U.S. Route 17 in North Carolina

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U.S. Highway 17

Coastal Highway
US 17 highlighted in red
Route information
Maintained by NCDOT
Length286.0 mi[1] (460.3 km)
Major junctions
South end US 17 at the South Carolina state line
Major intersections
North end US 17 at the Virginia state line
CountryUnited States
StateNorth Carolina
CountiesBrunswick, New Hanover, Pender, Onslow, Jones, Craven, Beaufort, Martin, Bertie, Chowan, Perquimans, Pasquotank, Camden
Highway system
NC 16 NC 18

U.S. Highway 17 (US 17) in the U.S. state of North Carolina is a north–south highway that is known as the Coastal Highway in the southeastern half of the state and the Ocean Highway in other areas. The route enters the state from South Carolina near Calabash and leaves in the vicinity of the Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge in Virginia. Between the US 64 freeway and the Virginia state line, US 17 is a four-lane divided highway with speed limits varying between 45 mph (72 km/h) and 70 mph (110 km/h).

Route description

US 17 enters Brunswick County in Carolina Shores amid a variety of golf course communities. Carolina Shores was part of Calabash until 1998.

In Wilmington, US 17 (here concurrent with US 76 and US 421) crosses the Cape Fear River between New Hanover and Brunswick counties over the Cape Fear Memorial Bridge. US 17 then travels east through the city of Wilmington with US 76 on Wooster/Dawson streets and Oleander Drive, intersecting US 117, North Carolina Highway 132 (NC 132), and US 74. At the end of the US 76 concurrency near Wrightsville Beach, US 17 travels north as Military Cutoff Road before meeting up with Market Street and US 17 Business (US 17 Bus.) and exiting the city northeast.[2] North of Holly Ridge, US 17 begins to move further away from the Atlantic Coast. Then, it bypasses Jacksonville along with NC 24. Between New Bern and James City, US 17 (concurrent with US 70 and NC 55) crosses the Trent River by way of the Freedom Memorial Bridge. Farther east, between James City and Bridgeton, US 17, still concurrent with NC 55, crosses the Neuse River over the Neuse River Bridge. Traffic going north on US 17 when using US 70's concurrency can bypass New Bern altogether via NC 43, ironically both the west end of US 17's concurrency on US 70 and NC 43's southern terminus both, respectively have a north and south protrusion of unused highway since full cloverleaf junctions were scrapped in the area.

US 17 northbound/US 158 westbound past the northern terminus of US 17 Bus. and US 17 Bus. Truck in Elizabeth City

US 17 bypasses Washington, and it crosses the Pamlico River over the Pamlico–Tar River Bridge shortly before the route intersects with US 264. Farther along in Bear Grass, US 17 joins a concurrency with a limited-access portion of US 13/US 64, although US 64 moves east before US 13/US 17 reaches Williamston, where the limited-access segment ends. US 13/US 17 uses the Roanoke River Bridge to cross the Roanoke River, then, before US 13 moves onto the interchange with North King Street, it crosses the Cashie River Bridge over the Cashie River at Windsor. At the BertieChowan county line, US 17 traverses the Chowan River from Edenhouse to Edenton. East of Edenton, US 17 shares a concurrency with NC 37 until they reach Hertford where it branches off to the northwest onto US 17 Bus. US 17 crosses the Perquimans River via the Perquimans River Bridge. Between Perquimans and Pasquotank counties, US 17 crosses the Little River over the Little River Bridge. A bypass route splits off to the northwest as US 17 (Mainline) continues into Elizabeth City as Hughes Boulevard, picking up concurrency with US 158 until US 158 splits off to the west at Morgan's Corner. US 17 crosses the Pasquotank River between Morgan's Corner in Pasquotank County and South Mills in Camden County, before entering Virginia adjacent to the Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge.


