North Carolina Highway 50

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North Carolina Highway 50

Route of NC 50 highlighted in red
Route information
Maintained by NCDOT
Length164.2 mi[1] (264.3 km)
Major junctions
South endFlorida Avenue in Topsail Beach
Major intersections
North end US 15 / NC 56 in Creedmoor
CountryUnited States
StateNorth Carolina
CountiesPender, Onslow, Duplin, Wayne, Sampson, Johnston, Wake, Granville
Highway system
NC 49 NC 51

North Carolina Highway 50 (NC 50) is a primary state highway in the U.S. state of North Carolina. It goes from Topsail Beach in the south to Creedmoor in the north, connecting the cities of Warsaw, Newton Grove, Benson, and Raleigh.

Route description

From the Coast to the Triangle area, NC 50 serves to directly link several cities in the Cape Fear region to the Research Triangle and North Carolina State Capitol. However, because it parallels I-40 along the majority of its route, the highway is typically relegated to local traffic except at its southern end.

Cape Fear region

The highway begins at Florida Avenue (SR 1555), in Topsail Beach, and goes northeast through the southern half of Topsail Island to Surf City, where it crosses over the Intracoastal Waterway and onto the mainland, in concurrency with NC 210. Entering Onslow County, it connects with US 17 at Holly Ridge. Entering back into Pender County, it crosses NC 53 at Maple Hill and skirts nearby Angola Bay State Game Land. In an event of emergency, NC 50 is designated and signed as an evacuation route for the coastal area. On Topsail Island, the highway is flanked predominantly by houses, with some view to Onslow Bay. Bicycle lanes also flank the highway in and around Surf City. North of Holly Ridge, the highway traverses through the Holly Shelter Swamp, Great Sandy Run Pocosin and Angola Swamp; most of which drains into the Cape Fear River.

With a brief overlap with NC 41 at Chinquapin, NC 50 goes northwest to Kenansville, where it overlaps with NC 24 Business and begins its parallel with I-40. Continuing northwest, it connects with Warsaw and switches concurrency with US 117 to Faison. Continuing solo till Dobbersville, where it overlaps with NC 55, it goes west into Newton Grove then splits with NC 55 after crossing I-40 to go northwest again. At Benson, it overlaps briefly with both NC 242 and NC 27. Taking a more northerly direction now, it eventually enters Wake County, passing by Lake Benson and into Garner, where it begins its overlap with US 70.

The route is predominantly surrounded by farmland with the occasional city, where farmers bring their products to market. At McGee Crossroads and continuing northward, the farmland gives way to sleeper communities for the Raleigh area.

Raleigh vicinity

The majority of the highway's route is concurrent with US 70 and to a lesser extent with US 401. At Garner, the highway continues northwest to Fayetteville Road (US 401), then goes north as Wilmington Street and later Saunders Street before crossing the Raleigh Beltline (I-40/US 64). As it nears Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, the highway splits into northbound McDowell and southbound Dawson streets. At the city center, is passes by the Raleigh Convention Center, Depot Historic District, Nash Square, and a block from the State Capital, Legislative Building and the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences.

Leaving north from the city center, the highway's north and southbound lanes merge back together forming Capital Boulevard, which is squeezed between two rail-yards. Exiting from Capital Boulevard (US 401), it briefly overlaps Wade Avenue before connecting onto Glenwood Avenue. Continuing northwest again, it crosses the Raleigh Beltline (I-440/US 1) and enters Midtown Raleigh area. Near the Crabtree Valley Mall, NC 50 splits from US 70 and continues north along Creedmoor Road.

After crossing the Northern Wake Expressway (I-540), NC 50 leaves the Raleigh city limits. Crossing over the Neuse River, inside the Falls Lake State Recreation Area, it soon enters rural Granville County. At Creedmoor, NC 50 goes through the city center and connects with NC 56, before promptly ending .2 miles (0.32 km) later at US 15.

The highway throughout this area is typically four or more lanes with mostly commercial sites along its route.

Dedicated and memorial names

NC 50 features at least one dedicated or memorialized stretch along its route.

