US 501 and 52 in North Carolina

US 501 in North Carolina

US 501
Get started Laurinburg
End Bethel Hill
Length 152 mi
Length 245 km
  • South Carolina
  • Laurinburg
  • Southern Pines
  • Carthage
  • Sanford
  • Pittsboro
  • Chapel Hill
  • Durham
  • Roxboro
  • Virginia

According to Bestitude, US 501 is a US Highway in the US state of North Carolina. The road forms a north-south route through the east of the state, from the South Carolina border at Laurinburg through Durham to the Virginia border. The route is partially double -numbered with other roads, most prominently US 15. The road is 245 kilometers long.

Travel directions

US 301/501 at Rowland.

Near Laurinburg in Scotland County, US 501 in South Carolina enters North Carolina from Sumter and then runs to the town of Laurinburg, where it intersects US 74, the highway from Charlotte to Wilmington. The road then runs downtown, and US 401 branches off to the town of Fayetteville just to the east. US 501 and US 15 then run north together as a single-lane main road in each direction. This area is quite densely wooded, and you pass Fort Bragg, an important military site. At Southern Pines, you cross US 1, a semi – highwayfrom Rockingham to Raleigh. The US 15 and US 501 then form an alternative route, because both roads come together again later. The road runs through Moore County via Pinehurst, and rejoins US 1 at Lemon Springs. The road then becomes a highway of sorts to Sanford, where it intersects US 421, a 2×2 trunk road from Greensboro to Wilmington. US 15 and US 501 then turn off and continue north through Chatham County as a secondary thoroughfare. At the town of Pittsboro, a little further north, one crosses the 2×2 US 64, which comes from Lexington and to Raleighruns. From Pittsboro, US 15 and US 501 are a 2×2 trunk road to Chapel Hill, a larger suburb of Durham with a population of 54,000. Through Chapel Hill, US 15 and US 501 are a 2×2 main road with intersections.

One then crosses Interstate 40, the highway from Greensboro to Raleigh, and enters the city of Durham, which has a population of 218,000. US 15 continues along the west side of town as a freeway. The road then merges with Interstate 85, before continuing along the north side of Durham. US 501 then exits to Roxboro and South Boston in Virginia, and US 15 follows I-85 toward Oxford. US 501 then runs in 2×2 lanes to Roxboro, a small town where it intersects US 158, an east-west route from Winston-Salem to Oxford and Roanoke Rapids. Not far after the border with Virginia. US 501 in Virginia then continues to South Boston and Lynchburg.


US 501 was one of the original US Highways of 1926, the route then started in Durham and went north into Virginia. In 1934, the route was extended considerably further south to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, establishing the current route of US 501 in North Carolina. However, south of Durham, US 501 was mostly double -numbered with US 15.

The most significant upgrade to US 501 has been in the urban area around Chapel Hill and Durham, where US 501 has been rerouted over bypasses. The diversion of Chapel Hill was already realized in 1953. The old route between Chapel Hill and Durham was widened to 2×2 lanes as early as the 1950s. In 2010, this section was further widened to 2×3 lanes. The Durham freeway diversion was completed in the 1960s, possibly at the same time as the construction of I-85.

In the 1960s, Durham’s northern approach road was widened to 2×2 lanes. In the 1980s, this 2×2 section was extended further north to Roxboro. Few upgrades have been made to the southern part of US 501, except for the part around Sanford, which also coincides with US 1.

The portion of US 501 north of Durham still has some through traffic significance, being the through route from Durham to Lynchburg and central Virginia. The southern part leads through a region with a lot of US Highways, where US 1 and US 421 have more importance for through traffic than US 501.

