U.S. Route 52 in North Carolina

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U.S. Route 52 marker

U.S. Route 52
Route of US 52 in North Carolina highlighted in red
Route information
Maintained by NCDOT
Length: 150.3 mi[1][2] (241.9 km)
Existed: 1934 – present
Major junctions
South end: US 52 at the SC line near McFarlan
North end: US 52 at the VA line near Mount Airy
Counties: Anson, Stanly, Cabarrus, Rowan, Davidson, Forsyth, Stokes, Surry
Highway system
NC 51 NC 53

U.S. Route 52 (US 52) is a north–south United States highway that runs for 150 miles (240 km) from the South Carolina state line, near McFarlan, to the Virginia state line, near Mount Airy. It serves as a strategic highway through the central North Carolina Piedmont.[3] Because of its alignment in the state, US 52 does not follow the standard convention of an even U.S. route number going east–west.

Route description[edit]

US 52 enters North Carolina at Mount Airy. A bypass around Mount Airy, which carries US 52 is designated as the Andy Griffith Parkway. It goes by Pilot Mountain one of the most distinctive natural features in North Carolina. Through the Piedmont Triad region, US 52 is mostly a limited-access freeway. The route joins Interstate 85 Business into Lexington, North Carolina and shares Interstate 85 around Salisbury, North Carolina. The segment of US 52 from Interstate 40 in Winston-Salem, North Carolina to Lexington is currently being upgraded to Interstate highway standards for the future Interstate 285 corridor. The segment from northern Winston-Salem to just south of Mount Airy is expected to form part of the Interstate 74 corridor through North Carolina.

South of the Triad area after splitting from Interstate 85 in Salisbury, US 52 is typically a two-lane route linking some of the state's smaller cities and towns. Albemarle is the largest municipality along this segment of US 52 to the South Carolina state line.

Between Salisbury and Albemarle in Northern Stanly county, US 52 bisects the campus of Pfeiffer University in Misenheimer. Misenheimer may be the only municipality in America whose only traffic light is not at an intersection of two or more streets, but at a crosswalk to accommodate pedestrian traffic (the crosswalk being across US 52 connecting the two parts of Pfeiffer's campus on opposite sides of the highway).

Andy Griffith Parkway[edit]

The Andy Griffith Parkway is an 11 mile (18 km) section of U.S. Route 52 in northern Surry County, North Carolina dedicated in honor of actor Andy Griffith. U.S. Route 52 through this stretch is a limited- controlled-access four-lane divided highway. Approximately 5.5 miles (8.9 km) of the 11 mile (18 km) section passes through the corporate limits of Griffith's hometown of Mount Airy, North Carolina.[4]


Due to its close proximity to Pilot Mountain State Park, in 1977 U.S. Route 52 through Surry County and Stokes County was dedicated as the Pilot Mountain Parkway by the North Carolina Department of Transportation. However, in March 2002, the North Carolina Department of Transportation was approached by a grassroots group of residents of Mount Airy that felt that a highway dedication for Griffith was long overdue.

The group proposed to rename an 11 mile (18 km) section of the Pilot Mountain Parkway running from the Interstate 74 interchange north to the Virginia state line to the Andy Griffith Parkway.The Pilot Mountain Parkway designation would remain from the Interstate 74 intersection south through Stokes County.

The group had the support of the dedication from several North Carolina state agency officials that included: Governor Mike Easley, State Treasurer Richard H. Moore and NCDOT Division 11 Board Member Sam Erby. Each of these officials played an integral role in expediting the renaming through the North Carolina Department of Transportation's Road and Bridge Naming Committee. The dedication also had the full support of Andy Griffith. The NCDOT Road and Bridge Naming Committee voted unanimously for the dedication at their July, 2002 meeting in Raleigh, North Carolina.

