The Highways of North Carolina
N.C. 42 
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Photo: NC 42 with NC 22, stretching off into the distance (Adam Prince)
NC 42
N.C. 42  226 miles
The Road: Begins at I-73/74, US 220 Asheboro (Randolph County) and ends at NC 45 Colerain (Bertie County).
Towns and Attractions: Randolph Co.: Asheboro  
Chatham Co.: Bennett  
Lee Co.: Sanford, Jonesboro Heights  
Chatham Co.: None  
Harnett Co.: None  
Wake Co.: Fuquay-Varina  
Johnston Co.: Clayton  
Wilson Co.: Wilson  
Edgecombe Co.: Pinetops, Conetoe  
Martin Co.: Oak City  
Bertie Co.: Lewiston-Woodville, Aulander  
Hertford Co.: Ahoskie  
Bertie Co.: Powellsville, Colerain  
History: NC 42 is an original state highway. The 1921 official implies the corridor ran directly from Wilson to Tarboro, but the 1922 Official shows NC 42 running from NC 40 (current US 301) near Wilson to NC 12 (current US 258) near Pinetops.

1921 Official
NC 42 Wilson to Tarboro?
1924 Official
NC 42 Wilson to Pinetops

In 1931, NC 42 east may have been truncated to NC 43 Pinetops, as NC 43 was extended from Rocky Mount to Greenville.
In 1934, NC 42 was extended west with US 301 into Wilson, then west as new routing to NC 23 (current NC 39) via Kenan St and Tarboro St exiting Wilson.

1934 Gen Draft
NC 42 extended to NC 23

In 1935, NC 42 was extended north briefly with NC 39, then west again as new routing through Clayton, duplexed north with NC 50 into Wake County, then proceeded west as new routing to end at US 401 McCullers.

1936 Official
NC 42 extended to McCullers

In 1940, NC 42 was rebuilt west of NC 39. Originally, NC 42 used SR 2116 Renfrow Narrow Rd; NC 39; SR 1733 Antioch Church Rd; SR 1720 Thanksgiving Pine Rd; SR 1700 Covered Bridge Rd through Archer Lodge; NC 1708 N. Oneil St into Clayton. Now, NC 42 began using its current routing to Clayton.
In 1948, NC 42 was rerouted west of NC 50 to use the modern NC 42 from Clayton to its new endpoint at US 15-A (now US 401) Fuquay-Varina. Previously, NC 42 used SR 1551 Guy Rd and SR 1552 Amelia Church Rd west of Clayton; modern NC 42; SR 1010 Cleveland Rd; NC 50; SR 1010 Ten-ten Rd to McCullers.

1940 Official
NC 42 straightened out to Clayton
1950 Gen Draft
NC 42 rerouted to Fuquay-Varina

In 1952, NC 42 was extended east as new primary routing to US 64 Conetoe.
Also about 1952, NC 42 was placed on the new US 70 Bypass of Clayton.
In 1959 or 1960, NC 42 was extended west as new primary routing to US 421 near Sanford.
In 1963, NC 42 was extended in both directions:
west: NC 42 was extended west as a duplex with US 421 into Sanford, then replacing Lee/Chatham SR 1009, Chatham SR 2308, duplexed with NC 22 to Coleridge, then replaced NC 902 to end at US 220-311/NC 49-A (just US 220 Bus now) Asheboro.

1960 Official
NC 42 extended to Sanford
1933 Official
NC 902 Asheboro to Bear Cr.
1963 Official
NC 42 extended over NC 902

east: NC 42 was extended east replacing Edgecombe SR 1528 and Martin SR 1316 through Hassell to end at NC 125-903 near Hamilton.

1954 Official
NC 42 extended to Conetoe
1969 Official
NC 42 extended to NC 125-903
1975-76 Official
NC 142 replaces a piece of NC 42

In 1969, NC 42 was extended west to the US 220 freeway, replacing SR 1004.
Also in 1969, NC 42 was given its current routing around the west and north of Wilson.

1968 Official
NC 42 through Wilson
1969 Official
NC 42 bypasses Wilson

In 1975, NC 42 was rerouted at NC 11 to head north through Oak City , Lewiston-Woodville and Aulander (with NC 11); NC 42 cut east to Ahoskie and then to NC 45 Colerain, replacing NC 350. The route through Hassell to NC 125-903 became NC 142.

1940 Official
NC 350 Aulander to Colerain
1975-76 Official
NC 42 replaces NC 350

NC 42 is not a route one would drive from end-to-end...US 64 nearly accomplishes the same result.
In the 70s-early 80s, the Ten-Ten Rd exit on US 1 was labeled "Old NC 42". However, this could only have been true in 1947 based on map evidence I do have.
The Wilson bypass that NC 42 uses is very long compared to circling the other direction, but that would have left the NW segment without a primary route number.

Last Update: 23 June 2008

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