Historical Marker along US 17

US 17 was established in 1927, traversing from South Carolina, near Fair Bluff, to Virginia, near South Mills. Its routing was placed along the following state highways: NC 202, from the South Carolina state line to Chadbourn; NC 20, from Chadbourn to Wilmington; NC 30, from Wilmington to Windsor; NC 342, from Windsor to Elizabeth City; NC 34, from Elizabeth City to Morgan's Corner; and NC 341, from Morgans Corner to the Virginia state line.[3]

In May 2015, the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) approved a request to reroute US 17 back through Wilmington, following US 76 along Oleander Drive and Military Cutoff Road. The justification for the route change was to better serve industry and commerce.[4] In May 2017, US 17 was officially rerouted through Wilmington, ending its northern bypass route.[5]

Interstate proposals

As a major north–south corridor through the coastal area, US 17 has been the target of various Interstate Highway proposals over the years. The earliest known proposal was in 1964, with a proposal supported by then-Governor Terry Sanford, was to build a new Interstate from Fayetteville to Norfolk, Virginia, via US 13 and US 17. Designated Interstate 13 (I-13), it received support from various local officials but was not supported by the North Carolina Highway Commission, which ended discussions.[6]

During the mid-1990s through mid-2000s, I-99 was proposed between Charleston, South Carolina, and Wilmington, Delaware, completely overlapping all of US 17 in North Carolina. In 2006, the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) completed a study on the feasibility of the Interstate and concluded with the high cost and disinterest of other states, notably South Carolina, that it was not feasible and recommend to not pursue further.[7]

In 2012, the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) backed and presented a letter to the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) requesting the establishment of a new high priority corridor between Raleigh and Norfolk, designated I-44 (or I-50, with I-56 and I-89 as other possible numbers). This corridor follows US 64 and US 17, north of Williamston.[8] The following year, I-495 was established east of Raleigh and was routed on part of this proposed route. In 2014, various supporters, including Governor Pat McCrory, Representative G. K. Butterfield, NCDOT, and the Regional Transportation Alliance (RTA), have made cases and written letters to federal officials in support of the new Interstate corridor.[9][10][11] In 2016, AASHTO approved designation of I-87 along US 17 between Williamston and the Virginia state line.

North Carolina Highway 341

North Carolina Highway 341

LocationMorgan's CornerVirginia state line
Length10.4 mi[12] (16.7 km)

North Carolina Highway 341 (NC 341) was an original state highway that traversed from NC 34, in Morgan's Corner, to South Mills. In 1923, it was extended north to the Virginia state line, meeting up with SR 40. In 1927, it was completely overlapped with US 17, which subsequently replaced it outright in 1934.[3]


In Chowan County, the existing freeway section of US 17, which bypasses Edenton, will be fully upgraded to modern Interstate standards. At a cost of $13 million, it will mainly focus on widening travel lanes and building shoulders; construction is planned to start in 2025.[13]

Junction list

BrunswickCarolina Shores0.00.0
US 17 south – Myrtle Beach
South Carolina state line
I-74 (Carolina Bays Parkway)Proposed interchange (unfunded)[14][15]
Grissettown6.911.1 NC 904 – Ocean Isle Beach, Tabor City

US 17 Bus. north – Shallotte
13.221.2 NC 130 – Shallotte, Whiteville

US 17 Bus. south – Shallotte
Supply21.634.8 NC 211 – Bolton, St. James, Southport

US 17 Bus. north (Old Ocean Highway) – Bolivia
Superstreet intersection
NC 906 south (Galloway Road) – Oak Island
Northern terminus of NC 906

US 17 Bus. south (Old Ocean Highway) – Bolivia
NC 87 south – Boiling Spring Lakes, Southport
South end of NC 87 overlap
NC 87 north – Elizabethtown
North end of NC 87 overlap, superstreet intersection
I-140 east – Topsail Island, Jacksonville, New Bern
I-140 exit 1
US 74 / US 76 west – Whiteville
West end of US 74/US 76 overlap; south end of freeway section
NC 133 south – Belville, Southport, Oak Island
West end of NC 133 overlap

US 74 east / US 421 / NC 133 north – Wrightsville Beach, Battleship NC, Clinton
East end of US 74 and north end of US 421/NC 133 overlap
New HanoverCape Fear RiverCape Fear Memorial Bridge
WilmingtonState Port ( US 421 Truck south)Eastbound exit and westbound entrance; north end of freeway section

US 421 south / US 17 Bus. north (3rd Street) – Carolina Beach, Kure Beach, Downtown Wilmington
South end of US 421 overlap; to North Carolina Aquarium and Fort Fisher State Park

US 117 / NC 132 (College Road) to I-40 – Carolina Beach, UNC Wilmington
Interchange; to the North Carolina State Ports Authority

