The Highways of North Carolina
U.S. 401 
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U.S. 401  171 miles
The Road: Begins at the South Carolina below Laurinburg (Scotland County) and ends at I-85/US 1 above Wise (Warren County).
Nationally the route runs from Wise to Sumter, SC.
Towns and Attractions: Scotland Co.: Laurinburg  
Hoke Co.: Raeford 
Cumberland Co.: Fayetteville  
Harnett Co.: Lillington  
Wake Co.: Fuquay-Varina, Raleigh, Rolesville  
Franklin Co.: Louisburg  
Warren Co.: Warrenton, Norlina  
History: US 401 appeared in 1957 as an addition to US 15 from the South Carolina line to Laurinburg, then replaced US 15-A to Raleigh, then replaced NC 59 to its endpoint of US 1-158 in Norlina. This is the third US 401 nationally.

1957 Official
US 401 Laurinburg to Fayetteville
1957 Official
1957 Official
US 401 Fayetteville to Raleigh
1957 Official

1932 Texaco
NC 59 Raleigh to Warrenton
1932 Texaco
1958 Official
US 401 replaces NC 59
1958 Official

In March 1967 (NCDOT), US 401's NB split in Raleigh was changed to use South St west to McDowell north instead of using Lenoir St.

1958 Official
US 401 initial Raleigh routing
1958 Official
1974-75 Official
US 401 changes at South St
1974-75 Official

In Nov 1967 (NCDOT), US 401 was placed on its Fayetteville bypass, replacing part of NC 59. The old route through Fayetteville became US 401 Business (some of Russell St and Robeson St have been removed as primary routing since).

1958 Official
US 401 through Fayetteville
1958 Official County
1968 Official
US 401 Bypasses Fayetteville
1968 Official County

In 1983 or 1984, US 401 was placed on the Raleigh Beltline around the east of Raleigh.
In 1992, US 401 was removed from the Raleigh Beltline and put back through Downtown Raleigh as it runs today.

1984-85 Official
US 401 moved onto the Beltline
1984-85 Official
1993-94 Official
US 401 removed from the Beltline
1993-94 Official

In 1994, US 401 was removed from Raeford Rd at Lake Rim west of Fayetteville.
In June 2001 (NCDOT), US 401 was extended north with US 1 to end at I-85 just short of the Virginia line.

2000 Official
US 401 ending at Norlina
2000 Official
2002 Official
US 401 ending at I-85
2002 Official

The original US 401 was born in late 1926 and ran solely in Virginia. However, the original 1925 plan had it running from at least Durham, NC north through Oxford into Virginia. When the final plan rolled around in late 1926, this ended up being part of US 15. THis was shown on the 1926 Rand McNally and the 1926 Virginia Official

1926 Official
US 401 #1 planned for North Carolina
1926 Virginia Official

The second national US 401 was born in 1932, running from Raleigh south via Fayetteville and Lauringburg into South Carolina heading for Sumter, SC and ultimately Walterboro. This was an addition to NC 21 from Raleigh to Fayetteville and NC 24 from Fayetteville to South Carolina.
In late 1934, US 401 was renumbered as US 15 from SC to Lauringburg and US 15-A from Lauringburg to Raleigh.

1929 Official
NC 21 Fayetteville to Raleigh
1929 Official
1933 Official
US 401 #2 Fayetteville-Raleigh
1933 Official
1936 Official
US 15-A Fayetteville-Raleigh
1936 Official

1929 Official
NC 24 Lauringburg to Fayetteville
1929 Official
1933 Official
US 401 #2 Laurinburg-Fayetteville
1933 Official
1936 Official
US 15-A Laurinburg-Fayetteville
1936 Official

Comments: US 401 seems like one US route number too many to me. I don't understand why this hasn't always been US 15 or US 501.
North of Raleigh it is simply a slower-paced alternative to US 1.


Last Update: 3 March 2013

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