U.S. Route 52 in North Carolina

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
U.S. Highway 52 marker
U.S. Highway 52
Route of US 52 in North Carolina highlighted in red
Route information
Maintained by NCDOT
Length150.3 mi[1][2] (241.9 km)
Major junctions
South end US 52 at the South Carolina line at McFarlan
North end US 52 at the Virginia line near Mount Airy
CountiesAnson, 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.

Between the South Carolina border and Salisbury, the route is an at-grade road, varying in width from two to four lanes. It connects the town centers of a number of small towns in Anson, Stanly, Cabarrus, and Rowan Counties.

Between Salisbury in Rowan County and Mount Airy in Surry County, US 52 is a limited access freeway, and is in the process of being upgraded to Interstate highway standards. Several Interstate highways either already, or are planned to in the near future, overlay the US 52 freeway. From Salisbury to Lexington, it is cosigned with I-85. From Lexington to I-40 south of Winston-Salem it is cosigned with Interstate 285. In the future, as the freeway is upgraded, the I-285 designation will be extended north through Winston-Salem to meet a future interchange with the Winston-Salem Northern Beltway. North of that point, I-74 will leave the beltway to join US 52 and the two will remain cosigned until reaching the current short segment of I-74 located south of Mount Airy.

North of the I-74 junction in Surry County, the freeway continues on for a short distance, before becoming a four lane divided boulevard known as the Andy Griffith Parkway to bypass the town center of Mt. Airy. Immediately before crossing into Virginia, the route reduces back down to two lanes.

Route description[]

US 52 at the base of Pilot Mountain

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[]

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[]

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[]

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[]

U.S. Highway 121 marker

U.S. Highway 121

LocationLexington, NC-VA state line
Length64.0 mi[14] (103.0 km)

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 were 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[]

AnsonMcFarlan0.00.0 US 52 south – CherawContinuation from South Carolina
Morven4.47.1 NC 145 (Main Street) – Rockingham, Chesterfield
Wadesboro12.219.6 US 74 east – RockinghamEast end of US 74 overlap
13.521.7 NC 109 / NC 742 south (Greene Street)South end of NC 742 overlap
14.623.5 US 74 west – Monroe, CharlotteWest end of US 74 overlap
14.924.0 NC 742 north – OakboroNorth end of NC 742 overlap
Stanly30.549.1 NC 731 west – Mount Gilead
41.566.8 NC 138 south – Oakboro
US 52 Bus. north / NC 24 / NC 27 / NC 73 east – Troy, Mount Gilead, Charlotte
East end of NC 73 overlap
43.369.7 NC 73 west (Main Street) – ConcordWest end of NC 73 overlap
US 52 Bus. south (First Street)
New London50.481.1 NC 8 north / NC 740 south (Gold Street) – Badin
Richfield53.686.3 NC 49 – Concord, Charlotte, Asheboro
No major junctions
RowanRockwell63.6102.4 NC 152 west (Market Street) – China Grove
Salisbury72.0115.976 I-85 south / Innes Street – Charlotte, Salisbury DowntownSouth end of I-85 overlap
Spencer74.9120.579Andrews Street – Spencer, East Spencer
76.3122.881Long Ferry Road – Spencer
Yadkin River78.2125.9Yadkin River Veterans Memorial Bridge
Davidson78.7126.782 US 29 south / US 70 west / NC 150 east – SpencerPermanently closed as of April, 2010[17][18][19][20]
79.0127.183 NC 150Permanently closed as of May, 2013[17][19][20]
US 29 south / US 70 west to NC 150 – Spencer
South end of US 29 and west end of US 70 overlap
80.3129.285Clark RoadPermanently closed as of November, 2012[21]
81.4131.086Belmont Road
Lexington83.3134.187 I-85 north / I-285 begin / I-85 BL begin – High Point, GreensboroNorth end of I-85 and south end of I-285/I-85 Bus overlap; northbound exit and southbound entrance
NC 47 east to I-85 north
To Davidson County Airport
84.9136.685Green Needles Road
86.0138.486Salisbury Road – Downtown Lexington
87.0140.087 I-85 BL / US 29 north / US 70 east – Thomasville, High PointNorth end of I-85 Bus/US 29 and east end of US 70 overlap; northbound exit and southbound entrance
88.6142.689 US 64 – Lexington, Mocksville
Welcome92.2148.492 NC 8 south (Old U.S. Hwy 52) – Lexington, WelcomeSouth end of NC 8 overlap
97.3156.697Old U.S. Hwy 52 – Midway
Midway99.5160.1100Hickory Tree Road
ForsythWinston-Salem102.8165.4103South Main Street
105.1169.1105Clemmonsville Road
106.2170.9107 I-40 / I-285 end – Greensboro, High Point, StatesvilleNorth end of I-285; signed as exits 107A (east) and 107B (west)
107.0172.2108ASprague Street / Waughtown StreetTo University of North Carolina School of the Arts
107.8173.5108BResearch Parkway – Old Salem, Winston-Salem State UniversityDDI; formerly Vargrave Street prior to January 6, 2014[11]
108.2174.1108CStadium Drive – Old SalemPermanently closed as of July 12, 2017[12]
108.5174.6109 US 158 / US 421 / NC 150 – Kernersville, DowntownSigned as exits 109A (east) and 109B (west)
108.9175.3110A3rd 4th 5th Streets – DowntownPermanently closed as of February 18, 2013[8]
109.3175.9110B US 311 north (ML King Jr Drive)
109.6176.4110CLiberty Street
109.9176.9110DNorthwest BoulevardSouthbound exit only
110.6178.0111A25th Street / 28th Street
110.9178.5111BLiberty Street – Smith Reynolds AirportWas northbound exit only; permanently closed as of February 19, 2011[5]
111.8179.9112Akron Drive – Smith Reynolds AirportTo Coliseum and BB&T Field
112.6181.2113Patterson Avenue
114.2183.8114 NC 8 north (Germanton Road) – GermantonNorth end of NC 8 overlap
115.5185.9115University ParkwaySigned northbound as exits 115A (north) and 115B (south)
116.1186.8116Hanes Mill RoadTo Kaleideum North
To NC 66 – Germanton
Northbound entrance and southbound exit
NC 74 eastFuture interchange (under construction)[22]
Rural Hall118.1190.1118 NC 65 – Rural Hall, Bethania
119.8192.8120Westinghouse Road
King121.9196.2122Moore-RJR Drive
123.0197.9123Main Street – King, Tobaccoville
Stokes128.7207.1129Perch Road – Pinnacle
Surry130.8210.5131Pilot Knob Park Road – Pilot Mountain State Park
Pilot Mountain133.7215.2134 NC 268 – Pilot Mountain, ElkinDouble roundabout interchange
135.5218.1135West 52 Bypass – Pilot MountainNorthbound entrance and left southbound exit only
136.1219.0136Cook School Road
I-74 west to I-77 – Wytheville
141.0226.9141Holly Springs Church RoadTo Mount Airy/Surry County Airport
US 52 Bus. north (Main Street)
Mount Airy144.4232.4 US 601 south (Rockford Street) – Dobson

