December 11, 2012. Retrieved December 1, 2013. 

External links[edit]

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