North Carolina Highway 42
Route of NC 42 highlighted in red
|Maintained by NCDOT|
|Length:||222.9 mi (358.7 km)|
|Existed:||1922 – present|
|West end:||I‑73 / I‑74 / US 220 in Asheboro|
| US 1 / US 15 / US 501 in Sanford
US 421 in Sanford
I‑40 near Cleveland, Johnston County
US 70 in Clayton
I‑95 near Wilson
US 264 near Wilson
US 301 in Wilson
US 258 near Pinetops
US 64 near Bethel
US 13 in Ahoskie
|East end:||NC 45 in Colerain|
|Counties:||Randolph, Chatham, Lee, Wake, Johnston, Wilson, Edgecombe, Bertie, Martin, Hertford|
North Carolina Highway 42 (NC 42) is a 223-mile-long (359 km) state highway and a semi-urban traffic artery connecting Asheboro, Sanford, Clayton, Wilson and Ahoskie as well as many small to medium-sized towns throughout Central and Eastern North Carolina. The highway is primarily rural, avoiding larger cities such as Raleigh. NC 42 begins at Interstate 73 (I-73)/I-74/US Highway 220 (US 220) on the western side of Asheboro. From there the highway runs southeast toward Sanford. Running through the heart of Sanford, NC 42 intersects several major highways such as US 1 and US 421. Leaving Sanford the highway runs along the southern side of the Triangle Area, while servicing the smaller towns of Fuquay-Varina and Clayton. Further east the highway intersects both I-95 and US 264, shortly before entering into central Wilson. Leaving Wilson the highway continues to the northeast, and intersects US 258 near Crisp. North of intersecting US 64, NC 42 begins a concurrency with NC 11 from Hassell to western Ahoskie. Nearing Ahoskie the highway turns to the east and runs south of the center of the town. NC 42 follows concurrently with US 13 southeast to Powellville. Nearing its eastern terminus the highway turns east along its own routing until reaching NC 45 in Colerain where the highway ends.
NC 42 was established as an original state highway running from NC 40 north of Wilson to NC 12 in Pinetops. Between 1934 and 1935 NC 42 was extended twice, first to NC 23 south of Emit, and then to US 15A west of McCullers. The western terminus of the highway was moved in 1948 to US 15A (Now US-401) in Fuquay-Varina, placing NC 42 on its modern routing south of Raleigh. Four years later, NC 42's eastern terminus was extended to US 64 in Conetoe. In 1960 the highway was extended to US 421 east of Sanford. However, in 1963 NC 42 was routed concurrently with US 421 through Sanford before following its own routing to NC 22. The highway then followed NC 22 to the northwest, and replaced NC 902 between Coleridge and Asheboro. The same year, NC 42 was extended along new routing through Hassell, ending at NC 125 south of Hamilton. The last major change to NC 42 was in 1976, when the highway was routed along NC 11 and US 13 through Ahoskie and then replaced NC 350 to NC 45 in Colerain.