  • Earl "Easy" Creech, Jr. BridgeOfficial North Carolina name of bridge over Interstate 95.[2]


Established in 1935 as a renumbering of NC 221, the second and current NC 50 traversed from Newton Grove to Coats, through Benson. In 1937, NC 50 was rerouted on new primary routing north from Benson to US 70, in Garner; its old alignment to Coats was replaced by NC 40.

In 1952, NC 50 was extended through Newton Grove to Dobbersville, overlapping with NC 55, then going southeast on a new primary routing to Faison. In 1953, its northern terminus was clipped .3 miles (0.48 km) from Garner Road (SR 1004) to a new routing of US 70. Between 1956-1958, NC 50 was extended south to its current southern terminus in Topsail Beach; extending south along US 117 to Warsaw, then along NC 24 to Kenansville, then on new primary routing southeast to the coast, with short overlaps with NC 41 and NC 210. In 1957, NC 50 was extended north to its current northern terminus in Creedmoor; overlapping west along US 70 through Raleigh, then replacing US 15A north to Creedmoor.

In 1967, northbound US 70/US 401/NC 50 was adjusted around Wilmington Street and South Street, in downtown Raleigh.[3] In 1972, US 70/NC 50 was rerouted from Glenwood Avenue (downgraded to secondary road) to stay along Capital Boulevard then go west along the Raleigh Beltway back to Glenwood Avenue.[4] In 1984, US 70/US 401/NC 50 were taken off downtown Raleigh streets and was rerouted going counter-clockwise along the Raleigh Beltway. In 1991, NC 50, and US 70/US 401, returned to downtown Raleigh; routed along Saunders Street, Dawson/McDowell Streets and Connector, Capital Boulevard, Wade Avenue and finally Glenwood Avenue.[5]

The first NC 50 was an original state highway that ran from the South Carolina state line north through Rockingham, Aberdeen, Southern Pines, Sanford, Raleigh, Wake Forest, Henderson, Warrenton and finally Roanoke Rapids, ending at NC 4] (Weldon Road). In 1923, the section between Norlina and Roanoke Rapids was renumbered to NC 48; NC 50 was then rerouted north to Virginia. In 1925, NC 50 replaced part of NC 204 at Marston. In 1926, US 1 was established through the state and was routed entirely along NC 50. In 1934, NC 50 was decommissioned in favor of US 1.

North Carolina Highway 13 (1934–1935)

North Carolina Highway 13

Length24 mi[6] (39 km)

North Carolina Highway 13 (NC 13) was a short primary state highway in the U.S. state of North Carolina. it ran from Raleigh to US 15 in Creedmoor. In 1934 the entirety of NC 21 was renumbered to avoid confusion with US 21 to the west. NC 13 is shown on the 1935 state highway map running north from Raleigh to NC 9 southeast of Leesville. The highway then traveled north intersecting NC 91 and crossing the Neuse River before ending at US 15/NC 56 in Creedmoor.[6][7] The 1936 state highway map shows NC 13 completely renumbered as US 15A.[8]

North Carolina Highway 221

North Carolina Highway 221

LocationNewton GroveCoats
Length21.2 mi[9] (34.1 km)

North Carolina Highway 221 (NC 221) was established as a new primary routing from NC 102/NC 117, in Newton Grove, through Benson, to NC 55, in Coats. By the end of 1934 or early 1935, NC 221 was quickly renumbered as NC 50.

Major intersections

PenderTopsail Beach0.00.0Florida Avenue
Surf City7.612.2
NC 210 east (New River Drive) – North Topsail Beach
East end of NC 210 overlap
NC 210 west – Hampstead
West end of NC 210 overlap
OnslowHolly Ridge12.820.6 US 17 – Wilmington, Jacksonville
PenderMaple Hill31.350.4 NC 53 – Burgaw, Jacksonville
NC 41 east – Beulaville
East end of NC 41 overlap
NC 41 west – Wallace
West end of NC 41 overlap
Kenansville58.193.5 NC 24 / NC 903 (Kenansville Bypass) – Magnolia, La Grange

NC 11 north (Main Street) / NC 24 Bus. east – Kinston, Jacksonville
North end of NC 11 and east end of NC 24 Bus overlap
NC 11 south (Magnolia Extension) – Wallace
South end of NC 11 overlap

