The Highways of North Carolina
N.C. 86 
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N.C. 86  52 miles
The Road: Begins at US 15-501/NC 54 Chapel Hill (Orange County) and ends at the Virginia State Line at Danville, VA (Caswell County). The route continues a few more miles as VA 86 to US 29 Business in Danville.
Towns and Attractions: Orange Co: Chapel Hill, Hillsborough
Caswell Co: Yanceyville
History: NC 86 was born in 1940 as a renumbering of NC 14. At that time NC 86 began at NC 54 (just W. Main St now) Carrboro.
By 1944, NC 86 was extended with NC 54 to US 15-501 in Chapel Hill.
In 1956 or 1957, NC 86 was rerouted entirely south of Hillsborough. NC 86 was placed on its current route to Chapel Hill, still ending at US 15A-501A/NC 54A but from the north instead of the west. The old route became today's SR 1009 Chapel Hill Rd.
In 1956 or 1957, NC 86 was given a north bypass around Yanceyville (at first without US 158) and was placed on a new alignment northwest to Virginia. This left behind US 158 through Yanceyville (now Main St) and a substantial SR 1500 "Old NC 86" through Providence and Purlear.
Between 1963-68, NC 86 was rebuilt to bypass Gatewood at the Virginia State Line, leaving behind SR 1563.
In 1981 (bridge dates), NC 86 was given bypasses of Hightowers and the SR 1004 area.
Between 1985-87, NC 86 was extended south through Chapel Hill to its current end, replacing US 15-501 Bus.

1937 RmcN
NC 14 not long for this world
1941-42 Official
NC 86 replaces NC 14
1944 Orange County
NC 86 duplexed into Chapel Hill
1958 Official
NC 86 reroutings

The first NC 86 was born in late 1937 as a renumbering of NC 38. It ran from US 17 Folkstone east to Sneads Ferry along today's Folkstone Rd (not modern NC 172), then headed north on today's NC 172 to the New River.
In late 1940, NC 86 was renumbered as NC 172.

1935 Gousha
NC 38 replaces NC 301
1940 Gen Draft
NC 86 replaces NC 38
1941 Official
NC 172 replaces NC 86

Comment: NC 86 has a quick one-way split set-up just south of Franklin St in Chapel Hill.
There is a signed NC 86 Truck aaround the west side of Hillsborough involving I-40/85 and US 70.
A couple people have told me that NC 86 from Hillsborough to Danville is an excellent route.

Last Update: 9 January 2009

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