The Highways of North Carolina
U.S. 52 
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Photo: US 52 North quietly entering North Carolina (Doug Kerr)
US 52
U.S. 52  153 miles
The Road: Enters from South Carolina at McFarlan (Anson County) and leaves into Virginia above Mt. Airy (Surry County). Nationally the road runs from S-10-3 Charleston, SC to the Canadian Border at Portal, ND.
Towns and Attractions: Anson Co.: Morven, Wadesboro, Pee Dee Nat'l Wildlife Refuge  
Stanly Co.: Norwood, Albemarle, New London, Richfield  
Cabarrus Co.: None  
Rowan Co.: Rockwell, Granite Quarry, Salisbury  
Davidson Co.: Lexington, Welcome  
Forsyth Co.: Winston-Salem, Stanleyville  
Stokes Co.: King  
Surry Co.: Hanging Rock State Park, Pilot Mountain, Mt. Airy  
History: US 52 did not come to North Carolina until late 1934, replacing US 121/NC 66 from Virginia to Lexington and US 601/NC 80 from Salisbury to South Carolina. Here is a closer look geographically:

South Carolina through Lexington
It proceeded up today's US 52 to Morven, then used "Old US 52" northward, picked up 52 again but veered northwest on SR 1131 Morven Rd to Wadesboro where it cut west on Morgan St to NC 109. US 52 used US 74 west from NC 109 then current 52 north to Cedar Hill. US 52 used Pinkston-River Rd from Cedar Hill to Rocky River.
In Stanly County, US 52 may have briefly used Riverside Rd and Pee Dee St to Norwood. US 52 then used its current route to Albemarle, then used today's US 52 Bus. North of Albemarle 52 used its current routing, then Main St and SR 1632 through New London.
US 52 followed its current path to Misenheimer, then may have briefly used Glenmore Rd/Old Route 80 to Gold Hill. US 52 then followed its current routing to I-85, then Innis St into Salisbury.
US 52 used today's US 29-70 through Spencer and across the Yadkin River, then Salisbury Rd to Main St into Lexington. US 52 followed Main St into town, then 3rd St north out of town.
In 1935 or 1936, US 52 was placed on its current routing from Rocky River to Norwood and also from Misenheimer to Gold Hill. Also, by 1936, US 52 was using Morgan-Washington-Martin Sts through Wadesboro.
About 1941, US 52 was removed from Salisbury Rd and placed on modern US 29-52-70 to the south side of Lexington.
About 1952, US 52 was placed on the Lexington Bypass around to NC 8. The old route through Lexington became US 29A-70A and part of NC 8.

1947 Gen Draft
US 52 through Lexington
1947 Gen Draft
1952 Shell
US 52 bypasses Lexington
1952 Shell

In 1956 or 1957, US 52 was given its current Wadesboro routing to the east to use US 74 through town. Also in this timeframe US 52 was removed from Pinkston-River Rd above Cedar Hill and removed from Old Route 80 north of Morven.

1953 Anson County
US 52 through central Wadesboro
1953 Anson County
1957 Anson County
US 52 avoids central Wadesboro
1957 Anson County

In 1971, US 52 was placed on I-85 from Salisbury to the Yadkin River leaving behind unnumbered Innis St and US 29-70.

1969 Official
US 52 through Salisbury
1969 Official
1973 Official
US 52 onto I-85
1973 Official

In 1981 or 1982, US 52 was given its bypass of New London leaving behind unnumbered Main St, a bit of NC 8 and SR 1632.

1979-80 Official
US 52 through New London
1979-80 Official
1982-83 Official
US 52 bypasses New London
1982-83 Official

Between 1985-87, US 52 was given its current Albemarle Bypass utilizing some of NC 24-27. The old route through town was made secondary for a time but is now US 52 Business.
In Oct 2010 (NCDOT), US 52 was rebuilt south of Albemarle swinging west, then replaced the northernmost mile of NC 138. The old 52 south of NC 24-27 became secondary.

