Skip to main content

Outer Banks Road Trip (3/24)

Last Saturday, I took a road trip out to the Outer Banks. I wanted to get the last three counties in Northeastern NC I need along with picking up some missing highway ends. The main reason for the trip was to go hiking at Jockey's Ridge State Park in Nags Head.

The Route: NC 50, I-85, US 158, US 158 Bypass, I-85, US 158, US 301, NC 186, NC 305, NC 561, NC 45, NC 461, local secondaries, NC 45, US 158, NC 137, NC 37, US 17, NC 344, US 17, US 158, NC 136, US 158, US 64, I-540, local roads to home.

Accomplishments: Added Hertford, Gates, and Currituck Counties. Clinched NC 136 and 137 in addition to new mileage on numerous highways: US 158, NC 305, NC 561, NC 45, NC 461, NC 37, NC 344, and US 64.

Notes:

Between Oxford and Henderson US 158 splits to a by-pass (two lanes) and business route. I took the Bypass route which weaves around I-85 briefly before a brief multiplex in Henderson. There is one instance where US 158 crosses I-85 without an interchange. However, the bridge that carries I-85 over the 158 By-pass was built to cross over four lanes and in fact grading four an additional two lanes of US 158 is there. This is the only hint that US 158 could be four lanes through here or was there an interchange here years ago? This is at about mile 208 on I-85.

There is still an I-85 North Carolina shield on US 1 North/158 East at Exit 220 in Middleburg.


Plenty of old advertisements and buildings exist on US 158 in Macon, Vaughn and Littleton. There is also an abandoned railroad right of way.

NC 35's Southern end sits literally on the Northhampton and Hertford County Lines.


NC 461 East end is at a Nucor Steel Plant near Cofield. This is the second instance - that I know of - where a NC state highway either exists or has been extended to end at an industrial plant entrance. The other is NC 149 ending at the Weyerhaeuser mill in Plymouth.


NC 344 is now signed and exists in Elizabeth City. It begins at the US 17 Bypass at Halstead Blvd. Extension. It follows Halstead Blvd. into Elizabeth City where it eventually picks up the former routing of NC 34 south through Weeksville to end at the Pasquotank River. NC 34 now ends at US 158 in Belcross. Unfortunately, there is not an 'END' NC 344 shield at the US 17 Bypass. The NC 344 signs were erected on April 19, 2006.


US 17 through Elizabeth City has another bannered route. There is US 17 By-Pass (which is a freeway east of the city), what I call 'Vanilla' US 17 (the old 'by-pass'), US 17 Business, and now US 17 Truck Business (a truck bypass for the business route). Elizabeth City now has tied Smithfield-Selma for the most bannered routes of a US highway in the state. US 70 has US 70 By-Pass, 'Vanilla' US 70, US 70A, and US 70 Business. I'll give Elizabeth City the nod as I have never seen a Truck Business route before.


I did take a brief drive to clinch NC 136, former NC 3, in Popular Branch. Not an end sign present, but the highway does end at a boat launch along the Currituck Sound/Intracoastal Waterway.


Once on the Outer Banks, I headed to Jockeys Ridge State Park and hiked the numerous sand dunes. Jockeys Ridge has the highest sand dunes on the east coast ranging from 80 to 100 feet. I was amazed to see so much sand and hiked at least two and a half to three miles. In some instances where I was surrounded by sand dunes, it made me feel like I was in the desert. Kite flying and hang gliding are very popular at the park. Plus, you are allowed to 'sled ride' down some of the dunes.





After my time at the park, I headed around the Outer Banks a little bit before heading home on US 64.

A few things, the US 64 "bypass" (actual realignment) of Newfoundland in Tyrell County is actually graded for four lanes. Four laning the remainder of US 64 to the coast (Columbia to Manns Harbor) may be accomplished in the next 10 years.

The highest exit number in North Carolina is now Exit 562 which is along the new US 64 freeway between Columbia and Plymouth.

Comments

Roaddog said…
I went to Jockey's Ridge S.P. several times when I lived on the Outer Banx. The right person took efforts to preserve them that led to the formation of the state park. The sands shift naturally over time, but with development along most of Bodie Island, the dunes are pretty much confined to where they are now.

Popular posts from this blog

Hunting the early Lincoln Highway and US Route 48 from French Camp west of Altamont Pass

On a recent weekend I sought to locate and photograph the original alignments of US Route 48 and the early Lincoln Highway from French Camp west over Altamont Pass.


Travel over the Diablo Range via Altamont Pass was not a regular occurrence between San Joaquin Valley and the San Francisco Bay Area until the Central Pacific Railroad began construction of the First Transcontinental Railroad in 1863.  The original route of foot and wagon traffic over the Diablo Range within the vicinity of Altamont Pass was to the south via the 1,600 foot Corral Hollow Pass on El Camino Viejo.  Altamont Pass ultimately proved to be a far better grade over the Diablos than Corral Hollow Pass due to the favorable terrain and very low crest elevation of 741 feet above sea level.  The Transcontinental Railroad was completed over Altamont Pass by 1869.  The Western Pacific Railroad was formed in 1903 and joined the previous Central Pacific line through Altamont Pass on a new alignment.

Modern road transporta…

Interstate 80 over the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge

While on a recent Bay Area trip I drove Interstate 80 from I-580/I-880 in Oakland west over the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge into San Francisco.


Any discussion about the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge isn't complete without the massive history of the structure.  The San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge (Bay Bridge) is a double decker suspension span carrying I-80 over San Francisco Bay.  The Bay Bridge at its longest length carrying the westbound lanes of I-80 is 1.95 miles which is slightly longer 1.92 mile length of the eastbound lanes.  The Bay Bridge includes an central anchorage point on Yerba Buena Island.  This probably goes without saying but the Bay Bride is one of the signature automotive spans in San Francisco Bay Area and California.

Calls for a bridge span between San Francisco and Oakland date back to the California Gold Rush.  An advisory committee known as the "Bay Bridge Committee" formed in 1872 seeking to have a line of the Central Pacific routed bet…

1889 Lanes Bridge Location (Old California State Route 41)

Recently I visited the location of the 1889 Lanes Bridge along what was California State Route 41 north of the Fresno City limits on the San Joaquin River.


Previously I touched on former alignments of CA 41 in the Fresno Area which can be found on the following three blogs:

1941 Lanes Bridge Renovations (Old CA 41) 

Old CA 41 in Southern Fresno County and the Expressway that never was

Old CA 180 and CA 41 surface alignments in Fresno

As stated in the 1941 Lanes Bridge blog the original crossing of the San Joaquin River was the 1889 Lanes Bridge.   The original Lanes Bridge was located about a mile up river north of the 1941 bridge roughly where Lanes Road ends today at the San Joaquin River.  The original Lanes Bridge was first called the Yosemite Bridge but soon became known as the Lanes Bridge due Lanes Station which was a general store in close proximity which opened in 1894.  In 1917 the original Lanes Bridge had a partial collapse but was quickly repaired.  By 1934 the origin…