US 74 / US 76 east (Eastwood Road) – Wrightsville Beach
East end of US 76 overlap

US 17 Bus. south (Market Street) – Downtown Wilmington

US 17 Byp. north (Hampstead Bypass)
Future interchange; planned to open in 2023

NC 140 west to I-140 / I-40 – Myrtle Beach, Benson
NC 210 west – Rocky Point
West end of NC 210 overlap
NC 210 east – Surf City, Topsail Beach
East end of NC 210 overlap
OnslowHolly Ridge81.9131.8 NC 50 (Ocean Road) – Surf City, Maple Hill
NC 172 north (Sneads Ferry Road) – Sneads Ferry
Southern terminus of NC 172
NC 210 west (Rifle Range Road) – Topsail Beach, Sneads Ferry
Southern terminus of NC 210

US 17 Bus. north – Jacksonville
South end of freeway section; northbound left exit and southbound entrance

NC 24 west to US 258 – Richlands, Kinston
West end of NC 24 overlap; southbound access to US 17 Bus. northbound
104.6168.3Montford Point RoadNorthbound exit and southbound entrance

NC 24 east / NC 24 Bus. west – Camp Lejeune, Morehead City
East end of NC 24 overlap
106.4171.2110West Huff Drive

US 17 Bus. south to US 258 / Jacksonville Parkway – Jacksonville (Downtown)
North end of freeway section; no exit number southbound
NC 58 south – Cape Cateret, Emerald Isle
South end of NC 58 overlap
NC 58 north – Trenton
North end of NC 58 overlap

US 17 Bus. north – New Bern
At-grade intersection; south end of expressway section
US 70 west – Kinston
South end of US 70 overlap; left entrance northbound, left exits; US 70 exit 410A
NC 43 north – Greenville, Vanceboro
Southern terminus of NC 43; exit numbers follow US 70
New Bern141.3227.4Glenburnie Road – Craven Community College
US 17 Bus. – New Bern, Jacksonville
NC 55 west (Pembroke Road) – Trent Woods
West end of NC 55 overlap
James City145.1233.5417
US 70 east / East Front Street ( US 17 Bus. south) – New Bern, Havelock, Morehead City
Signed as exits 417A (Front St.) and 417B (US 70); east end of US 70 overlap; exit to US 70 east not numbered northbound; US 70 west exit 417B
NC 55 east – Bayboro
East end of NC 55 overlap
NC 43 south (Weyerhaeuser Road) – New Bern
South end of NC 43 overlap

US 17 Bus. / NC 43 north – Vanceboro, Greenville
North end of NC 43 overlap

US 17 Bus. south – Vanceboro
NC 102 west – Ayden
Eastern terminus of NC 102

US 17 Bus. north – Chocowinity
Superstreet intersection, south end of freeway
Chocowinity177.9286.3176 NC 33 – Chocowinity, GreenvilleFolded Diamond Interchange
Washington181.9292.7180 US 264 – Washington, Greenville

US 17 Bus. south (Carolina Avenue) – Washington
Superstreet intersection; north end of freeway
Old Ford187.2301.3
NC 171 north – Jamesville
Southern terminus of NC 171

US 13 south / US 64 west / US 17 Bus. north – Williamston, Tarboro
South end of US 13 and west end of US 64 overlap
US 64 east – Plymouth, Manteo
East end of US 64 overlap; southbound access via US 64 Alt.

US 64 Alt. (Jamesville Road) to US 64 east

US 17 Bus. south (Main Street)

US 13 north / US 17 Byp. north – Ahoskie, Edenton
North end of US 13 and south end of US 13 Bus overlap

US 13 Bus. north (Granville Street)
North end of US 13 Bus overlap
NC 308 west (King Street)
West end of NC 308 overlap
NC 308 east (Cooper Hill Road)
East end of NC 308 overlap

US 17 Byp. south – Williamston
Midway225.9363.6 NC 45 – Plymouth, Colerain
Chowan RiverEden House Bridge; south end of expressway

US 17 Bus. north (Queen Street) – Edenton
Edenton235.0378.2226Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue
236.1380.0227 NC 32 (Virginia Road) – Edenton
237.2381.7228Paradise Road

