The Highways of North Carolina
N.C. 39 
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Photo: NC 39's first southbound reassurance (Adam Prince)
NC 39
N.C. 39  80 miles
The Road: Begins at US 70 Business, US 301, NC 96 Selma (Johnston County) and ends at the Virginia State Line above Townsville (Vance County). The route does not continue as a primary highway into Virginia.
Towns and Attractions: Johnston Co.: Selma  
Wake Co.: None   Franklin Co.: Bunn, Louisburg   Vance Co.: Henderson  
History: NC 39 was born in the 1934 Great Renumbering, replacing NC 501 in its entirety from Louisburg to Virginia and the northern half of NC 23 from Selma to Louisburg.

1930 Official
1933 Official
NC 23 and NC 501 Selma to Virginia Line
1936 Official
1936 Official
NC 39 Selma to Virginia Line
NC 39 orignally did not have a direct route between US 64 and US 264. Instead, NC 39 jogged west with US 64 from Pilot to Zebulon, then east with US 264 to the curr US 264A split. Of course, today both US 64 and 264 have been rebuilt as freeways in this area, so NC 39 followed the old versions of these highways. NC 39 was taken off these multiplexes in favor of its current direct routing in 1941.
1940 Official
NC 39 duplexed with US 264 and US 64
1941-42 Official
NC 39 direct routing

Between 1947-49, a bypass was built east of Louisburg. NC 39-59 was placed on it. It appears the Main St route through town has been secondary ever since.
1944 Franklin County
NC 39-59 through Louisburg
1949 Franklin County
NC 39-59 bypasses Louisburg

Sometime after 1968, NC 39 was straightened out through Henderson like it runs today. Previously it zig-zagged on Young and Chestnut Sts.
1968 Vance County
NC 39 wavy route
2007 Vance County
NC 39 direct route

About 1992, NC 39 was extended south with US 301 to US 70-A (the current US 70 Business for Selma), then it duplexed east with 70-A across I-95 and continued to at least where US 70-A now ends and maybe over 70-A to Princeton. SD Rhodes had said 70A was to be killed by NC 39 until local opposition scuttled that.
2006 Johnston County
2006 Johnston County Map still shows NC 39 east of I-95 in error

NC 39 has never known the companionship of a Virginia primary route.

Last Update: 1 May 2008

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