NC 24 Bus. west (College Street) – Clinton
West end of NC 24 Bus overlap
US 117 south (Pine Street) – Wallace
West end of NC 24 Bus overlap

US 117 north (Center Street) / NC 403 north (Main Street) – Goldsboro
North end of US 117/NC 403 overlap
NC 403 south – Clinton
South end of NC 403 overlap
US 117 Conn. – Clinton, Mount Olive, Goldsboro
NC 55 east – Mount Olive
East end of NC 55 overlap
SampsonNewton Grove93.2150.0 US 13 (Fayetteville Highway) / US 701 (Main/Clinton Streets) – Goldsboro, Smithfield, Fayetteville, ClintonRoundabout
94.5152.1 I-40 – Benson, WilmingtonI-40 exit 341
NC 55 west (Harnett-Dunn Highway) – Dunn
West end of NC 55 overlap
JohnstonPeacocks Crossroads101.5163.3 NC 96 – Smithfield
NC 242 south (Walton Avenue) – Salemburg
South end of NC 242 overlap
107.9173.6 I-95 – Smithfield, DunnI-95 exit 79
US 301 / NC 27 / NC 242 north (Wall Street) – Dunn, Four Oaks
East end of NC 27 and south end of NC 242 overlap
NC 27 west (Main Street) – Coats
West end of NC 27 overlap
McGee Crossroads118.7191.0 NC 210 – Angier, Smithfield
124.4200.2 NC 42 – Fuquay-Varina, Clayton
US 70 east – Clayton
East end of US 70 overlap
133.3214.5Vandora Springs Road
US 401 south – Fuquay-Varina, Fayetteville
South end of US 401 overlap; to Wake Tech College
Raleigh136.3219.4Wilmington Street – Downtown Raleigh
137.1220.6 I-40 / US 64 – Cary, Chapel Hill, Benson
138.2222.4Martin Luther King Jr Boulevard / Western Boulevard
139.7224.8Peace Street
US 401 north (Capital Boulevard) – Wake Forest, Louisburg
North end of US 401 overlap; eastbound exit and westbound entrance
143.6231.1 I-440 / US 1 – Sanford, Rocky Mount, Wake Forest, Wilson
US 70 west (Glenwood Avenue) – Durham
West end of US 70 overlap
149.4240.4 I-540 – Wake Forest, Durham, RDU Airport
154.5248.6 NC 98 (Durham Road) – Durham, Wake Forest
NC 56 east – Franklinton, Louisburg
East end of NC 56 overlap
US 15 / NC 56 west (Durham Avenue) – Durham, Oxford
West end of NC 56 overlap
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi


  1. ^ a b Google (February 27, 2014). "North Carolina Highway 50" (Map). Google Maps. Google. Retrieved February 27, 2014.
  2. ^ "North Carolina Memorial Highways and other Named Facilities" (PDF). North Carolina Department of Transportation. July 15, 2004. p. 9. Archived from the original (PDF) on December 29, 2012. Retrieved February 28, 2014.
  3. ^ "US and NC Route Changes (1967-03-09)" (PDF). North Carolina Department of Transportation. March 9, 1967. p. 4. Retrieved February 28, 2014.
  4. ^ "US and NC Route Changes (1972-09-07)" (PDF). North Carolina Department of Transportation. September 7, 1972. p. 2. Retrieved February 28, 2014.
  5. ^ "US Route Changes (1991-07-16)" (PDF). North Carolina Department of Transportation. July 16, 1991. Retrieved February 28, 2014.
  6. ^ a b North Carolina State Highway and Public Works Commission (1935). State Highway System of North Carolina (Map). North Carolina State Highway and Public Works Commission. Retrieved August 1, 2016.
  7. ^ North Carolina State Highway Commission (1933). State Highway System of North Carolina (Map). Bynum Printing Company. Retrieved August 1, 2016.
  8. ^ North Carolina State Highway and Public Works Commission (1936). State Highway System of North Carolina (Map). North Carolina State Highway and Public Works Commission. Retrieved August 1, 2016.
  9. ^ Google (February 28, 2014). "North Carolina Highway 221" (Map). Google Maps. Google. Retrieved February 28, 2014.

External links