The Highways of North Carolina U.S. 311 and 411
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Image: As this 1933 Gousha map shows, U.S. 311 and 411 once shared pavement near Asheboro.
311/411 multiplex

U.S. 311  74 miles
The Road: Starts at I-73/74/U.S. 220 in Randolph County. Ends at N.C. 704/Business U.S. 220 in Rockingham County. 
At one point, U.S. 311 used to run from Rowland, N.C. at least as far north as Roanoake, Virginia (see below).
Towns and Attractions: Randolph Co.: I-85 exit 111; Archdale (Main Street) 

Guilford Co.: High Point (Main Street) 

Forsyth Co.: Winston-Salem (multiplexed with I-40 between exits 196 and 193; multiplexed with U.S. 52 through downtown; M.L. King Jr. Drive; New Walkertown Road); Walkertown 

Stokes Co.: Walnut Cove 

Rockingham Co.: Madison (Academy Street)

Multilane Segments: Four lanes through Archdale and High Point. Freeway through southeastern Forsyth County, and where signed over I-40 and U.S. 52. Four lanes north of downtown W-S. 
History: U.S. 311 is an original 1927 U.S. highway. Its southern terminus was originally at U.S. 15/N.C. 75 in West End (Moore County). From there it ran along what were then known as: 
  • N.C. 70 from West End through Biscoe and Asheboro, and almost to Randleman, and
  • N.C. 77 from 70 through W-S to Walnut Cove, Madison and Stoneville (Rockingham County) and into Virginia, eventually ending at Roanoake. Through W-S, 311 originally ran over Main Street, North Liberty Avenue, Patterson Avenue and Walkertown Road. The latter road is now know as Old Walkertown Road.

    In 1933, 311 was extended further south of West End, through Pinehurst, Aberdeen and Laurinburg all the way to Rowland, near the S.C. line. It was posted over that era's N.C. 241. Map #1 shows this routing. This was 311's finest hour; the road would only be this long for about a year. 

    With the great renumbering of 1934, 311 was substantially shortened. U.S. 220 was born that year, and it superseded all of 311 south of Randleman and north of Madison. Further south, 311 was superseded by extensions of N.C. 2 (Candor to Pinehurst; this is now N.C. 211) and U.S. 501 (Pinehurst to Rowland). 

    By 1952, 311 through W-S was rerouted to the east of its original alignment. Approaching town from High Point, 311 was signed over Waughtown Road, Stadium Drive, Claremont Avenue and 7th Street before hitting New Walkertown Road. Map #2 shows this routing, which lasted for more than 40 years. 
    Later, Stadium and Claremont would be renamed MLK Jr. Drive, and 7th Street would be renamed as an extension of New Walkertown Road. 

    In the mid-1980s, the freeway through southeastern Forsyth County opened. 311 was signed over it at that time, and the U.S. route's old alignment, Waughtown Road and Forsyth's High Point Road, went unnumbered. (High Point Road in Forsyth County should not be confused with High Point Road in Guilford County, which was once U.S. 29/70). Between the freeway and Stadium Drive, 311 ran over Thomasville Road. 
    Part of this freeway, the Corporation Parkway is now shared by I-40. But it predates the rest of 40's southern bypass of W-S by several years. 

    1933 Gousha map 
    1. 1933 Gousha map 
    1980 AAA map 
    2. 1980 AAA map
    In 1996, 311 was again rerouted through Winston-Salem, so that it ran along I-40 and then through downtown over the U.S. 52 freeway. 311 now gets off 52 at the MLK Drive exit north of downtown, and runs east along MLK to New Walkertown Road.
    U.S. 311 doesn't touch U.S. 11, and hasn't since 1934. 

    All of 311 south of W-S follows the approximate route of Future I-74. Currently, "END Future I-74" signs are posted at 73/74's intersection with 311. This happens to be 311's southern terminus.

    Ideas: Generally I'm not one to decommission U.S. highways, but if any U.S. route deserves to die, this is the one. Once I-74 is completed to W-S, 311 can easily be done away with south of that city, and demoted to N.C. 311 to the north.

    U.S. 411  dead
    Formerly: Here's the 411 on 411: It followed the general alignment of today's U.S. 220 -- or technically, Business 220 and Randleman Road south of Greensboro. It started at U.S. 15 in Richmond County, ran north through Greensboro, and ended at 311 in Madison (Rockingham County). It was signed over the original N.C. 70 to the south of Greensboro, and N.C. 704 to the north. Part of 411 in the Asheboro area was co-signed with 311, as the scan at the top of the page shows. 

    411 is shown only on 1933 maps, such as the one at right. It may have existed during parts of 1932 or 1934, but not long enough to show up on any maps from those years. At least it's shown on maps from at least three competing publishers. 

    Before 1933, 411's path was only signed as N.C. 70 and 704; immediately after 1933 came the great renumbering of 1934, when 411 and the state highway designations were eschewed in favor of the newly-minted U.S. 220. 

    Today, U.S. 411 is very much alive and well in Tennessee, Georgia and Alabama. But in North Carolina, 411 was truly a Stealth Highway.

    1933 Gousha map 
    1933 Gousha map, showing U.S. 411 near Greensboro

    Last Update: 25 April 1999

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