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Photo: US 70's view approaching Selma (Brian LeBlanc)
|U.S. 70 493 miles|
|The Road:||Enters from Tennessee west of Hot Springs (Madison County) and ends at SR 1380 in Atlantic (Carteret County). Nationally the road runs from Atlantic to US 60 at Globe, AZ.||Towns and Attractions:||Madison Co.: Hot Springs, Marshall, Pisgah Nat'l Forest
Buncombe Co.: Weaverville, Asheville, Oteen, Swannanoa, Black Mountain, Ridgecrest
McDowell Co.: Old Fort, Marion
Burke Co.: Morganton, Valdese, Rutherford College, Icard
Catawba Co.: Hickory, Conover, Claremont
Iredell Co.: Statesville
Rowan Co.: Salisbury, Spencer
Davidson Co.: Lexington, Thomasville
Randolph Co.: None
Guilford Co.: High Point, Greensboro
Alamance Co.: Burlington, Haw River, Mebane
Orange Co.: Hillsborough
Durham Co.: Durham, Bethesda
Wake Co.: Raleigh, Garner
Johnston Co.: Clayton, Smithfield, Selma, Princeton
Wayne Co.: Goldsboro
Lenoir Co.: La Grange, Kinston
Jones Co.: None
Craven Co.: New Bern, Havelock, Croatan Nat'l Forest, Cherry Point MCAS
Carteret Co.: Newport, Morehead City, Beaufort, Atlantic
US 70 is an original US Highway that came to North Carolina in the beginning, joining NC 20 from Tennessee to Asheville and NC 10 east to its original end in Beaufort. Here is a closer look geographically:
Madison, Buncombe, and McDowell Counties
About 1932, US 70 was rerouted in Asheville to leave Merrimon Ave at College Ave and follow Tunnel Rd east through Beaucatcher Tunnel out to Oteen. It is unclear if US 70 used New Haw Creek Rd and Beverly Rd but by 1936 it definitely was using today's US 70 routing. This new routing via the tunnel had been part of US 74/NC 20. The old route via Biltmore Ave remained US 25 (mostly unnumbered now) and NC 10 (now NC 81).
In 1939 (bridge date), US 70 was removed from Hollins Rd etc east of Marshall and placed on current US 25-70 Business.
Between 1945-49, US 70 was placed on its current routing from Swannanoa to Black Mountain.
In 1954, US 70 was placed on its current alignment between Black Mountain and Old Fort, using what is now I-40's corridor. The old route via Lookout Pt became SR 1400.
Also around 1954, US 70 was rerouted to use Woodfin St over to Merrimon. PArt of this had been part of NC 694.
Between 1954-57, US 70 was given split alignments in central Marion: EB continued to use the Main St to Court St. WB used Garden St to New St back to Main.
In 1960, US 25 was put on a newly constructed bypass around Marshall, leaving behind US 25 Business.
In 1961, US 70 was removed from Woodfin St and placed on what is now I-240 from roughly Town Mtn Rd overpass to Merrimon Ave. It appears that Woodfin became part of NC 694 for a while.
Between 1969-72, US 70 EB through Marion was moved to Logan St to Court St. Main St continued to be US 221/NC 226.
About 1972, US 70 was removed from Merrimon St (remained US 25) and placed on its current freeway north leaving Asheville. US 70 still followed US 19 Business towards Weaverville to reach Heavner Rd.
About 1981, US 25-70 was rerouted above Asheville to follow the US 19-23 freeway around Weaverville, then headed west as new construction to connect to the existing Marshall Bypass. Heavner Rd (some maps show Old Marshall Hwy) became SR 1839 and along the French Broad River became NC 251, including what had been the easternmost bit of the Marshall Bypass.
In 1981 or 1982, US 70 received its current downtown Asheville routing, replacing NC 694 on College/Charlotte Sts.
US 70 moved to College/Charlotte Sts
2009 Buncombe County
About 1982, US 25-70 received its bypass of Walnut, leaving behind SR 1349 and NC 213.
Sometime in what I am guessing was the early-mid 1990s, US 70 dropped the split alignment in Marion and uses two-way routing on Court St and Logan St.
Burke, Catawba, Iredell, Rowan Counties
Between 1927-30, US 70 was removed from Fulton/Liberty and used Innis to new route of US 170/NC 15 on Main St.
Between 1931-36, US 70 was placed on 1st Ave through western Hickory.
In 1940 (bridge date), US 70 was placed on its modern routing in the Bridgewater/Muddy Creek area.
Between 1939-44, US 70 was removed from the SR 1620 loop near Icard.
About 1948, US 70 was placed on its current bypass of Hickory and Conover in a route swap with US 70-A.
Between 1950-53, US 70 was rerouted in central Salisbury to leave Innis St on Fulton St northeast to Liberty St to US 29.
About 1956, US 70 was placed on its bypass of Morganton. The route through town is shown as unnumbered on the 1957 Burke County map but was US 70 Business on the 1962 Burke County Map.
Between 1954-57, US 70 was routed away from central Salisbury by replacing US 70-A: crossing Innis St (instead of turning south) onto Mahaley Ave which becomes Confederate Ave. US 70 then turned south on Club House Dr over to 11th St down to US 29.