Asheboro to Sanford
NC 42 begins at I-73/I-74/U.S. 220 west of central Asheboro. The highway begins by moving east along Salisbury Street toward downtown. NC 42 briefly parallels, and later crosses a railroad operated by Norfolk Southern. Just north of the central business district, NC 42 crosses US 220 Business (Fayetteville Street), and moves into a residential area of eastern Asheboro. Briefly before intersecting Coleridge Road/Dublin Square Road, NC 42 bears to the southeast towards US 64. At the US 64 (Dixie Drive) intersection, NC 42 briefly widens to a four lane road. Moving southeast, the highway runs alongside of several rural neighborhoods on the outskirts of town. After intersecting Iron Mountain Road, NC 42 begins to parallel Squirrel Creek to the east. More farms and rural houses appear as the highway moves away from the neighborhoods along the highway. After Woodhaven Drive, NC 42 begins a slow turn to the east which it completes before reaching Old State Highway 13. The highway continues due east until reaching Hinshaw Town Road, where NC 42 bears to the southeast. Between Little Beane Store Road and Tommy Cox Road, NC 42 makes a turn toward the northeast as it heads toward Coleridge. Entering into Coleridge the highway makes a turn due east briefly before crossing the Deep River. Several houses are found to the north of NC 42 while the Deep River runs along the southern side. NC 42 meets NC 22 near the center of Coleridge, and the highway turns to the southeast to follow concurrently alongside the road. For 0.4-mile (0.64 km) the highway follows adjacent to the Deep River, before the river turns due south. NC 42 continues to follow NC 22 for 9.4-mile (15.1 km). The route is mainly rural, however NC 22/NC 42 pass to the west of Bennett. The highway also serves as the western terminus of NC 902 approximately 1.4-mile (2.3 km) north of the NC 42 split. At Charlie Garner Road, NC 42 turns to the due east toward Sanford. Between Siler City-Glendon Road and Indian Creek Estates, the highway makes several turns towards the northeast, before moving back toward the southeast. The highway runs through the center of the unincorporated community of Carbonton at an intersection with Goldston Carbonton Road. Immediately after leaving Carbonton, the highway once again crosses the Deep River, and NC 42 turns back due east along Carbonton Road. Most farms give way to forests between Plank Road and Steel Bridge Road west of Sanford. After passing Steel Bridge Road, the road name changes to Wicker Street and NC 42 enters into a residential area.
Sanford to Clayton
After an interchange with US 15/US 501, NC 42 continues northeast along Wicker Street into Sanford. Until reaching Carthage Street the area is mostly residential, however as the road continues east more commercial buildings are found roadside. In downtown Sanford, NC 42 turns to the south along US 421 Business (South Horner Boulevard), exiting the downtown area. The highway passes under a railroad operated by CSX Transportation and the turns toward the southeast. The four lane highway enters into a primarily commercial area until NC 42 turns off at Main Street. After crossing a railroad operated by Atlantic and Western Railroad, the highway moves from a commercial area to a primarily residential area. After Rosser Road, the road name changes from Main Street to Broadway Road. NC 42 meets US 421/NC 87 Bypass as it exits Sanford to the east. The highway passes by East Lee Middle School, along with several warehouses and a mobile home park all before leaving Sanford. NC 42 bears off along Avents Ferry Road to the northeast running toward Corinth. After intersecting Buck Horn Road, NC 42 begins a slow turn due north, however the highway begins a turn back to the northeast briefly before intersecting Poplar Springs Church Road. As NC 42 continues northeast, the highway crosses over the Cape Fear River. Avents Ferry Road meets with Corinth Road to the southwest of the town, and NC 42 turns right to follow Corinth Road to the northeast. As NC 42 enters into the small community of Corinth, several houses appear alongside the highway. However, as the highway makes a slow turn to the southeast, the houses give way to forests alongside Harris Lake. NC 42 passes over a railroad operated by Norfolk Southern, briefly before the highway turns directly south. The highway makes several turns toward the northeast, routing the highway toward Duncan. Entering into the area around Duncan, several small farms appear alongside the road. NC 42 also turns toward the east to run through the heart of Duncan. Leaving Duncan to the east, NC 42 once again crosses the railroad operated by Norfolk Southern, however this time at an at-grade crossing. NC 42 turns to the northeast along Academy Street, and runs adjacent to several fields along with several rural neighborhoods. By the time the highway intersects Judd Parkway, the fields disappear into a strictly residential area. Just before entering into the downtown area, the highway once again crosses the Norfolk Southern Railway. In downtown Fuquay-Varina, NC 42 turns to the north and follows US 401 (Main Street) towards Raleigh. Main Street turns to the east, paralleling the adjacent railroad. US 401/NC 42 meets up with NC 55 (Enis Street) in a commercial area along the northern side of town. NC 42 continues to follow concurrently with US 401 and NC 55 for 2.0-mile (3.2 km), until both NC 42 and NC 55 bear off to the south. NC 42 and NC 55 stay concurrent for 0.3-mile (0.48 km) until NC 42 bears off to the southeast. The highway continues to run toward the east, with multiple neighborhoods and farms adjacent to the highway. NC 42 meets up with NC 50 in a rural area near Cleveland. Through Cleveland, the route serves as the main commercial district through the rapidly growing suburban area of northern Johnston County. The highway turns to the northeast, before entering a commercial area near the I-40 interchange. East of that interchange, NC 42 crosses Swift Creek and meets up with US 70 at exit 320. As the highway nears Clayton, its passes to the south of a hospital and then moves into a residential area.
