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Photo: US 301 getting ready to cross the Cape Fear River. This sine salad was one of my favorite things to see on road trips to my Grandmother's house in the 1970s. (Michael Summa)
|U.S. 301 193 miles|
|The Road:||Begins at the South Carolina below Rowland (Robeson County) and ends at the North Carolina line at Pleasant Hill (Northampton County).||Towns and Attractions:||Robeson Co.: Rowland, Lumberton, St. Pauls
Cumberland Co.: Hope Mills, Fayetteville
Harnett Co.: Dunn
Johnston Co.: Benson, Four Oaks, Smithfield, Selma, Kenly
Wilson Co.: Lucama, Wilson, Elm City
Nash Co.: Sharpsburg, Rocky Mount, Whitakers
Halifax Co.: Enfield, Halifax, Weldon
Northampton Co.: Garysburg
US 301 appeared in 1932 as a renumbering of US 217 from South Carolina to below Wilson and US 17-1 from Wilson to Virginia. NC 22 was assigned to US 301 below Wilson and NC 40 above it.
In late 1934, NC 22 and NC 40 were dropped from US 301.
In 1937 or 1938, US 301 was given its bypass of Halifax, leaving behind NC 113 (now US 301 Business).
Also in 1937 or 1938, US 301 was rerouted in Elm City. Originally it used SR 1437 Brach St to SR 1003 Main St back to Parker St.
Between 1945-49, US 301 was given one-way alignments on its US 421 duplex in Dunn: NB used the original routing of Broad St while SB used Cumberland St.
Between 1945-49, US 301 was removed from 3rd St/Market St in Smithfield and instead replaced US 301-A on Brightleaf Blvd. Market St remains part of US 70 Business.
About 1948, US 301 was placed on its original Wilson bypass in a route swap with US 301-A. The route through Wilson had used Goldsboro Rd and Herring Ave.
Between 1950-53, US 301 was removed from Dixie Inn Rd/US 117 and Forest Hill Loop south of Wilson.
About 1953, US 301 was given a bypass east around Fayetteville using today's 4-lane Eastern Blvd. between Gillespie and Clinton Rd. The old route through Fayetteville using Gillespie St and Person Rd became US 301-A (largely unnumbered today).
Also about 1953, US 301 was given its current routing avoiding downtown Weldon, leaving behind a brief US 301-A. Today it is SR 1651 Washington Ave, Second St and SR 1684 Sycamore St.
About 1954, US 301 received a bypass of Lumberton utilizing today's I-95 corridor. The old route through Lumberton became US 301-A except: 5th St, Elm St, Elizabethtown St out to Pine St became secondary.
In 1955, US 301 was rerouted at Fayetteville to stay on Eastern Blvd across the Cape Fear River to meet back up with Dunn Rd.
In 1956 or 1957, US 301 was put on its current Wilson bypass over a road that had been in place a while. The original bypass cut north on Stantonsburg St and Pender St to meet US 301-A at Herring Ave. Some of the Pender St part remained US 264-A and NC 58 (all secondary today). Additionally, US 301 was removed from Old Sharpsburg Loop.
In 1956, US 301 received its bypass of Rocky Mount leaving behind US 301-A (now US 301 Business).
About 1957, US 301 was given its bypass of Elm City. It appears this did not become US 301-A although it did become US 301 Business in 1960. Today it is just Elm City Rd.
Between 1958-62, US 301 was placed on its freeway routing in the Eastover area leaving behind SR 1838.
In Dec 1969 (NCDOT), US 301 was rerouted in Dunn to run past US 421 over SR 1797 and use SR 1859 Granville St to cut over to Ellis Ave. The old route remained part of US 421/NC 55 as well as SR 1871.
In 1983 or 1984, US 301 was moved onto I-95 at Exit 10 near Raynham, leaving behind Hilly Branch Rd.
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