In 1956 or 1957, US 70 was placed on its modern alignments in western Rowan County bypassing Cleveland and Barber.
About 1961, US 70 was rerouted in Salisbury to follow Innis St south through Salisbury to I-85, then used I-85 north to Davidson County. The Mahaley Ave et al route has been secondary ever since.
About 1965, US 70 was removed from I-85 in the Salisbury/Spencer region. Instead it was given split alignments in Salisbury: EB used Innis St to US 29; WB used US 29 to Liberty St to Fulton St to Innis St. Innis St south to I-85 remained US 52 (now unnumbered).
Between 1973-80, US 70's EB split routing in Salisbury changed to follow Innis past US 29, then Lee St northeast to Liberty St northwest to US 29.
In 1981 or 1982, US 70 was placed on its current Salisbury area routing. Jake Alexander Blvd was already in existence as SR 1530 and SR 1702.
Between 1991 and 1993, US 70 was rerouted to its current Garner Bengal Blvd routing in southern Statesville. The Front St/Newton Rd portion of the old route remains part of US 64.
In Aug 2010 (NCDOT), US 70 was removed from SR 2638 east of Statesville.
Davidson, Randolph, Guilford, Alamance, Orange Counties:
About 1941, US 70 was given its modern routing between the Yadkin River and outside Lexington.
Between 1945-49, US 70 was placed on brief one-way splits in central Greensboro. NB used Market to Forbes to Summit; SB used Summit to Church to Market. Also in this timeframe, US 70 was removed from Fairground Av and Spring Garden St and instead use Lee directly to Aycock. Fairground Ave became an extended US 29A-70A.
Also between 1945-49, US 70 was put back on its original High Point route using Westchester to Lexington to Greensboro Rd. This was a route swap with US 29A-70A.
About 1948, US 70 was placed on its current bypass of Hillsborough in a swap with US 70-A.
About 1949, US 70 was given its modern routing between Lexington and Thomasville.
In 1952, US 70 was given bypasses of Lexington and Thomasville, leaving behind US 70-A routes.
Between 1950-53, US 70 was split in southern Greensboro: NB continued to use Lee to Aycock. SB used Aycock, Spring Garden and Fairground down to Lee.
About 1957, US 70 was given its modern routing from Thomasville bypassing High Point, Jamestown and Sedgefield, then continued along today's I-40/85 corridor to bypass Greensboro, Burlington, and Mebane. US 70 tied back in to the original highway west of Hillsborough using today's Exit 161 at Efland. The old routing through all these places became one long US 70-A.
In 1963, US 70 was removed from I-85 between Sedgefield and Efland and placed back on its former routing, replacing most of the US 70-A. The connector between I-85 and US 70 in Efland became a short US 70-A
US 70 Greensboro to Efland via Burlington
US 70 using new super-2 routing Greensboro to Efland
US 70 removed from I-85 Greensboro to Efland
In 1968, US 70 was given its current routing following US 29 north to Wendover Ave instead of E Market St and Burlington Rd
Durham, Wake, Johnston Counties:
East of Clayton, US 70 picks up current 70, then US 70 Business southeast to Smithfield. US 70 then followed US 301 north to the Selma US 70 Business. US 70 headed east on 70 Bus, then US 70-A through Pine Level. At Princeton, US 70 used Donnie Jones Blvd and picked up current 70 east of town.
About 1929, US 70 was rerouted at Westover as new primary routing to follow Western Blvd from the Cary area east into southern Raleigh, then Boylan Ave northeast to South St. then north on Fayetteville St to Lenoir St east to East St south to today's MLK Jr Blvd to pick up where 70 had been before. The old route from Cary to Raleigh remained part of US 1/NC 50.
About 1948, US 70 was rerouted in Durham to use Duke St south off Main St, then Chapel Hill St east and Pettigrew St southeast to Roxboro Rd north. When Roxboro Rd met Main St, US 70 continued north over to Holloway St east to current US 70. US 70 then followed its current routing southeast to Raleigh. US 70 followed Glenwood Ave south to Peace St east to Person St, then south to New Bern St (EB)/Edenton St (WB) over to East St south as it always had getting to Garner Rd. From Roxboro Rd/Main St jct Durham to East St/Lenoir St Raleigh was a route swap with US 70-A.
Between 1945-49, US 70 was removed from Bennett Memorial Drive, which later became US 70-A.
In 1952, US 70 was given a routing around the north of Durham: duplexed with then-NC 98 Miami Blvd northwest to Geer St, then west on Geer to Avondale north to what is now I-85. US 70 then followed I-85 west to where NC 147 ends, then Hillsborough Rd westward.
About 1953, US 70 was rerouted in Raleigh to leave Peace St on Halifax St south to the Capitol, then used one-way splits: Salisbury St to South St (EB)/Wilmington St (WB). Below South St US 70 followed McDowell St out of Raleigh and picked up today's US 70 Business bypassing Garner, Auburn and Clayton.