Dedication ceremony[edit]

A dedication ceremony was held on October 16, 2002 in the parking lot behind City Hall in Mount Airy. Andy Griffith accepted the invitation to attend the ceremony. It was Griffith’s first public appearance in his hometown in over 40 years. Also in attendance were: Griffith’s wife Cindi Griffith, Governor Mike Easley, former University of North Carolina President William C. Friday, Grandfather Mountain developer Hugh Morton, as well as many more State and local officials. More than 3000 Andy Griffith fans also attended to welcome Andy Griffith back to Mount Airy.

Dedicated and memorial names[edit]

US 52 features four additional dedicated stretches of highway.

  • George S. Coble Memorial Highway – Official North Carolina name of US 52, from Old US 52 at the Davidson-Forsyth County line to US 29/70 south of Lexington.[4]
  • John Gold Memorial Expressway – Official North Carolina name of US 52 within the borders of Forsyth County.[4]
  • J.D. Goins Memorial Highway – Official North Carolina name of US 52, from Albemarle to NC 740.[4]
  • Pilot Mountain Parkway – Official North Carolina name of US 52, it originally went from King to the Virginia state line. In 2002, it was shortened to the I-74 interchange south of Mount Airy, for the Andy Griffith Parkway.[4]


US 52/US 74, in Wadesboro

US 52 was established in 1934 as a replacement of US 121/NC 66 from the Virginia state line, near Mount Airy, to Lexington and replacement of US 601/NC 80 from Lexington to the South Carolina state line, near McFarlan.

In the mid-1930s, US 52 was placed on current routing between Rocky River-Norwood and Misenheimer-Gold Hill. In Wadesboro, US 52 was routed along Morgan-Washington-Martin Streets; while in Stokes County, US 52 was placed on new road between Pilot Mountain and King.

In 1941, US 52 was removed from Salisbury Road and placed on its current routing, with US 29/70, south of Lexington. Between 1945-1949, US 52 was split in downtown Winston-Salem: northbound using the original Main Street route, southbound using Liberty Street and First Street. In 1949, US 52 was placed on a new bypass east of Pilot Mountain, leaving US 52A along the main street route.

In 1952, US 52 was placed onto new northern bypass of Lexington, its old route through became part of US 29A/70A and NC 8. In 1953, US 52 was placed onto new western bypass of Mount Airy, its old route through became US 52A (today US 52 Business). In either 1956 or 1957, US 52 was placed on its current route through Wadesboro, via US 74; also around same time period, US 52 was removed from Old Fancy Gap Road near the Virginia state line.

From 1960-1972, the next series of changes were in the Winston-Salem area; starting in 1960 with US 52 was removed from Main Street and onto Old Salem Road. In 1962, US 52 northbound was changed to Main Street, Fifth Street, and Liberty Street. By 1964, US 52 was placed onto new freeway from Winston-Salem, just south of East-West Expressway, to Pilot Mountain; this replaced the old route from Stanleyville to Pilot Mountain, becoming simply Old US 52. By 1973, US 52 was completed moved onto the completed North-South Expressway in Forsyth County, completely removing US 52 from all regular roads through the county.

In 1971, US 52 was joined with I-85, from the Yadkin River to Salisbury, leaving the downtown area. In 1980, the freeway from Forsyth County extended into Davidson County at Midway. By 1982, New London was placed on a short bypass west of town. Between 1985-1987, US 52 was given its current Albemarle bypass routing; in October, 2010, the routing was rebuilt along its southern portion. Between 1991-1993, US 52 was extended further south onto new freeway from Midway to Welcome in north Davidson County; by 1995, the freeway connected with the Lexington bypass, completing US 52's move from rural road to freeway from Lexington to Mount Airy.

