U.S. 421 Business | U.S. 421-A | U.S. 21 (NCRoads.com) | U.S. 121 (NCRoads.com) | U.S. 221 (NCRoads.com) | U.S. 321 (NCRoads.com) | U.S. 521
< U.S. 19 (NCRoads.com) | U.S. 23>
|U.S. 421 324 miles|
|The Road:||Enters Watauga County at Zionville from Tennessee.
Ends at the Ft. Fisher Ferry below Kure Beach in New Hanover County
Nationally, US 421 runs from US 20 Michigan City, IN to Ft. Fisher
|Towns and Attractions:||Watauga Co.:Boone, Appalachian State University
Wilkes Co.: Wilkesboro
Forsythe Co.:Winston-Salem, Kernersville
Randolph Co.:EXIT for Liberty
Chatham Co.:EXIT for Siler City
Lee Co.:Sanford (Horner Blvd)
Harnett Co.:Lillington (Front St and Main St); Buies Creek, Campbell University, Erwin, Dunn (Cumberland St)
Sampson Co.:Clinton (Faircloth Fwy)
Duplin Co.:NONE (barely clips a piece of the county)
Pender Co.: NONE
New Hanover Co.:Wilmington (3rd St and Carolina Beach Dr), Silver Lake, Carolina Beach (1st Av); Kure Beach (Ft. Fisher Blvd), Fort Fisher Ferry
|History:||US 421 was not created until 1931, and was solely in North Carolina. The 1931 Official Map shows it running only from US 221-321 Boone to US 70-170 in Winston-Salem. This routing was coincidental witn NC 60, which was much, much longer.
Specifically, US 421 used today's 421 east out of Boone and to Rutherwood. US 421 used the "old NC 60" route that went near the South Fork New River over to Laxon, then picked back up modern 421 through Deep Gap and descending the Blue Ridge. Once east of Maple Springs, original US 421 veered north on "Old US 421" to Miller's Creek ("Old NC 60 that runs through nearby Purlear is shown as already bypassed by NC 60 on the 1930 Wilkes County Map). After picking up NC 16, US 421 followed today's Old US 421 (Boone Trail) to Cricket, then Forrest Ave east into North Wilkesboro. US 421 then headed south on today's NC 18-268 to Wilkesboro, then used Main St-Old US 421 to exit town to the east.
US 421/NC 60 then picked up today's US 421 Business/NC 115 heading south to another Old US 421 which it followed through Call and Antioch. From here, US 421 followed modern 421's alignment to nearly Yadkin County, before picking up another substantial Old US 421 through Cycle and Maler. Approaching US 21, original US 421 followed Main St through Brooks Crossroads and Branon, then continuing on Main St through Yadkinville. From there, US 421 followed East Main St all through Yadkin County, crossing the Yadkin River near Enon. In Forsyth County the road becomes Yadkinville Rd until it meets today's NC 67 near Old Town.
US 421 followed today's NC 67 southeast along Reynolda Rd all the way into central Winston-Salem to West End Blvd, then Broad St, then looped east to 5th St, which it used all the way through the city. US 421 then followed Old Greensboro Rd, then Mountain Rd through Guthrie to Taylors Crossing. From there, US 421 followed today's NC 66 to Kernersville . From there, US 421 continued east on today's Mountain Rd (changes to W. Market St at Guilford County Line) to Colfax, Friendship, and Guilford.
US 421 first used Walker St to enter Greensboro (Walker runs into Market a little west of Holden Rd). US 421 may have ended at Aycock St, which was being used by US 70-170 in 1931. US 421 might have ended in central Greensboro where US 411 (now US 220) came in at Market and Elm.
In 1932, US 421 was extended in both directions:
In 1933,US 421/NC 60 was given a straighter alignment between Boone and Laxon along today's US 421 leaving behind today's Old NC 60.
In late 1934,NC 60 was removed from the entirety of US 421. .
In 1936, US 421 was extended south to Carolina Beach using 3rd St through Downtown Wilmington, then picking up today's US 421 all the way to its southern end. This replaced the last shred of original NC 40 that had survived the 1933-34 Great Renumbering.
In 1951 or 1952, US 421 was rerouted in the Wilkesboro Area, to use Bridge Rd into Wilkesboro, then Main St and "Old US 421" east to meet the previous route at NC 18-268. The old route through N. Wilkesboro was largely unnumbered save for part of NC 18-268, although today's US 421 Business now runs on some of it.
In 1954 or 1955, US 421 was given its direct routing from NC 210 along the west side of the Cape Fear River, using US 17-74-76's bridge over the Northeast Cape Fear River to meet back up with 421's previous alignment on 3rd St. The old route through Castle Hayne became NC 210 and NC 133, plus the last few miles of US 117.
In 1957-58, US 421 was given its current straighter alignment between Deep Gap and Wilkesboro (still using Bridge St), leaving behind "Old US 421" and some of NC 16. It appears that US 421-A was assigned to what is now US 421 Business - back through North Wilkesboro.
In 1962 or 1963, US 421 was given its nodern routing from the US 321 split near Sugar Grove to the Tennessee Line, leaving behind a little of US 321 and Old US 421 through Amantha, Mast, and Mabel.
Between 1964-68, US 421 was split into one-way streets in Downtown Greensboro, with SB staying on Market St, while NB used Madison Ave and Gaston Ave west to Aycock St.
In 1969 or 1970, US 421 was given its new construction around Bonlee and Bear Creek, leaving behind Old US 421.
Between 1971-84, US 421 underwent the following changes:
Between 1987-90, US 421 was rerouted in Greensboro to the north, leaving Market St at Wendover Ave and using that to reach US 29 Henry Blvd. This left behind mostly unnumbered Market St, but did contain briefly a piece of US 70-A before it was decommissioned.
Between 1994-99, US 421 was taken off surface streets from Kearnersville to Greensboro, and put onto I-40. This left behind all unnumbered roads except US 220 on part of Wendover Ave, and US 29-70-220 on Henry Blvd.
US 421 is now 4-lane or freeway from Boone all the way to Siler City. As you can probably tell, very little of US 421 is on older alignments west of Dunn.
|U.S. 421 Business 6 miles|
|The route:||US 421 Business for North Wilkesboro was created in 1960 as a renumbering of US 421-A. It runs along E St. and C St., plus NC 115. Everything east of Bridge St. was once original NC 60.|
|U.S. 421 Business disestablished|
|The route:||US 421 Business for Clinton was created 1960. It replaced US 421-A along McKay St and Lisbon St. (multiplexed with US 701 Business) through Clinton. This route had once been the original NC 60.
It appears that by 1963, US 421 Business was eliminated and has been unnumbered since.
|U.S. 421 Business disestablished|
|The route:||US 421 Business for Wilmington was created about 1969 or 1970. It replaced mainline US 421 over the Northeast Cape Fear River (also replacing US 17-74-76) and down 3rd St. This route had once been the original NC 20-30 and for a short time also NC 40.
It appears that by 1979, US 421 Business was eliminated. The crossing of the Northeast Cape Fear River became US 117 and NC 133 (now just NC 133) while 3rd Street down to Market St. became unnumbered.