About 1954, US 70 was rerouted through Raleigh to leave Glenwood at Williamson east to Dawson, then south to one-way splits: Dawson/Lenoir/Salisbury/South (EB); Wilmington/Lenoir/McDowell (WB). US 70 then used Wilmington St south.
Also in 1954, US 70 was rerouted to run directly from Smithfield to Princeton over an existing secondary road. The route via Selma became US 70-A.
In 1956 or 1957, US 70 was placed on its current bypass of Durham on the east side, as new construction. Miami Blvd below Holloway became an extended US 70-A; above Holloway and the Geer St piece remained NC 98; Avondale became part of NC 55.
In 1967 or 1968, US 70's Raleigh routing was altered to have the EB split use Salibury directly to Wilmington St.
In 1970, US 70 was given its current bypass of Princeton leaving behind Donnie Jones Blvd.
In 1973, US 70 was placed on the Raleigh Beltline east around the north side to today's US 1-401, then used Downtown Blvd southwest back to Dawson.
In 1983 or 1984, US 70 was extended further around the Beltline around the east and south of Raleigh to Saunders St, then US 70 used Saunders St south to Wilmington St. This left no primary routes inside the Raleigh Beltline.
Between 1988-90, US 70 was placed onto I-40 heading southeast off the Beltline. The old routing further west to Saunders and southeast back to I-40 became US 70 Business.
Between 1991-93, US 70's Durham Bypass was extended west along I-85 to Exit 170, leaving behind more US 70 Business.
Also between 1991-93, US 70 was removed from the Beltline and returned to Raleigh surface streets. It went back to its previous routing from the northwest except at the south end of the one-way splits it used Dawson to connect to Saunders.
Also around 1991-92, US 70 was rerouted east of Clayton to replace US 70-A to Selma, then continue as new construction bypassing Pine Level over to Princeton. The route via Smithfield became US 70 Business.
In July 1997 (NCDOT), US 70 was placed on new construction in the I-95/Selma area as a bypass. The old route that provided access to US 301 and I-95 became essentially another US 70 Business although it is signed as bannerless 70 while the new construction is signed as 70 Bypass.
In June 2008 (NCDOT), US 70 was given its bypass of Clayton by duplexing with I-40 from Exit 306 to a new freeway at Exit 309 east around Clayton. The old route through Clayton became US 70 Business.
Wayne, Lenoir, Jones, Craven, Carteret Counties
US 70 out to Atlantic
By 1936, US 70 was removed from Beaman Rd near Clarks.
In 1941, US 70 swapped routes with NC 55 from Kinston to west of New Bern. US 70 followed today's US 70 Business and modern 70 east of Kinston, then essentially Sunset Blvd through Dover, Cove City, Tuscarora and Clarks.
Between 1939-44, US 70 was removed from Church/Miller/Roosevelt Blvd in Havelock and put on its current routing.
Between 1945-49, US 70 was moved from Wilson St to Kornegay St in Dover.
Between 1950-53, US 70 appears to have been rerouted in New Bern to use Eden and Front Sts to connect between Segments of George St.
Between 1954-57, US 70 was rerouted in New Bern to use Broad to E. Front St to cross the Trent River, then onto newly built alignment (current 70) instead of Old Cherry Point Rd.
Also between 1954-57, US 70 was removed from Bridges St and placed on Arendell all the way through Morehead City.
In 1956 or 1957, US 70 was given its bypass of Goldsboro, leaving behind US 70-A (now US 70 Business).
Also in 1956 or 1957, US 70 was given its bypass of Kinston, leaving behind US 70-A (now US 70 Business).
Around 1958, US 70 was removed from Ann St to use its current routing over to Live Oak.
About 1964 (bridge date), US 70 was given its new bridge/causeway over the Newport River between Morehead City and Beaufort leaving behind Old Causeway Rd.
In 1967 or 1968, US 70 was given its bypass of Newport leaving behind SR 1247 Chatham St.
In 1969, US 70 was given its bypass of La Grange leaving behind SR 1603 Washington St.
In 1978, US 70 was given its bypass of New Bern by using Gleburnie Rd south to a new freeway east around New Bern. The old route through New Bern became US 70 Business.
In 1979, US 70 was placed on new freeway from west of Dover to the recent New Bern freeway. Much of the old route became SR 1005 Sunset Blvd, but some remained NC 55 and Glenburnie became part of US 70 Business.
Between 1973-80, US 70 was truncated in Atlantic to its current ending at SR 1380 leaving behind SR 1417.
In January 2018, US 70 was placed on a new crossing between Morehead City and Beaufort, which skirts around the north and bypasses Beaufort entirely. The Morehead City side became a short access road for businesses; the old drawbridge was closed permanently; Cedar St in Beaufort west of Turner St became secondary; the rest of Turner St and Live Oak St northeast out of Beaufort became US 70 Business (since downgraded to secondary status).
US 70 is 4-lane or freeway the entire route from Durham to Morehead City and is popular way to head to the coast.
Freeway US 70 bypasses for Kinston and Goldsboro are on the docket.
US 70 is a viable alternative from Asheville to Newport, TN as the route has few winding sections remaining.
On the freeway west of New Bern there are signs telling you to watch for bears!
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