The Highways of North Carolina
N.C. 49 
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Photo: NC 49 beginning, with a quick separation from NC 96 (Jimmy Storey)
NC 49
N.C. 49  174 miles
The Road: Begins at the South Carolina State Line at Lake Wylie (Mecklenburg County) and ends at the Virginia State Line at Virgilina (Granville County). The route continues 77 miles as SC 49 ending at US 221 Watts Mills, SC and 65 miles north as VA 49 ending at US 360 Jennings Ordinary, VA.
Towns and Attractions: Mecklenburg Co.: Lake Wylie, Charlotte, UNC-Charlotte  
Cabarrus Co.: Harrisburg, Mt. Pleasant  
Stanly Co.: Richfield  
Davidson Co.: None  
Randolph Co.: Asheboro, Ramseur, Liberty  
Alamance Co.: Graham, Haw River  
Orange Co.: None  
Person Co.: Roxboro  
Granville Co.: None  
History: NC 49 was born in late 1934 as a renumbering of NC 15 southwest of Charlotte. NC 49 began at Tryon at Morehead where it met US 21-29-74 and NC 27, heading southwest out of town on Tryon St.
1930 Official
NC 15 Charlotte to SC
1936 Official
NC 15 replaced by NC 49

NC 49 was extended northeast from Charlotte to Virginia in 1940. Here is a geographically organized look at NC 49 since then:

In Charlotte, NC 49 was added as a duplex with US 29 along Tryon St northeast through town.
Between 1983-85, NC 49 was removed off of Tryon St through central Charlotte. Instead it cut west on Morehead to Graham St (US 29) which it followed northeast around downtown before cutting northeast on Dalton Ave back to Tryon.
1976 Official
NC 49 using only Tryon
1984-85 Official
NC 49 rerouted

NC 49 (still with US 29) used Old Concord Rd through Newell, then Old Charlotte Rd into Concord. From Concord NC 49 left US 29 and duplexed with NC 73 east to Mt. Pleasant.
In 1953, NC 49 was given its modern routing bypassing Concord and avoiding NC 73 altogether. Additionally, NC 49 was given its current bypass routing of Newell.

1940 Official
NC 49 extended northeast with US 29 and NC 73
1955 Gen Drafting
NC 49 bypasses Newell and Concord

NC 49 then replaced NC 62 essentially along today's NC 49 to US 52, then duplexed with US 52 east to Richfield, then north on Main St back to today's 49 across the Yadkin River.
About 1947, NC 49 was taken off the US 52 duplex in Richfield onto today's 49 routing.
1938 Official
NC 62 Mt Pleasant to Yadkin River
1940 Official
NC 49 Mt. Pleasant to Yadkin River
1947 Gen Drafting
NC 49 leaves US 52

NC 49 replaced NC 62 northeast from the Yadkin River using today's 49 into Randolph County, then "Old NC 49" through Farmer to Asheboro.
In 1959 or 1960 NC 49 was given its modern Randolph County that bypasses Farmer.
1939 Official
NC 62 in Randolph County
1940 Official
NC 49 replaces NC 62 in Randolph County
1960 Official
NC 49 bypasses Farmer

NC 49 duplexed with US 220 using today's 220 Business through Asheboro, then replaced more NC 62 using today's Old Liberty Rd through Central Falls to Liberty.
In 1947, NC 49 was rerouted to follow US 64 through Asheboro and over to Ramseur, then cut northeast as new primary routing to Liberty. The old routing through Central Falls to Liberty became NC 49A (secondary routing today).
1939 Official
NC 62 Asheboro to Liberty
1940 Official
NC 49 replaces NC 62 Asheboro to Liberty
1952 Official
NC 49 rerouted Asheboro to Liberty

NC 49 replaced NC 62 from Liberty through Graham and Haw River and up to Pleasant Grove. It appears NC 49 used today's 49 for all of this, except right at Pleasant Grove NC 49 actually intersected NC 62 instead of the near miss that both routes exhibit today. The first official map to show this change was between 1991 and 1993 but I'm just about positive it was already changed when I drove NC 49 end-to-end in 1988, so I really can't say when it was altered.
1939 Official
NC 62 Liberty to Pleasant Grove
1941 Official
NC 49 Liberty to Pleasant Grove

NC 49 replaced NC 144 from Pleasant Grove through Roxboro to Virgilina. It used today's 49 except when it got to US 158 in Roxboro it crossed it, using Morgan St through town, then hooking up with US 158-501 (via Reames St) which was still using Main St. NC 49 seems to have used today's 49 from Roxboro to Virginia.
In 1949, NC 49 did not go to Main St but instead cut north on the new Madison Blvd.
It looks like NC 49 stopped using Morgan St and instead duplex with US 158 east to Madison between 1961-62.
1939 Official
NC 144 Pleasant Grove to Virginia
1941 Official
NC 49 Pleasant Grove to Virginia
1946-47 Official
NC 49 original Roxboro route

1953 Official
NC 49 1950s Roxboro route

1963 Official
NC 49 current Roxboro route

NC 49 is one of three NC state highways that involve three states (along with NC 16 and NC 28).
NC 49 is a major through route from Charlotte to Asheboro and is multilaned along some of that stretch.
NC 49 is the last route I ever saw a diamond cutout in person, in the late 80's SB at I-77. Of course the only other one I ever saw was on NC 226-A.

Last Update: 6 March 2008

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