The Highways of North Carolina
N.C. 9 
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Photo: NC 9 ends at the community of Montreat (Adam Prince)
NC 9's Northern End in Montreat
N.C. 9  48 miles
The Road: Begins 2 miles above US 70 at the village of Montreat (Buncombe County) and ends at the South Carolina State Line below Green Creek (Polk County). The route continues nearly 200 more miles as SC 9 to SC 65 in Cherry Grove Beach, SC.
Towns and Attractions: Polk Co: Mill Spring
Rutherford Co: Lake Lure, Chimney Rock, Hickory Nut Falls
Henderson Co: Bat Cave
Buncombe Co: Black Mountain, Montreat
History: NC 9 was born in the South Carolina State Line renumbering in late 1937. It ran pretty much as it does today, replacing NC 192 from the South Carolina Line to Lake Lure; duplexing with US 74 to Bat Cave, then duplexing with US 64 northeast several miles before replacing NC 119 to Montreat. This is the 2nd NC 9.

1936 Official
Disjointed routing
1938 General Drafting
NC 9 makes it all easy

Matt Steffora reported that NC 9 underwent at least one I-40-related rerouting just south of downtown Black Mountain in the early 1970s. In the years before the Interstate was built 9 entered town along Black Mountain Avenue (SR 2872), then turned east onto Sutton Avenue before continuing north on Broadway Street. When 40 was completed around 1973, much of Black Mountain Avenue was torn out and 9 assumed its current routing over a new southern extension of Broadway Street. He also said it is possible that before the late 1960s, 9 entered town on modern Lakey Drive (SR 2839); part of Lakey was also removed for the Interstate.

The original NC 9 was born by 1930, running from Raleigh to Durham along today's US 70 corridor using Glenwood Avenue, Millbrook Road, Leesville Road across the Wake/Durham county line and Angier Avenue in Durham. Matt Steffora reported that NC 9 was signed into downtown Raleigh with US 15A (predecessor to NC 50 below Creedmoor).
NC 9 didn't last too long. When the number 9 was needed to match SC 9 at the other end of the state, US 70-A was assigned to the original NC 9's routing. Today, only the southernmost couple miles is still primary routing as US 70/NC 50 mostly inside I-440. Modern US 70 was rebuilt avoiding NC 9's route entirely.

1937 Rand McNally
NC 9 Raleigh to Durham
1939 Official
US 70-A Raleigh to Durham

Comment: NC 9 is pretty twisty and mountainous below I-40. It has been not recommended for trucks since at least the mid 1980s. Between Bat Cave and Lake Lure it is still twisty but fairly flat. South of Lake Lure NC 9 is easily driven.
Route 9 in South Carolina is that state's most important non-U.S. Route, providing a direct, often multilane route to the northern Myrtle Beach areas from I-95, Charlotte, and Greensboro.
Adam profiles Hickory Nut Gorge and its features here.

Last Update: 15 September 2006

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