1973 Official
US 52 through Albemarle
1973 Official
2000 Official
US 52 bypasses Albemarle
2000 Official

Lexington to Virginia
US 52 initially used NC 8 out to Bethesda, then Old US 52 through Welcome and Midway. US 52 followed S. Main St into Winston-Salem. It used Liberty St then Patterson Ave, Indiana Ave and Cherry St to head northwest out of town to Stanlyville. US 52 then picked up University Pkwy to today's NC 66 to Rural Hall.
US 52 initially followed "Old US 52" to King, then used E. Dalton Rd and W. Dalton Rd out to Dalton. US 52 then likely used Dalton Loop Rd and old US 52 to Pinnacle. 52 then followed VFW Rd, Old 52 Rd and Old Winston Rds from Pinnacle to Pilot Mtn. US 52 used Main St through Pilot Mtn.
US 52 Old US 52, then US 52 Business and Main St through Mt Airy. NOrth of town US 52 used Old Fancy Gap Rd to the Virginia line.
In 1937 or 1938, US 52 was placed on today's Old US 52 from King to Pilot Mountain.
Between 1945-49, US 52 was placed on one-way splits in downtown Winston-Salem. NB used the original routing. SB used Liberty St around to W 1st St back over to Main. Also, US 52 was removed from Indiana and Cherry St and placed on Patterson Av out to Stanlyville.

1944 Forsyth County
US 52 original Forsyth County route
1944 Forsyth County
1949 Forsyth County
US 52 changes in Forsyth County
1949 Forsyth County

About 1949, US 52 was given a bypass of Pilot Mtn, leaving behind US 52_A (now just Main St).

1944 Surry County
US 52 through Pilot Mountain
1944 Surry County
1949 Surry County
US 52 bypasses Pilot Mountain
1949 Surry County

In 1953, US 52 was given its bypass of Mt Airy, leaving behind US 52-A.
Between 1954-57, US 52 was removed from Old Fancy Gap Rd north of Mt. Airy.

1944 Surry County
US 52 through Mt. Airy
1944 Surry County
1953 Surry County
US 52 bypasses Mt. Airy
1953 Surry County

In 1960, US 52 was moved from Main St to Old Salem Rd in the Salem College area.
In 1962, US 52 NB in Winston-Salem was changed from Main-Liberty to Main St-5th St-Liberty.
About 1964, US 52 was placed on new freeway from Winston-Salem to west of Pilot Mountain, leaving behind Patterson Ave, the substantial Old US 52, and a bit of NC 66. In Winston-Salem, the freeway extended south to below today's I-40 Bus. NB US 52 was changed to run on Main St, then east on today's 40 Bus, then north on the new freeway. SB left the N-S Expwy at Liberty St and continued south as before.
In 1973, the N-S Expwy was finished south to the Davidson County line and US 52 was put on it.

1958 Official
Through town
1958 Official
1960 Official
Bypasses Salem College
1960 Official
1963 Official
US 52 NB on 5th St
1963 Official
1965 Official
US 52 NB on Expwy
1965 Official
1972 Official
All freeway
1972 Official

US 52/NC 8 was moved onto more new freeway between Winston-Salem and Lexington in two steps, bypassing Midway about 1980, then bypassing Welcome between 1991-93.
In 1994 or 1995, US 52 was placed on its current freeway to the Lexington Bypass further west of town, leaving behind US 29-70 and more NC 8.

1979 Official
No freeway south of W-S
1979 Official
1982 Official
Bypassing Midway
1982 Official
1965 Official
No longer Welcome
1993 Official
2000 Official
US 52 on more freeway
2000 Official

Comments:
US 52 from Mt Airy to Winston-Salem is slated to be I-74 and from Winston-Salem to I-85 will one day be I-285.
US 52 is signed North-South in North Carolina and has been as far back as I can remember.
US 52 is the answer to the trivia question: What is the only route to exist in North Carolina and North Dakota?
The Old US 52 routing north of Stanlyville has some overpasses.
Mt. Airy is best known as the inspiration for the fictitious town of Mayberry on the Andy Griffith Show.
The 1964 Official Map cover is a picture of the US 52 freeway looking at Pilot Mountain.
A US 52 TRUCK existed in Salisbury from the mid 50s to 1972, running on Depot St and Liberty St.
1957 Rowan County
US 52 TRUCK in Salisbury
1957 Rowan County


Last Update: 1 January 2011

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