Construction of replacement bridges over Liberty Street

From 2010-2017, a series of road improvements have been made along US 52 in Winston-Salem, including replacement of bridges, interchanges and widening of lanes/shoulders. The initial change was a replacement of the Liberty Street bridges (built in 1964) over Liberty Street and the Norfolk Southern Railroad Switching Yard. The project included the permanent ramp closure of exit 111-B, on February 19, 2011; the entire project was completed on November 1, 2012.[5][6][7] In 2012, exit 110-A to Third, Fourth, Fifth Street was permanently closed related to the widening of US 52 and extending new acceleration lanes to the neighboring interchanges.[8][9] In 2013, construction began on the Salem Creek Connector (later becoming an extension of Research Parkway), at a cost of $68.9 million, it involved reconfiguring exit 108-B (replacing Vargrave Street with Research Parkway), the permanent closure of 108-C (Stadium Drive, later renamed Rams Drive), bridge replacements (including a truss flyover for Norfolk Southern) and the realignment of area roads.[10] On January 6, 2014, exit 108-B was closed and Vargrave Street razed.[11] On July 12, 2017, exit 108-B reopened to the public as Research Parkway, utilizing a diverging diamond interchange layout; exit 108-C to Rams Drive was then permanently closed, with bridge replacement to be completed in November.[12][13]

U.S. Route 121[edit]

U.S. Route 121
Location: Lexington, NC-VA state line
Length: 64.0 mi[14] (103.0 km)
Existed: 1926–1934

U.S. Route 121 (US 121) was an original US highway, established in 1926, and was completely overlapped with NC 66. Beginning north from Main Street (US 70/NC 10), in Lexington, it went through Welcome and Midway to Winston-Salem. Traversing through Winston-Salem on Waughtown Road and Main Street, it exits north along Patterson Avenue to Stanleyville. Continuing north through Rural Hall, King, and Pilot Mountain, it reached downtown Mount Airy, before continuing on north into Virginia, via Old Fancy Gap Road. By 1929, US 121 was rerouted south of Winston-Salem along Spur Street; its old alignment remained part of NC 77. In late 1934, both US 121 and NC 66 was replaced by US 52.


Currently there are plans to widen US 52 between Wadesboro to NC 24/NC 27, in Albemarle, to four-lanes by around 2015 (STIP: R-2320).[15]

In the more distant future, US 52 between NC 65, in Winston-Salem, to I-74, near Mount Airy, is planned to be reconstructed to interstate-grade standards as part of I-74 (STIP: I-4404).

Upgrades of US 52 to interstate grade, between I-85 and I-40/US 311 are estimated to cost $8.725 million. Property acquisition will start in June, 2012, with construction scheduled for May, 2013. Once completed, US 52 will be in concurrency with Interstate 285.[16]

Junction list[edit]