US 17 Bus. south (Broad Street) – Edenton
North end of expressway
NC 37 south – Plymouth, Columbia
South end of NC 37 overlap

US 17 Bus. north – Hertford

US 17 Bus. south / NC 37 north – Hertford
North end of NC 37 overlap
PasquotankRabbit Corner257.9415.0254Okisko RoadSouth end of freeway section

US 17 Byp. north – Chesapeake VA
North end of freeway section; northbound exit and southbound entrance
Elizabeth City263.2423.6

US 17 Bus. north (Ehringhaus Street) – Elizabeth City
263.6424.2 NC 344 (Halstead Boulevard) – Weeksville
US 158 east (Elizabeth Street) – Camden, Outer Banks
East end of US 158 overlap

US 17 Bus. south (Road Street south)

US 17 Byp. south to US 158 – Hertford, Edenton
Partial interchange; at-grade access to southbound/from northbound, left exit southbound, left entrance northbound; US 17 Byp. exit 264
Morgans Corner276.0444.2
US 158 west – Sunbury
West end of US 158 overlap
CamdenSouth Mills277.4446.4

US 17 Bus. north – South Mills, Nags Head

US 17 Bus. south / NC 343 – South Mills, Camden
US 17 north – Chesapeake
Virginia state line
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

Special routes

There are numerous existing and former special routes of US 17 within the state of North Carolina.

See also


  1. ^ a b Google (May 22, 2014). "U.S. Route 17 in North Carolina" (Map). Google Maps. Google. Retrieved May 22, 2014.
  2. ^ "Certificate of Rulemaking" (PDF). North Carolina Department of Transportation. May 17, 2017. Retrieved January 9, 2018.
  3. ^ a b State Highway System of North Carolina (PDF) (Map). Cartography by NCDOT. North Carolina Department of Transportation. 1930. Retrieved March 28, 2015.
  4. ^ Special Committee on U.S. Route Numbering (May 14, 2015). "Special Committee on U.S. Route Numbering Spring 2015 Report to the Standing Committee on Highways" (PDF) (Report). Washington, DC: American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials. p. 4. Archived from the original (PDF) on June 3, 2019. Retrieved June 24, 2017.
  5. ^ "Route Changes (2017-05-17)" (PDF). North Carolina Department of Transportation. May 17, 2017. Retrieved June 24, 2017.
  6. ^ "Sanford Backs New Road Plan". Star-News. Wilmington, NC. April 17, 1964. Retrieved March 28, 2015.
  7. ^ Homer, Pierce R. (November 2006). "Construction of I-99: Appropriation Act Item 427 H. (Special Session I, 2006)" (PDF). Virginia Department of Transportation. Retrieved August 10, 2013.
  8. ^ Gibson, Terry R. (November 27, 2012). "Designation of I-44" (PDF). Letter to John F. Sullivan III. Raleigh, NC: North Carolina Department of Transportation. Retrieved May 15, 2014.
  9. ^ Tata, Anthony J. (June 11, 2014). "Route to Opportunity and Development Act (ROAD Act)" (PDF). Letter to G.K. Butterfield. North Carolina Department of Transportation. Archived from the original (PDF) on September 4, 2014. Retrieved September 4, 2014.
  10. ^ "Future Interstate Designation: Raleigh, NC to Norfolk, VA" (PDF). North Carolina Department of Transportation. June 11, 2014. Archived from the original (PDF) on September 5, 2014. Retrieved September 4, 2014 – via Regional Transportation Alliance.
  11. ^ "Interstate 495 to Rocky Mount—Future I-44 to Hampton Roads". Raleigh, NC: Regional Transportation Alliance. December 14, 2013. Archived from the original on May 5, 2014. Retrieved February 16, 2014.
  12. ^ Google (March 28, 2015). "North Carolina Highway 341" (Map). Google Maps. Google. Retrieved March 28, 2015.
  13. ^ "SPOT ID: H141869" (PDF). North Carolina Department of Transportation. September 22, 2014. Retrieved March 28, 2015.
  14. ^ Staff. "I-74 Feasibility Study". North Carolina Department of Transportation. Retrieved May 22, 2014.
  15. ^ I-74 Feasibility Map (PDF) (Map). North Carolina Department of Transportation. Retrieved May 22, 2014.

External links

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