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U.S. Route 21: Wikis

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U.S. Route 21 shield
U.S. Route 21
Length: 395 mi[1] (636 km)
Formed: 1926[1]
South end: Hunting Island S.P., SC
Major
junctions:
US 17
I-95
I-20 / I-26 near Columbia, SC

I-85 at Charlotte, NC
I-485
I-77 (numerous locations)
I-40

North end: I-81 / US 52 in Wytheville, VA
United States Numbered Highways
ListBanneredDividedReplaced

U.S. Route 21 in the pre-Interstate era was a north–south highway connecting the area around Lake Erie and the coastal South. One of the few true north–south routes to cross the middle Appalachian Mountains, it became an important corridor for motor traffic between northeastern Ohio, western Pennsylvania, (with U.S. Route 19) and western New York state and central North Carolina, central and southeastern South Carolina, and by connecting with other highways, coastal Georgia and most of Florida.

Contents

Route description

U.S. 21 originally (in 1926) connected Cleveland, Ohio and Yemassee, South Carolina. In 1935 it was extended to Beaufort, South Carolina, and was extended in 1953 to its current southern terminus at the Atlantic Coast at Hunting Island State Park, between the city of Beaufort and Fripp Island.[2]

In the Interstate Highway era much of U.S. 21 became an obvious corridor for a long-distance expressway. The West Virginia Turnpike between Charleston, West Virginia, and Princeton, West Virginia, was the first segment of a planned series of toll highways along or near U.S. 21 from Cleveland, Ohio to Charlotte, North Carolina. All of the other toll highways were shelved in favor of freeways built with Interstate funding; these freeways and the West Virginia Turnpike became Interstate 77, which completely supplants old U.S. 21 as a long-distance through route. Interstate 77 was later extended to Columbia, South Carolina, also within a few miles of U.S. 21.

Between Cleveland and Charleston, all but a relatively short segment of U.S. 21 was completely deleted in favor of Interstate 77, the relic being State Route 21. (And State Route 821 between Byesville, Ohio and Marietta, Ohio is "Old 21", and is strictly a local route). The section of U.S. 21 between Mineral Wells and Charleston is now signed as County Route 21 (circular shield) in all three counties along the route (Wood, Jackson, and Kanawha).

Virginia

Between Charleston and its current northern terminus at Wytheville, Virginia, almost all of U.S. 21 coincided with either U.S. Highway 60, U.S. Route 19, or U.S. Highway 52, which remained as U.S. 21 was deleted. The short segment of U.S. 21 in southern West Virginia not coinciding with another U.S. route became an extension of West Virginia Route 16.

North Carolina

U.S. 21 has two concurrencies with I-77 in North Carolina. One is for five miles (8 km) between Cornelius and Mooresville, but the better-known concurrency runs for 17 miles (27 km) through Charlotte (starting at Exit 16, the Sunset Road interchange) and on into York County, South Carolina, where the two highways split at Exit 90 (Carowinds Boulevard), the exit that serves traffic going to the Carowinds theme park.

See also

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Related U.S. Routes

References

US blank.svg Main U.S. Routes
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19
20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38
40 41 42 43 44 45 46 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59
60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79
80 81 82 83 84 85 87 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99
101 163 400 412 425
Lists  U.S. Routes - Bannered - Divided - Bypassed - Portal
Browse numbered routes
< NC 20 NC NC 22 >

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