US 52 in North Carolina

US 52
Get started Mount Airy
End McFarlan
Length 155 mi
Length 249 km
  • Virginia
  • Mount Airy
  • Freeway
  • Long Hill
  • Pilot Mountain
  • Pilot Mountain / NC-268
  • pinnacle
  • pinnacle
  • King
  • Moore Road
  • Rural Hall
  • Bethania Rural Hall Road
  • NC-1840
  • Hanes Mill Road
  • University Parkway
  • Germantown Road
  • Patterson Avenue
  • Akron Drive
  • 25th Street
  • Martin Luther King Jr. drive
  • Downtown Winston-Salem
  • Business Route
  • Ram’s drive
  • Vargrave Street
  • Sprague Street
  • 107
  • 105 Clemmonsville Road
  • 103 South Main Street
  • 100 Hickory Tree Road
  • 97 Midway
  • 92 Welcome
  • 89 → Lexington
  • 87 → Lexington
  • 86 Downtown Lexington
  • 85 Green Needles Road
  • 84 Linwood
  • → Charlotte
  • Salisbury
  • Misenheimer
  • Albemarle
  • Wadesboro
  • South Carolina

US 52 is a US Highway in the US state of North Carolina. Forming a north-south route in the center of the state, the road runs from Mount Airy on the Virginia border through the Winston-Salem metropolitan area to McFarlan on the South Carolina border. Between Mount Airy and Salisbury the road is a highway. The route is 249 kilometers long.

Travel directions

US 52 at Pilot Mountain northwest of Winston-Salem.

At Mount Airy, US 52 enters the state of North Carolina as a 2×2 trunk road. The road then runs through the town and becomes a freeway from the interchange with Interstate 74. It is the main route to Winston-Salem from the north. The highway has 2×2 lanes and runs through a semi-forested and hilly area. Along the highway is the striking Pilot Mountain. You then reach the Winston-Salem conurbation where the highway initially still has 2×2 lanes. It passes through a few industrial areas and has a view of the city skyline. US 52 is sunken along the center with 2×2 lanes. One then crosses the US 421, a major east-west highway to Greensboro. It then crosses Interstate 40, the highway from Asheville to Greensboro and Raleigh. The highway then also has 2×2 lanes and forms the southern approach road from Winston-Salem. This area is semi-urbanized with small residential areas in the form of ribbon development. One then leaves the conurbation and passes by Lexington, a small town. Here, US 52 merges with Interstate 85, the highway to Charlotte, the state’s largest city. US 52 is then double-numbered with I-85 to the town of Salisbury, after which US 52 turns southeast and to the border with South Carolinaforms a secondary route towards Florence.


US 52 was created in 1926 but did not run through North Carolina at the time, it did so in 1934 when the route was extended south to Charleston in South Carolina. The route in North Carolina has not been significantly modified since then, but the route has been upgraded to a freeway in the Winston-Salem region.

In 1964 the freeway opened from Pilot Mountain to Winston-Salem. In the 1970s, the highway was extended north to Mount Airy.

In 1980, the first section of the highway south of I-40 opened from Winston-Salem south to Midway. In the mid-1980s, the southernmost section from I-85 as the exit to Lexington already existed. In 1991 to 1993, the highway was extended south to Welcome, and the Lexington bypass was opened in 1995, completing the highway. US 52 was not constructed according to Interstate Highway design requirements.

Between 2013 and 2017, a 2-kilometer section in the south of Winston-Salem was modernized by a complete reconstruction of 9 bridges and the construction of a diverging diamond interchange at the connection with the also newly constructed Research Parkway. The project was also called the Salem Creek Connector. The DDI opened to traffic on July 12, 2017.


US 52 is to become part of Interstate 74 in North Carolina between Mount Airy and Winston-Salem. Between Winston-Salem and Lexington, this should become Interstate 285 in North Carolina.

Traffic intensities

Every day, 8,000 vehicles drive on the Virginia border and 20,000 vehicles on the Mount Airy bypass. After that, US 52 merges with other Interstate Highways. At Salisbury, 11,000 vehicles per day run, dropping to 8,000 vehicles at Albemarble and 4,000 vehicles as far as Wadesboro. The southernmost section to the South Carolina border also has 4,000 vehicles per day.

US 52 in North Carolina