Skip to main content

Old NC 10 in Orange and Alamance Counties and an old Hillsborough bridge

Took a brief trip after work today. I just wanted to check out a former alignment of NC 10 (Central Highway), and I found a few surprises on the way.

Sometimes you have a hunch that you may find an old sign at a specific place or down a specific road. Well, I had a hunch that there may be an I-85 North Carolina shield on the roads around Exit 164 in Hillsborough. So I stopped for gas, and I played the hunch right.


Then came one of the oddest signs I have ever seen. If you exit I-85 at Exit 161 (US 70/Truck NC 86), the road there is called the I-85 Connector. (Note: Years ago this is where the US 70 expressway - the predecessor to I-85 - returned to the two lane highway west of Hillsborough).

"Tolerance Ends". Now some of you will make wisecracks about North Carolina here...but all joking aside. What the heck does Tolerance Ends mean?

The I-85 Connector ends at Dewey Rd. and West Ten Road. Turn right onto West Ten and you are on the Old Central Highway. This section has a different feel than the part that runs from Hillsborough to Durham.

West Ten Road continues on until a fork in the road. According to Dave Filpus' Old NC 10 page, at this point the oldest route of NC 10 continues on Bowman Road. West Ten Road continues straight towards Mebane.

I took the left onto Bowman Road. Just before entering Alamance County, Bowman Road has a quiet crossroads with Ben Wilson Road.

At the Alamance County Line, Bowman Road becomes Old Hillsborough Road. I would follow Old Hillsborough Road until I-40/85 (Exit 152) where I turned around and headed back.

The widening of I-40 and 85 nearly a decade ago severed Old Ten as it would head back to Hillsborough. So I took the I-85 connector to Ben Johnson Road which connects to old Ten and winds into Hillsborough. Near the center of town, Old Ten crosses under the Norfolk Southern.

This is a bit different than the three railroad overpasses on the Eastern Orange County section. What's different about this one is that one of the piers supporting the bridge is in the middle of the street.

Off of NC 86 and just south of Downtown Hillsborough is a very simple but very elegant 85 year old bridge over the Eno River. I'm fairly certain this was part of Old NC 10.



If you look closely at the photo above, there are holes straight through the pavement where you can see the ground below. I wonder if this bridge originally had a truss span on top. Otherwise it is an early concrete slab bridge.

It was a great late afternoon trip and a good way to wind down after a busy week of work. I need to go back and take some more photos and do some research in and around Hillsborough and get some more photos of the Eno River Bridge.

Futher reading:
Old NC 10 - The Central Highway
Old NC 10 ---Dave Filpus
NC 10 ---Mike Roberson

Comments

Anonymous said…
Tolerance, in this case, refers to the extra 5 or 10% that a state trooper may allow a truck (an 18 wheeler)to be over maximum weight limitations. Tolerance is generally permitted on major highways, and in the picture with the "Tolerance Ends" sign, you can see that 86, 40, and 85 turn/exit. The sign indicates that tolerance ends at this point in the road because the highway doesn't continue straight on.
Adam said…
That makes total sense...Thanks!

Popular posts from this blog

Old Stage Road; the "real" El Camino Real and predecessor route to US Route 101 on the San Juan Grade

This past month I stopped in San Juan Bautista to hike the Juan Bautista De Anza Trail on the closed Old Stage Road.  Old Stage Road as part of the Spanish El Camino Real to cross the Gabilan Range between San Juan Bautista and Salinas Valley.



Part 1; the history of El Camino Real and Old Stage Road

The Gabilan Range between what is now San Juan Bautista and Salinas Valley was first explored during the second Juan Bautista De Anza Expedition of Las Californias.  While the De Anza expedition likely crossed very close to the present alignment of Old Stage Route their exact path isn't clear.  Juan Bautista De Anza noted the following in his journal while passing near present day San Juan Bautista on March 24, 1776:

"In the valley we saw many antelopes and white grey geese.  In the same valley we found an arroyo...and then came to a village in which I counted about twenty tule huts.  But the only two people we saw were two Indians who came out to the road and presented us with thr…

Railroad Square Historic District, US Route 101, California State Route 12; Santa Rosa, California

This past November I visited the Railroad Square Historic District in Santa Rosa of Sonoma County, California.  Railroad Square is a historic corridor in downtown Santa Rosa which was created due to it being isolated due to the realignment of US Route 101.



Part 1; the history of Railroad Square and the highways of Santa Rosa

Santa Rosa is the County Seat and largest City in Sonoma County.  Santa Rosa was settled in 1833 in Alta California and was named after Saint Rose of Lima.  When California became an American State, Sonoma County was one of the original counties.  The original County Seat of Sonoma County was in Sonoma but it was soon moved to Santa Rosa by 1854.  In 1867 Santa Rosa became an incorporated City as it was one of the few major communities north of San Francisco Bay.

Railroad service arrived to Santa Rosa in 1870 by way of the San Francisco & Northern Pacific Railroad ("SF&NP").  The SF&NP began construction from Petaluma northward in 1869.  By 1…

Caledonia Bridge - Caledonia, Ontario

The Caledonia Bridge, also known as the Argyle Street Bridge, is the longest rainbow arch bridge in the Province of Ontario. Spanning 700 feet across, the Caledonia Bridge includes an impressive nine arches. Opened to traffic on November 19, 1927, the bridge crosses the scenic Grand River in the Haldimand County town of Caledonia.  Caledonia Bridge was the first, and is now the only nine span bridge in Canada. The arches along the bridge tower over most passing vehicles. King's Highway 6 also once crossed this bridge, before the Caledonia Bypass was opened in 1982.

The site where the current Caledonia Bridge is located has a long history of being the location of a noteworthy bridge. In fact, the existing bridge replaced a large, six arch Whipple Arch truss bridge that was built in 1875 along the old Plank Road between Port Dover and Hamilton. Each of those spans were 105 feet (32 meters) in length. A large brick toll keepers residence was also built near the north end of this bri…