County Location mi[2] km Exit Destinations Notes
Anson 0.0 0.0 US 52 south – Cheraw Continuation from South Carolina
Morven 4.4 7.1 NC 145 (Main Street) – Rockingham, Chesterfield
Wadesboro 12.2 19.6 US 74 east – Rockingham East end of US 74 overlap
13.5 21.7 NC 109 / NC 742 south (Greene Street) South end of NC 742 overlap
14.6 23.5 US 74 west – Monroe, Charlotte West end of US 74 overlap
14.9 24.0 NC 742 north – Oakboro North end of NC 742 overlap
Stanly 30.5 49.1 NC 731 west – Mount Gilead
41.5 66.8 NC 138 south – Oakboro
Albemarle 42.4 68.2
US 52 Bus. north / NC 24 / NC 27 / NC 73 east – Troy, Mount Gilead, Charlotte
East end of NC 73 overlap
43.3 69.7 NC 73 west (Main Street) – Concord West end of NC 73 overlap
44.7 71.9
US 52 Bus. south (First Street)
New London 50.4 81.1 NC 8 north / NC 740 south (Gold Street) – Badin
Richfield 53.6 86.3 NC 49 – Concord, Charlotte, Asheboro
Rowan Rockwell 63.6 102.4 NC 152 west (Market Street) – China Grove
Salisbury 72.0 115.9 76 I‑85 south / Innes Street – Charlotte, Salisbury Downtown South end of I-85 overlap
Spencer 74.9 120.5 79 Andrews Street – Spencer, East Spencer
76.3 122.8 81 Long Ferry Road – Spencer
Yadkin River 78.2 125.9 Yadkin River Veterans Memorial Bridge
Davidson 78.7 126.7 82 US 29 south / US 70 west / NC 150 east – Spencer Permanently closed as of April, 2010[17][18][19][20]
79.0 127.1 83 NC 150 Permanently closed as of May, 2013[17][19][20]
79.3 127.6 84 US 29 south / US 70 west to NC 150 – Spencer South end of US 29 and west end of US 70 overlap
80.3 129.2 85 Clark Road Permanently closed as of November, 2012[21]
81.4 131.0 86 Belmont Road
Lexington 83.3 134.1 87 I‑85 north – High Point, Greensboro North end of I-85 and south end of I-85 Bus overlap; northbound exit and southbound entrance
84.0 135.2 84 NC 47 east to I‑85 north – Linwood To Davidson County Airport
84.9 136.6 85 Green Needles Road
86.0 138.4 86 Salisbury Road – Downtown Lexington
87.0 140.0 87 I‑85 Bus. / US 29 north / US 70 east – Thomasville, High Point North end of I-85 Bus/US 29 and east end of US 70 overlap; northbound exit and southbound entrance
88.6 142.6 89 US 64 – Lexington, Mocksville
Welcome 92.2 148.4 92 NC 8 south (Old U.S. Hwy 52) – Lexington, Welcome South end of NC 8 overlap
97.3 156.6 97 Old U.S. Hwy 52 – Midway
99.5 160.1 100 Hickory Tree Road
Forsyth Winston-Salem 102.8 165.4 103 South Main Street
105.1 169.1 105 Clemmonsville Road
106.2 170.9 107 I‑40 / US 311 south – Greensboro, High Point, Statesville South end of US 311 overlap, signed as exits 107A (east) and 107B (west)
107.0 172.2 108A Sprague Street / Waughtown Street To University of North Carolina School of the Arts
107.8 173.5 108B Research Parkway – Old Salem, Winston-Salem State University DDI; formerly Vargrave Street prior to January 6, 2014[11]
108.2 174.1 108C Stadium Drive – Old Salem Permanently closed as of July 12, 2017[12]
108.5 174.6 109 I‑40 Bus. / US 158 / US 421 / NC 150 – Kernersville, Downtown Signed as exits 109A (east) and 109B (west)
108.9 175.3 110A 3rd 4th 5th Streets – Downtown Permanently closed as of February 18, 2013[8]
109.3 175.9 110B US 311 north (ML King Jr Drive) North end of US 311 overlap
109.6 176.4 110C Liberty Street
109.9 176.9 110D Northwest Boulevard Southbound exit only
110.6 178.0 111A 25th Street / 28th Street
110.9 178.5 111B Liberty Street – Smith Reynolds Airport Was northbound exit only; permanently closed as of February 19, 2011[5]
111.8 179.9 112 Akron Drive – Smith Reynolds Airport To Coliseum and BB&T Field
112.6 181.2 113 Patterson Avenue
114.2 183.8 114 NC 8 north (Germanton Road) – Germanton North end of NC 8 overlap
115.5 185.9 115 University Parkway Signed northbound as exits 115A (north) and 115B (south)
116.1 186.8 116 Hanes Mill Road
Bethania 117.5 189.1 117 To NC 66 – Germanton Northbound entrance and southbound exit
I‑74 east (Winston-Salem Northern Beltway) Future interchange (funded)[22]
Rural Hall 118.1 190.1 118 NC 65 – Rural Hall, Bethania
119.8 192.8 120 Westinghouse Road
King 121.9 196.2 122 Moore-RJR Drive
123.0 197.9 123 Main Street – King, Tobaccoville
Stokes 128.7 207.1 129 Perch Road – Pinnacle
Surry 130.8 210.5 131 Pilot Knob Park Road – Pilot Mountain State Park
Pilot Mountain 133.7 215.2 134 NC 268 – Pilot Mountain, Elkin Double roundabout interchange
135.5 218.1 135 West 52 Bypass – Pilot Mountain Northbound entrance and left southbound exit only
136.1 219.0 136 Cook School Road
139.7 224.8 140 I‑74 west to I‑77 – Wytheville
141.0 226.9 141 Holly Springs Church Road To Mount Airy/Surry County Airport
142.0 228.5
US 52 Bus. north (Main Street)
Mount Airy 144.4 232.4 US 601 south (Rockford Street) – Dobson
145.6 234.3 NC 89 (Pine Street) to I‑74 west / I‑77 – Downtown
147.7 237.7
US 52 Bus. south (Main Street)
150.3 241.9 US 52 north – Hillsville Continuation into Virginia
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