Clayton to Wilson
NC 42 enters into Clayton from the west along Lombard Street. Past Guy Road, several commercial stores are located adjacent to the highway, along with an elementary school. The highway meets US 70 Business at an incomplete interchange southwest of downtown Clayton. Westbound NC 42 follows Barbour and Hamby Streets before intersecting Lombard Street. NC 42 turns to the east to follow along US 70 Business. The two highways follow concurrently for 1.2 miles (1.9 km) before NC 42 bears northeast along its own four lane highway. The highway bears further to the east before passing by several research and industrial buildings. After Glen Laurel Road, the highway narrows down from four lanes to a two lane road. As the highway continues east, it crosses the Neuse River, another elementary school along with multiple residential developments. Most of the neighborhoods dissipate as NC 42 crosses Buffalo Road, turning into forests and farms. NC 42 intersects NC 96 southwest of the unincorporated community of Jordan. 1.7 miles (2.7 km) miles after intersecting NC 96, NC 42 intersects NC 39 and turns toward the northeast, before making another slight turn to the east. Continuing east, NC 42 meets NC 222 and the highway's share a brief 0.2 miles (0.32 km) concurrency. From there, NC 42 and Little Creek begin to parallel each other. Several accesses to Buckhorn Reservoir are located along the northern side of NC 42. Just past the reservoir, NC 42 meets up with NC 581, and begins a turn to the northeast to parallel I-95. NC 42 makes a slight turn to the east and meets up with I-95 at exit 116. Past I-95, NC 42 becomes a four lane divided highway. The highway meets up with I-795/US 264 at exit 40 west of Wilson. NC 42 makes a turn to the northeast before turning back to the east and entering into Wilson from the east.
Wilson to Ahoskie
NC 42 enters into Wilson along Tarboro Street. Up to Forest Hills Road, the surrounding area is a mix of farms and residential housing, however after intersecting the road, the landscape turns into commercial buildings. The road passes by Wilson Medical Center along with a shopping center before intersecting US 264 Alternative at Ward Boulevard. At the Ward Boulevard intersection, NC 42 turns left to follow along the road to the north. After intersecting Parkwood Boulevard West, most of the stores fade away to a residential section of northwest Wilson. US 264 Alternate breaks away to the west at Raleigh Road Parkway. Continuing on Ward Boulevard, NC 42 makes a turn to the northeast before intersecting NC 58 at Nash Street. The highway turns directly west, running along the northern side of the Brentwood neighborhood. After intersecting Tilghman Road, the highway takes another right turn toward the southeast, now running along the eastern side of Wilson. Passing by Tosinot Reservoir to the west, the highway turns due south. Ward Boulevard and Raleigh Road Parkway meet again, at a T-Intersection. NC 42/NC 58 and Ward Boulevard all turn to the left to head to the southeast. NC 42 turns left at Herring Avenue, where the highway runs to the east. The residential neighborhoods surrounding the road quickly fade to farms and several large factories which are situated on the outside of the town. The highway meets US 301 at an interchange on the far eastern side of Wilson, before heading east-southeast.
After passing to the north of the residential community of Larkspur, the highway begins a slow turn to the northeast towards Pinetops. Approaching the unincorporated community of Wilbanks, several houses and churches appear adjacent to the highway. The highway turns due east, immediately before reaching NC 124. At the intersection, NC 42 turns and continues to the northeast. Approaching Pinetops, the highway intersects NC 111 before entering the town to the west. NC 42 enters into a residential area of western Pinetops along Hamlet Street. After Fifth Street, NC 42 enters into more of the commercial center of the town and passes by several stores. At Third Street, NC 42 intersects NC 43, and the two highway begins running concurrently to the east.
