U.S. Route 19 in North Carolina

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U.S. Route 19 marker

U.S. Route 19
Route information
Maintained by NCDOT
Length: 145.0 mi[1] (233.4 km)
Existed: 1927 – present
Major junctions
South end: US 19 / US 129 / SR 11 at Bellview
  I-40 / US 74 in Asheville
I-26 / I-240 in Asheville
North end: US 19E / US 19W at Cane River
Location
Counties: Cherokee, Graham, Swain, Jackson, Haywood, Buncombe, Madison, Yancey
Highway system
NC 18 US 19E

U.S. Route 19 in North Carolina traverses approximately 189 miles (304 km) across Western North Carolina; from the Georgia state line, at the community of Bellview, to Cane River, where US 19 splits into US 19E and US 19W, which take separate routes into Tennessee

Route description[edit]

US 19 begins at the Georgia state line overlapped with US 129; 4 miles (6.4 km) into North Carolina, it joins with US 74 and US 76 in Ranger. From Ranger to Andrews, the highway is a 4-lane expressway that bypasses all the towns and communities along its route. After Andrews, US 19 goes through the Nantahala Gorge, which both scenic and somewhat curvy 21 miles (34 km) drive till Almond.

At the start of the Great Smoky Mountains Expressway, US 19 exits off towards the towns of Bryson City and Cherokee. At Cherokee, travelers may go north on US 441 to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park or to the Blue Ridge Parkway before traveling through the rest of the Qualla Boundary.

The highway expands back into a 4-lane expressway in Maggie Valley, which it then merges with the Great Smoky Mountains Expressway for 3 miles (4.8 km) before exiting back off towards Clyde. From here, US 19 parallels with I-40 to Asheville. US 19 joins other highways in Asheville crossing over the French Broad River, then follows I-26 to Mars Hill, North Carolina. At exit 9, US 19 splits with both I-26 and US 23; after 10 miles (16 km), US 19 splits into US 19E and US 19W at Cane River. US 19 travels a total of 145 miles (233 km) from the Georgia state line to Cane River.[1]

Alternate names[edit]

US 19/19E switch at Cane River

Though the highway is commonly known as "US 19" throughout the state, the highway does have other known names posted, some to honor various important citizens.

Scenic byways[edit]

US 19 is part of two scenic byways in the state (indicated by a Scenic Byways sign).[3]

Nantahala Byway is an 43-mile (69 km) byway from Marble to Whittier; it traverses along the Nantahala River and Tuckasegee River. US 19 overlaps almost the entire route, except south and east of Bryson City. This byway also connects to the Indian Lakes Scenic Byway (at Topton and Almond via US 129 and NC 28).[3]

Mount Mitchell Scenic Drive is an 52-mile (84 km) byway from Interstate 26, through Burnsville, to the summit of Mount Mitchell State Park. It is known for its vistas in and around the Black Mountains. US 19 overlaps from Interstate 26 to Micaville.[3]

History[edit]

Established in 1927, US 19 traversed from the Georgia state line (at Bellview) to the Tennessee state line (at Elk Park), roughly similar to the route seen today. In 1930, US 19 was truncated at Cane River, where it was split into US 19E and US 19W; US 19E follows the original US 19 routing north. In 1932, it was rerouted in Asheville from Haywood Road to Clingman Avenue, to Hilliard Avenue to Biltmore AVenue towards Broadway Street. In 1937, US 19 was rerouted south of Almond to its current alignment today; while it was rerouted through downtown Asheville again: from Haywood Road to Clingman Avenue to Patton Avenue to College Avenue to Biltmore Avenue towards Broadway Street.[4]

In 1947, US 19 was rerouted from Ela, traversing through Dillsboro, Sylva, and Waynesville, to Lake Junaluska. The old route, through Cherokee and Maggie Valley became US 19A. In 1948, it was switched, having US 19 back along the original route and US 19A going south to Lake Junaluska.[4]