NC 89 (Pine Street) to I-74 west / I-77 – Downtown
US 52 Bus. south (Main Street)
150.3241.9 US 52 north – HillsvilleContinuation into Virginia
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi
  •       Closed/former
  •       Concurrency terminus
  •       Incomplete access
  •       Unopened

See also[]


  1. ^ American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, United States Numbered Highways Archived 2007-02-04 at the Wayback Machine, 1989 Edition
  2. ^ Jump up to: 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". Archived from the original on January 29, 2011. Retrieved March 4, 2011.
  4. ^ Jump up to: a b c d e "North Carolina Memorial Highways and other Named Facilities" (PDF). North Carolina Department of Transportation. July 15, 2004. Archived from the original (PDF) on December 29, 2012. Retrieved April 18, 2014.
  5. ^ Jump up to: 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". Archived from the original on November 23, 2011. Retrieved November 24, 2011.
  7. ^ "NCDOT: US 52 Bridge Replacement Project Map" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on November 24, 2011. Retrieved November 24, 2011.
  8. ^ Jump up to: 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. Archived from the original on April 19, 2014. Retrieved August 25, 2012.
  9. ^ "Ramp from Fifth Street to US 52 north closes Monday". WXII-TV. Archived from the original on February 19, 2013. Retrieved October 9, 2014.
  10. ^ "NCDOT: Salem Creek Connector". Retrieved July 13, 2017.
  11. ^ Jump up to: 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. ^ Jump up to: 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". Archived from the original on November 14, 2012. Retrieved November 25, 2011.
  17. ^ Jump up to: a b "NCDOT: I-85 Corridor Improvement Project". Archived from the original on July 8, 2011. Retrieved June 19, 2011.
  18. ^ "SalisburyPost.com: Safety concerns lead to closing of Wil-Cox Bridge; no timeframe on reopening". Archived from the original on July 15, 2011. Retrieved February 18, 2011.
  19. ^ Jump up to: a b "NC 150 Route Change (2012-03-01)" (PDF). North Carolina Department of Transportation. March 1, 2012. Retrieved May 26, 2013.
  20. ^ Jump up to: 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. Archived from the original on April 19, 2014. Retrieved December 26, 2012.
  22. ^ "NCDOT: Winston-Salem Northern Beltway". Retrieved March 5, 2011.

External links[]

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U.S. Route 52
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