Leaving the center of Pinetops, the highway passes by several more stores and an elementary school before reentering a residential zone on the western side of the town. After intersecting Bynum Farm Road, the highway turns to the southeast and enters into a rural area with mostly farms and small forests. Between Matts Lane and Vinesdale Road the highway makes a turn due east before intersecting US 258. Continuing east, the highway intersects the eastern terminus of NC 124, immediately before NC 43 bears off to the southeast. The highway turns to the northeast through the unincorporated community of Old Sparta. Crossing the Tar River, NC 42 continues for 0.8-mile (1.3 km) before reaching NC 33. The highway continues east-northeast passing multiple fields and crossing several creeks before reaching Conetoe.
Nearing Conetoe, the highway turns due east, before turning to the northeast entering into the town limits along Church Street. Church Street runs through a residential area of the town and crosses a railroad operated by CSX Transportation. NC 42 meets US 64 Alt. (Canal Street) on the northeastern side of town, before exiting to the east. The highway makes a general turn to the northeast after intersecting Vine Lane and also enters into a forested area as it approaches US 64. The highway crosses Conetoe Creek before meeting up with US 64 at exit 494. The highway continues northeast through a mix of small forests and farms, and makes several curves to the north and east. NC 42 meets up with NC 142 west of Hassell. NC 142 follows concurrently along NC 42, as the highway makes a turn due east and meets up with NC 11. At the intersection NC 42 turns left to follow along NC 11 to the north, while NC 142 continues east towards Hassell. The two highways follow concurrently to the north-northwest towards Oak City. Before reaching the northern terminus of NC 111 in Oak City, the highways turn to the east-northeast. Entering into Oak City, the highway runs along the northern border of the town with homes along the southern side of the road and farms along the northern side. NC 11/NC 42 meet up with NC 125 on the northwest side of town, before exiting to the northeast. Between Oak City and the NC 903 intersection, the highway makes a general turn further east, however makes a turn back to the northeast immediately before reaching the highway. After the intersection, nearly all the farms dissipate into forests, and the highway continues running northeast. The highway crosses the Roanoke River before turning nearly due north. The highway makes several small turns further northeast before reaching the town of Lewiston Woodville. The highway bypasses the main part of the town to the east, with only a few houses, and several small stores found alongside the road. NC 11/NC 42 meet up with NC 308 at Church Street however quickly exit the town to the north. Between Lewiston Woodville and Aulander, the highway is relatively straight, making only one turn to the northeast briefly before passing the Luella community. South of Aulander the highway meets up with NC 11 Business, which runs to the west of its parent route through Aulander and along old NC 350.
The highway doesn't ever enter into the town limits of Aulander, instead it bypasses the town to the east. It meets up with NC 305 at Commerce Street, where several houses are found adjacent to the intersection, however the highway continues through mostly forests and small farms. Northeast of the unincorporated community of Millennium, the highway meets up with the northern terminus of NC 11 Business. The highway then turns further to the east toward Ahoskie. Nearing the town, the highway turns north to briefly parallel Knee Branch, before NC 42 breaks off of NC 11, turning to the east. Continuing east, the highway runs adjacent to several rural residential neighborhoods west of town. The highway turns northeast and crosses Ahoskie Creek before entering the town limits.