In 1949, US 19 was moved onto the Smokey Park Highway/Patton Avenue as a bypass in West Asheville. The old alignment became US 19A (today's US 19 Business). In 1952, US 19 was rerouted off Martins Creek Road and onto Blairsville Highway, near Ranger. In 1954, US 19 was realigned to its current route from Lake Junaluska to Clyde and Canton; .5 miles (0.80 km) of the old route was replaced by NC 209. Between 1955-57, US 19 was split onto one-way streets in downtown Asheville: Northbound used Patton, to Market, to Woodfin, to Broadway; southbound used Broadway to College, to Patton. In 1961, US 19 removed from downtown Asheville and put on the East-West Expressway, north at Marrimon Avenue. Between 1963-68, US 19 was split onto one-way streets in downtown Canton (Park Street and Main Street). In 1961, US 19 was moved onto new freeway west of Weaverville; the old route became US 19 Business.[4]

In 1973, US 19 was removed from Marrimon Avenue to its current alignment north of Asheville. In 1975, the freeway, US 19 traversed, was extended from Weaverville to Mars Hill. In 1979, US 19 bypassed Andrews, US 19 Business replaced old route. In 1980, US 19 bypassed Murphy, US 19 Business replaced old route. In 1984, US 19 was realigned in Yancey County to its current routing, US 19W was extended .4 miles (0.64 km) south.[4]

On November 2, 2012, US 19/US 19E was widened from I-26 to Jacks Creek Road, just west of Burnsville. At $107.9 million, the 13.6 miles (21.9 km) two-lane mountain road was upgraded to a four-lane highway, and the first for Yancey County. Governor Bev Perdue was on hand at the ribbon cutting ceremony opening the highway.[5][6]

Future[edit]

US 19/74, from Andrews to Almond, is to be realigned onto a new multi-lane highway west of the Nantahala Gorge. The project is broken into several sections, all subject to reprioritization.[7]

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.[8][9]

US 19, in concurrency with Interstate 26 and US 23, 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.[10][11]

Junction list[edit]

