North Carolina Highway 51
|Maintained by NCDOT|
|Length:||22.2 mi (35.7 km)|
|Existed:||1934 – present|
|South end:||SC 51 near Fort Mill, SC|
| I‑485 in Pineville
US 74 in Matthews
I‑485 in Mint Hill
|North end:||NC 24 / NC 27 in Mint Hill|
Though NC 51 begins at the state line, SC 51 is a short 1-mile (1.6 km) road that connects with US 21 near Fort Mill. Crossing the state line, NC 51 quickly becomes a 4-lane road as it goes through the town of Pineville. After its first intersection with Interstate 485, it enters the Charlotte city limits. In Charlotte, NC 51 crosses the busy intersections of Johnston Road and Providence Road, known for rush-hour traffic during the weekdays. In Matthews, NC 51 bypasses the main downtown area, followed by a semi-controlled interchanged with US 74 (Independence Boulevard). As the NC 51 enters Mint Hill, the road narrows to 2-lane. NC 51 crosses intersects with Interstate 485 again, before ending at NC 24/NC 27 (Albemarle Road).
The entire route is in Mecklenburg County.
|Pineville||0.0||0.0||SC 51 south – Fort Mill||South Carolina state line|
|2.5||4.0||I‑485 – Matthews, Huntersville||I-485 Exit 64|
|8.5||13.7||NC 16 (Providence Road) – Waxhaw|
|Matthews||13||21||US 74 (Independence Boulevard) – Charlotte, Monroe|
|Mint Hill||19||31||NC 218 east (Fairview Road) – Fairview|
|20.5||33.0||I‑485 – Matthews, Concord||I-485 Exit 43|
|22.2||35.7||NC 24 / NC 27 (Albemarle Road) – Charlotte, Albemarle||NC 51 ends|
|1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi
- 1920s: NC 51 is a state highway going from Rockingham to Ellerbe.
- 1935: NC 51 is renumbered NC 73 and NC 109 and a new NC 51 forms at US 521 in Pineville going to NC 24/NC 27 north of Mint Hill. This used to be NC 276, which was decommissioned after the introduction of US 276 in North Carolina.
- 1968: US 21 is moved onto I-77 allowing NC 51 to be expanded 2-mile (3.2 km) to the South Carolina border, from where it goes on to the new US 21.
- 1988: The first segment of NC 51 becomes a four-lane highway, at the Providence Road interchange.
- 1990: More widening makes NC 51 a four-lane road from Pineville to Matthews.
- 1991: Head-on parking in west Pineville is changed to parallel parking, allowing for NC 51 to be four lanes through that section of town.
- 1992-1994: With the last true center of congestion being downtown Matthews, Matthews Township Parkway is built, creating a bypass north of the city. NC 51 has not been rerouted or widened since, although many construction jobs have added turn lanes on the route.
- 1998: Interstate 485 opens in Pineville.
Though the highway is commonly known as "NC 51" throughout the state, the highway does have other known names it uses locally in areas.
- Rock Hill-Pineville Road - Road name south of Sugar Creek, in Pineville.
- Main Street - Road name between Sugar Creek to Polk Street in Pineville.
- Pineville-Matthews Road - Road name from Polk Street, in Pineville, to Matthews city limit.
- Matthews Township Parkway - Road name within Matthews city limit.
- Matthews-Mint Hill Road - Road name from north of Matthews city limit to Fairview Road, in Mint Hill.
- Blair Road - Road name from Fairview Road to Albemarle Road, in Mint Hill.
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