Ahoskie to Colerain
NC 42 enters the town on the southwestern side, following along Academy Street. Southwest of the central business district of Ahoskie, the highway meets up with US 13/NC 561 (Memorial Drive). At the intersection, NC 42 turns right to follow concurrently along US 13/NC 561 to the east-southeast. Memorial Drive continues through predominately residential area, until reaching Catherine Creek Road, where many more small stores are found adjacent to the highway. After passing a shopping center, NC 561 breaks off to the east toward Harrellsville. US 13/NC 42 turn further to the south before leaving the town limits of Ahoskie. As the highway continues to the southeast, the landscape changes back to mostly forests and farmland, however multiple houses are found along the segment between Ahoskie and Powellsville. The highway turns even further to the south after intersecting Creekside Drive. Once again, the highway crosses over Ashokie Creek, before nearing Powellsville. NC 42 breaks off of US 13 to the northeast of Powellsville and runs southeast along Main Street into town. The surrounding area is mostly residential with very few stores adjacent to the highway. After intersecting Commerce Street, NC 42 passes by both the town hall and the post office in Powellsville. The highway continues southeast along Main Street and passes a school before leaving the town. Even after leaving the town limits, the area alongside the highway remains rural residential until reaching Rockpile Road where most of the homes stop. NC 42 continues to the east-southeast through a very rural area with only a few small farms alongside the road. The highway crosses over and passes by several swamps as it runs toward Colerain. Nearing the town, the highway dips further to the south and then gradually turns back to the northeast. The highway turns nearly due east as it enters town along River Street. The remaining 0.6 miles (0.97 km) is mostly residential with several stores near the highways eastern terminus. NC 42 ends at NC 45 just north of the central business district of Colerain.
NC 42 was first dedicated in 1922 as a modest 19-mile (31 km) connector from Wilson to Pinetops. In the 1930s & 40s it was extended west to Clayton, and by 1950 it reached Fuquay-Varina. In the late 50s, early 60s it was extended in both directions to Conetoe in the east and Asheboro to the west. The last extension came in 1990 to meet with the I-73/I-74/US 220 freeway in Asheboro.
|Randolph||Asheboro||0.0||0.0||I‑73 / I‑74 / US 220 / Salisbury Avenue – Greensboro, Rockingham||Exit 74 (I-73/I-74)|
US 220 Bus. (Fayetteville Street)
|2.5||4.0||US 64 / NC 49 (Dixie Drive) – Lexington, Ramseur, Siler City, Raleigh|
|Coleridge||15.6||25.1||NC 22 north / Creekwood Road – Ramseur||Western end of NC 22 concurrency|
|Chatham||Bennett||23.6||38.0||NC 902 east / Jerry Frye Road – Bear Creek||Western terminus of NC 902|
|||25.0||40.2||NC 22 south / Charlie Garner Road – High Falls||Eastern end of NC 22 concurrency|
US 1 / US 15 / US 501 / US 1 Bus. – Southern Pines, Raleigh
|Interchange; western end of US 1 Bus. Concurrency|
US 1 Bus. north (Carthage Street) / US 421 Bus. north / NC 87 north (Horner Boulevard)
|Eastern end of US 1 Bus. Concurrency; western end of US 421 Bus. / NC 87 concurrency|
US 421 Bus. south / NC 87 south (Horner Boulevard) / NC 78 west (Main Street) – Old Jonesboro
US 421 / NC 87 Byp.