County Location Mile[1] km Exit Destinations Notes
Cherokee State line 0.0 0.0 US 19 south / US 129 south / SR 11 south
Ranger 4.0 6.4 US 64 west / US 74 west – Cleveland West end of US 64/74 overlap
Murphy 9.0 14.5
US 19 Bus. north (Hiwassee Street)
9.5 15.3 US 64 east – Hayesville, Franklin East end of US 64 overlap
  12.0 19.3
US 19 Bus. south (Pleasant Valley Road)
Marble 18.0 29.0 NC 141 south
Andrews 23.5 37.8
US 19 Bus. north (Main Street) / Airport Road – Western Carolina Regional Airport
26.5 42.6
US 19 Bus. south (Main Street)
Graham Topton 33.5 53.9 US 129 north (Tallulah Road) – Robbinsville North end of US 129 overlap
Swain Almond 48.0 77.2 NC 28 north – Robbinsville, Fontana North end of NC 28 overlap; also to Fontana Dam
Lauada 51.0 82.1 NC 28 south – Franklin South end of NC 28 overlap
  53.0 85.3 64 US 74 east (Great Smoky Mountains Expressway) – Dillsboro, Waynesville East end of US 74 overlap
Bryson City 56.3 90.6
US 19 Conn. (Veterans Boulevard) to US 74
Cherokee 66.0 106.2 US 441 south – Dillsboro, Franklin, Atlanta South end of US 441 overlap
66.5 107.0
US 441 north / US 441 Bus. south – Blue Ridge Parkway, Great Smoky Mountains National Park
North end of US 441 and south end of US 441 Business overlap
67.0 107.8
US 441 Bus. south
South end of US 441 Business overlap
Haywood   78.0 125.5 Blue Ridge Parkway
Dellwood 87.0 140.0 US 276 north (Jonathan Creek Road) North end of US 276 overlap
Lake Junaluska 89.0 143.2 US 276 south (Russ Road) – Waynesville South end of US 276 overlap
90.0 144.8 103 US 23 south / US 74 west (Great Smoky Mountains Expressway) – Waynesville, Sylva South end of US 23 and west end of US 74 overlap, northbound exit and Southbound entrance
91.0 146.5 104
US 23 Bus. / NC 209 – Lake Junaluska, Waynesville, Hot Springs
92.0 148.1 105 West Jones Cove No southbound entrance
Clyde 93.0 149.7 106 US 74 east (Great Smoky Mountains Expressway) to I-40 – Asheville, Knoxville East end of US 74 overlap
Canton 97.0 156.1 NC 215 north (Blackwell Drive) North end of NC 215 overlap
98.0 157.7 NC 215 south (Reed Street) South end of NC 215 overlap
98.2 158.0 NC 110 south (Pisgah Drive)
Buncombe Candler 107.0 172.2 NC 151 south (Pisgah Highway)
Enka 109.0 175.4 NC 112 east (Sand Hills Road)
Asheville 110.0 177.0 I-40 / US 74 / US 74A – Statesville, Knoxville West end of US 74A overlap
113.0 181.9
US 19 Bus. north / US 23 Bus. north (Haywood Road)
114.0 183.5 NC 63 north (Leicester Highway) – Leicester
115.0 185.1
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
US 19 overlaps with Interstate 26 (exits 3A to 9).
Madison   134.0 215.7 I-26 / US 23 / US 23A north – Asheville, Wolf Laurel, Johnson City West end of I-26 overlap, north end of US 23 overlap, brief US 23A overlap
Yancey Cane River 145.0 233.4 US 19E north / US 19W north – Burnsville, Erwin US 19 ends; US 19E and US 19W begin
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Google Inc. "US 19 in North Carolina". Google Maps (Map). Cartography by Google, Inc. https://maps.google.com/maps?saddr=NC-11+N%2FUS-129+N%2FUS-19+N%2FBlairseville+Hwy&daddr=US-19+S%2FWolfetown+Rd+to:US-19+S%2FUS-23+S%2FAsheville+Hwy+to:US-19+S%2FUS-23+S%2FSmokey+Park+Hwy+to:Patton+Ave+to:US-19+N&hl=en&sll=35.845369,-82.516422&sspn=0.109649,0.154324&geocode=FeDcFQIdOSP9-g%3BFXA5HQIdcKUJ-w%3BFac6HgIdelAQ-w%3BFdBfHgIdlqIS-w%3BFZLwHgIdFYMT-w%3BFRn-IwId5bYW-w&t=h&mra=ls&z=9. Retrieved 2011-01-31.
  2. ^ a b c "North Carolina Memorial Highways and other Named Facilities" (PDF). North Carolina Department of Transportation. Retrieved November 16, 2012. 
  3. ^ a b c "North Carolina Scenic Byways" (PDF). North Carolina Department of Transportation. Retrieved November 16, 2012. 
  4. ^ a b c d "NCRoads.com: US 19". Retrieved October 31, 2010. [unreliable source]
  5. ^ Barrett, Mark (November 2, 2012). "Wider U.S. 19 opens". Asheville, NC: Asheville Citizen-Times. Retrieved November 16, 2012. 
  6. ^ Staff. "U.S. 19 Ribbon Cutting". NCDOTcommunications. Retrieved November 16, 2012. 
  7. ^ Staff. "Project #A-0009". Project Details. North Carolina Department of Transportation. Retrieved November 16, 2012. 
  8. ^ Staff. "Project #B-3656". Project Details. North Carolina Department of Transportation. Retrieved November 16, 2012. 
  9. ^ Staff. "Project #R-4406". Project Details. North Carolina Department of Transportation. Retrieved November 16, 2012. 
  10. ^ Staff. "Project #A-0010". Project Details. North Carolina Department of Transportation. Retrieved November 16, 2012. 
  11. ^ Staff. "Project #I-2513". Project Details. North Carolina Department of Transportation. Retrieved November 16, 2012. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Georgia
U.S. Route 19
North Carolina
Succeeded by
19E - 19W