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Photo: US 21 entering N.C. from Virginia (Mapmikey)
|U.S. 21 122 miles|
|The Road:||Enters from South Carolina near Pineville (Mecklenburg County) and leaves into Virginia above Twin Oaks (Alleghany County). Nationally the road runs from US hunting Island, SC to I-81/US 52 Wytheville, VA||Towns and Attractions:||Mecklenburg Co.: Carowinds, Charlotte
Iredell Co.: Troutman, Statesville
Yadkin Co.: Jonesville
Surry Co.: Elkin
Wilkes Co.: None
Alleghany Co.: Blue Ridge Pkwy, Sparta
US 21 is an original US Highway. It attached itself to NC 261 from South Carolina to Pineville; NC 26 from Pineville to Virginia. The 1925 US Routing plan may have initially sent US 21 with NC 15 from Charlotte to Salisbury, then NC 10 over to Statesville, as shown on a 1926 Rand McN map.
In the beginning, US 21 entered North Carolina on today's NC 51 to Pineville; Polk St to Old pineville Rd; South Blvd; SR 1308 Old South Blvd; South Blvd into Charlotte.
US 21 using 1st St
In 1969, US 21 was rerouted from S.C. to Charlotte, running on today's I-77 from S.C. to Woodlawn Rd, then east to South Blvd. The old route became more NC 51 and an extended US 521 into Charlotte.
In 1975, US 21 was added to I-77 from Woodlawn Rd to NC 16 over to Statesville Rd. Woodlawn Rd became part of US 521 while South Blvd north to Morehead became unnumbered; Graham St remaind US 29.
In 1978, US 21 was added to I-77 from NC 16 to La Salle St then over to Statesville Rd. South of La Salle, Statesville became unnumbered.
In 1986 or 1987, US 21 was added to more I-77 from La Salle St to Sunset Rd over to Statesville Rd. This left behind more unnumbered routing.
The 1957 Iredell County map shows a bypass of Statesville and Troutman that follows the route of today's I-77. It was labeled as US 21 as was the orignal/current route through these places. This never came to be part of US 21 as I-77 came along as the designation when this was built a few years later. It is unclear what the old route through Statesville would've become. US 21-A? NC 115 and NC 90?
US 21 did have to be slightly rerouted at the NC 73 exit to attach itself to I-77 when it was built through. North of NC 73 I-77 was put directly on US 21 into Iredell County.
I have driven all of US 21 in Virginia and South Carolina but almost none in North Carolina.