See also[edit]


  1. ^ American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, United States Numbered Highways, 1989 Edition
  2. ^ a b Google (April 5, 2011). "U.S. Route 52 in North Carolina" (Map). Google Maps. Google. Retrieved April 5, 2011. 
  3. ^ "NCDOT: Strategic Highway Corridors". Retrieved March 4, 2011. [dead link]
  4. ^ a b c d e "North Carolina Memorial Highways and other Named Facilities" (PDF). North Carolina Department of Transportation. July 15, 2004. Retrieved April 18, 2014. 
  5. ^ a b "Lane closures, construction work on U.S. 52 north in Winston-Salem to begin Saturday" (Press release). Raleigh: North Carolina Department of Transportation. February 17, 2011. Retrieved July 13, 2017. 
  6. ^ "NCDOT: US 52 Bridge Replacement Project". Retrieved November 24, 2011. [dead link]
  7. ^ "NCDOT: US 52 Bridge Replacement Project Map" (PDF). Retrieved November 24, 2011. [dead link]
  8. ^ a b "NCDOT News Release: NCDOT to Close U.S. 52; Third, Fourth, Fifth Street Ramps in Winston-Salem Starting Sunday Night" (Press release). Raleigh. June 7, 2012. Retrieved August 25, 2012. 
  9. ^ "Ramp from Fifth Street to US 52 north closes Monday". WXII-TV. Retrieved October 9, 2014. [dead link]
  10. ^ "NCDOT: Salem Creek Connector". Retrieved July 13, 2017. 
  11. ^ a b "NCDOT News Release: Construction of Salem Creek Connector Ramps up in Winston-Salem" (Press release). Raleigh: North Carolina Department of Transportation. December 27, 2013. Retrieved April 18, 2014. 
  12. ^ a b Young, Wesley (July 12, 2017). "New US 52 intersection opens tonight". Winston-Salem Journal. Retrieved July 12, 2017. 
  13. ^ Luck, Todd (July 13, 2017). "WSSU, stadium have new U.S. 52 interchange". Winston-Salem Chronicle. Retrieved July 13, 2017. 
  14. ^ Google (July 14, 2013). "U.S. Route 121" (Map). Google Maps. Google. Retrieved July 14, 2013. 
  15. ^ "NCDOT - STIP: R-2320". Retrieved March 6, 2011. [dead link]
  16. ^ "NCDOT: Project R-4750". Retrieved November 25, 2011. [dead link]
  17. ^ a b "NCDOT: I-85 Corridor Improvement Project". Retrieved June 19, 2011. 
  18. ^ "SalisburyPost.com: Safety concerns lead to closing of Wil-Cox Bridge; no timeframe on reopening". Retrieved February 18, 2011. 
  19. ^ a b "NC 150 Route Change (2012-03-01)" (PDF). North Carolina Department of Transportation. March 1, 2012. Retrieved May 26, 2013. 
  20. ^ a b NC 150 Route Change (2012-01-04) (PDF) (Map). North Carolina Department of Transportation. January 4, 2012. Retrieved May 26, 2013. 
  21. ^ Staff (July 27, 2011). "NCDOT to close Clark Road entrance and exits ramps on I-85 north, section of Snider Kines Road in Davidson County starting Monday". Project Details. North Carolina Department of Transportation. Retrieved December 26, 2012. 
  22. ^ "NCDOT: Winston-Salem Northern Beltway". Retrieved March 5, 2011. 

External links[edit]

KML is from Wikidata
U.S. Route 52
Previous state:
North Carolina Next state:
South Carolina