The Highways of North Carolina
N.C. 97 
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Photo: NC 97 and US 64 Business (Jimmy Storey)
NC 97
N.C. 97  62 miles
The Road: Begins at US 64 Bus Eagle Rock (Wake County) and ends at NC 122 Hobgood (Halifax County)
Towns and Attractions: Wake Co: Zebulon
Franklin Co: None
Nash Co: Rocky Mount
Edgecombe Co: Leggett
Halifax Co: Hobgood
History: NC 97 first appears on the 1961 Official as a renumbering of NC 95, running from US 64-264 split (now US 64 Bus) Zebulon to NC 122 Hobgood.

1958 Gen Draft
NC 95

1961 Official
NC 97 replacing NC 95

Between 1963-68, NC 97 was rerouted through Rocky Mount. Up to now, NC 97 duplexed with US 301 Business through town. Now NC 97 crossed 301 Business and used Atlantic Ave north through town. The small bit between US 301 Bus and NC 97 on the north end of this became SR 1278.

1962 Edgecombe County
NC 97 with 301 Business
1968 Edgecombe County
NC 97 east of 301 Business

About 1975, NC 97 was extended west over what had been US 64 Bypass around Wendell to its current west end.

1974-75 Official
NC 97 ends in Zebulon
1975-76 Official
NC 97 extended west to Eagle Rock

The first NC 97 is an original state highway, running from NC 90 (now just Main St) Plymouth southeast to NC 91 (now US 264) Pantego via Bishops Cross and Swindell.
About 1929, NC 97 was rerouted almost entirely to run southwest from Plymouth down to today's Old 97 Rd, then southeast on that to end at NC 91 Pantego. The old route became secondary for a while. Today it is NC 99, Paul Rd, Railroad Bed Rd and Swindell Rd.
In 1938, NC 97 was rerouted to continue southwest to US 264 near Bunyan, replacing NC 99 #1. Old 97 Rd to Pantego became NC 99 (now secondary).
In 1940, NC 97 was renumbered as part of NC 32 which it remains except NC 97 used Biggs Rd in the Pinetown area.

1926 Official
NC 97 initial routing
1929 Official
NC 97 rerouted to the west
1939 Official
NC 97 redirected southwest
1941 Rand McN
NC 97 renumbered as NC 32

The second NC 97 was born in 1940, running from US 17 (now US 13 Bus) Windsor north to NC 30 (now NC 45) Winton. This was a renumbering of NC 30 and 30-A.
In 1951, NC 97 was extended north as a duplex with US 158, then new routing to NC 37 at the Virginia State Line.
In 1952, NC 97 was renumbered as US 13. Today it is still US 13 except: in Winton, NC 97 used Main St, Brickell St and King St across the Chowan River; it is unclear if the Powellsville bypass was already in place as it was done between 1937-44.

1938 Official
NC 30 and 30-A, Windsor to Winton
1940 Official
NC 97, Windsor to Winton
1951 Official
NC 97 extended to Virginia
1952 Shell
US 13 replaces NC 97

Comment: NC 97 serves the Rocky Mount airport.
I imagine NC 97 doesn't see much traffic as it is in a triangle of freeways.

Last Update: 27 March 2009

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