|Exit 144 (US 421)|
||No major junctions|
||No major junctions|
|Wake||Fuquay-Varina||76.4||123.0||US 401 south (Main Street) / Academy Street – Fayetteville||Western end of US 401 concurrency|
|77.1||124.1||NC 55 west (Ennis Street) – Apex, Durham||Western end of NC 55 concurrency|
|79.1||127.3||US 401 north (Main Street)||Eastern end of US 401 concurrency|
|79.2||127.5||NC 55 east – Angier||Eastern end of NC 55 concurrency|
|Johnston||||88.5||142.4||NC 50 – Garner, Benson|
|I‑40 – Benson, Raleigh||Exit 312 (I-40)|
|US 70 – Smithfield, Selma, Garner||Exit 320 (US 70)|
US 70 Bus. west / Lombard Street
|Interchange; western end of US 70 Bus. Concurrency|
US 70 Bus. east / Rose Street – Smithfield, Selma
|Jordan||107.8||173.5||NC 96 – Zebulon, Selma|
|||109.5||176.2||NC 39 – Selma, Bunn|
|Stancils Chapel||112.1||180.4||NC 222 – Wendell, Kenly|
|Wilson||||118.3||190.4||NC 581 – Bailey, Goldsboro|
|I‑95 – Smithfield, Rocky Mount||Exit 116 (I-95)|
|I‑795 / US 264 – Greenville, Raleigh||Exit 40 (I-795/US 264)|
US 264 Alt. east (Ward Boulevard) / Tarbor Street
|Western end of US 264 Alt. concurrency|
US 264 Alt. west (Raleigh Road Boulevard)
|Eastern end of US 264 Alt. concurrency|
|131.4||211.5||NC 58 north (Nash Street) – Nashville, Castalia, RWI Airport||Western end of NC 58 concurrency|
|134.3||216.1||NC 58 south (Ward Boulevard) / Herring Street||Eastern end of NC 58 concurrency|
|US 301 – Rocky Mount||Interchange|
|Edgecombe||||144.7||232.9||NC 124 east – Macclesfield||Western terminus of NC 124|
|||148.3||238.7||NC 111 – Tarboro|
|Pinetops||150.3||241.9||NC 43 north (3rd Street)||Western end of NC 43 concurrency|
|150.4||242.0||NC 122 (2nd Street)|
|||152.4||245.3||US 258 – Tarboro, Princeville, Kinston|
|||153.5||247.0||NC 124 west – Macclesfield||Eastern terminus of NC 124|
|||153.6||247.2||NC 43 south – Greenville|
|Scotts Crossroads||156.4||251.7||NC 33 – Princeville, Greenville|
US 64 Alt. – Tarboro, Bethel
|US 64 – Williamston, Tarboro||Exit 494 (US 64)|
|Martin||||171.1||275.4||NC 142 west – Princeville||Western end of NC 142 concurrency|
|||172.2||277.1||NC 11 south / NC 142 east – Bethel, Hassell||Eastern end of NC 142 concurrency; western end of NC 11 concurrency|
|||176.3||283.7||NC 111 south – Tarboro||Northern terminus of NC 111|
|Oak City||176.9||284.7||NC 125 – Hobgood, Hamilton|
|||180.8||291.0||NC 903 – Scotland Neck, Hamilton|
|Bertie||Lewiston Woodville||191.2||307.7||NC 308 (Church Street) – Windsor|
NC 11 Bus. north / SR 1209 – Aulander
|Southern terminus of NC 11 Bus.|
|||198.8||319.9||NC 305 (Commerce Street) – Aulander, Windsor|
NC 11 Bus. south – Aulander
|Northern terminus of NC 11 Bus.|
|Poor Town||204.2||328.6||NC 11 north – Murfreesboro||Eastern end of NC 11 concurrency|
|Ahoskie||207.5||333.9||US 13 north / NC 561 west (Academy Street) / Memorial Drive – Winton||Western end of US 13 / NC 561 concurrencies|
|209.1||336.5||NC 561 east||Eastern end of NC 561 concurrency|
|Bertie||||212.6||342.1||US 13 south – Windsor||Eastern end of US 13 concurrency|
|Colerain||222.9||358.7||NC 45 (Main Street) / River Street – Harrellsville, Plymouth|
|1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi
- North Carolina Bicycle Route 2 - Concurrent with NC 42 from Old Sparta to NC 33 in Edgecombe County
- North Carolina Bicycle Route 6 - Concurrent with NC 42 from Old NC Highway 13 to Hinshaw Town Road in Randolph County
- NCRoads - NC 42[self-published source]
- Google (May 6, 2015). "North Carolina Highway 42" (Map). Google Maps. Google. Retrieved May 6, 2015.
- North Carolina Department of Transportation (2015). 2015-2016 State Transportation Map (Map) (2015–16 ed.). 1:823,680. Cartography by North Carolina State Tax Commission. North Carolina Department of Transportation.