The Highways of North Carolina
N.C. 90 
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Photo: NC 90's only posting on its unpaved portion (Matt Craig)
NC 90
N.C. 90  75 miles
The Road: Begins at US 21-64 Statesville (Iredell County) and ends at SR 1420Edgemont (Caldwell County).
Towns and Attractions: Iredell Co: Statesville
Alexander Co: Stony Point, Taylorsville
Caldwell Co: Lenoir, Valmead, Pisgah National Forest
History: NC 90 is an original state highway. Initially it ran from NC 50 (Person St) Raleigh and headed east out New Bern Ave to today's US 64 Bus. NC 90 followed this east through Milburnie. It is unclear if NC 90 initially cut south to Knightdale and used Knightdale Rd to Eagle Rock or if it followed US 64 Bus.
NC 90 initially used today's NC 97 to Lizard Lick, avoiding Wendell. NC 90 then used Green Pace Rd or Water Plant Rd to Wakefield, then cut over to Shepard School Rd and SR 1770 through Pilot. NC 90 picked up the last mile of NC 98, then used Quiet Waters Rd to cross the Tar River and approach Spring Hope. Adam Prince profiles this Tar River crossing. NC 90 then used today's US 64-A and 64 Business to Nashville.
NC 90 used Sunset Blvd over to US 64 Bus Rocky Mount. NC 90 used the EB split of US 64 Bus through Rocky Mount. NC 90 used US 64-A to Heartsease, then used Calbrad Rd to cross Penders Mill Run. NC 90 used a little more US 64-A, then picked up old US 64 Business to NC 33. NC 90 used NC 33 through Tarboro, then picked back up US 64-A to Bethel and Robersonville.
At Williamston, NC 90 used Main St, then a little US 17 Bus/NC 125, then Jamesville Rd back out to US 64-A. NC 90 then used US 64 to Jamesville except it likely used Islands Rd/Old No. 90 cutoff. NC 90 used 64 Business through Jamesville, then US 64. At Plymouth, NC 90 used Wilson St and Main St, then Mackeys Rd.
NC 90 originally used NC 308 to Pleasant Grove, then NC 32 and NC 94 to Creswell. NC 90 used Main St and Old Creswell Rd/Travis School Rd to get to Columbia via Travis. NC 90 used the now closed crossing of the Scuppenong River to the north of modern US 64. NC 90 originally ended in Columbia.

1922 Auto Trails
NC 90 in 1922

In 1924, NC 90 was removed from Mackeys Rd east of Plymouth and put on today's NC 32 except in Roper where it used Main St.
In 1926, NC 90 was rerouted at Eagle Rock to follow US 64 Bus to Wendell, then Shepard School Rd.
1923 Auto Trails
NC 90 through Wakefield
1926 Official
NC 90 through Wendell and Zebulon

In 1927, NC 90 was put on today's NC 94 from Creswell to Columbia and on modern US 64 between Williamston and Jamesville (minus Sweetwater Creek causeway).
Also in 1927, NC 90 was extended west through Raleigh with NC 50 to Cary (via Edenton St, then west through the Capitol Square and west on Hillsborough St. to Cary. NC 50-90 followed Chatham St), then headed west as new primary routing to Pittsboro via Roanoke Ct and Jenks Rd, then US 64 and US 64 Bus to Pittsboro. Within Pittsboro, NC 90 used Thompson St.
Then NC 90 replaced NC 75 all the way out to Lenoir:
NC 90 used 64 Bus west and US 64 to Siler City except for brief loops on Stage Coach Rd and Old Siler City Rd. NC 90 used 3rd St through Siler City, then "Old US 64", then Benjie Williams Rd and Graham Moore Rd. NC 90 then followed US 64 to Ramseur.
NC 90 used NC 22 northwest to Franklinville, then Pleasant Cross Rd back to US 64. NC 90 then followed US 64 to Asheboro where it picked up Salisbury St to NC 42 west, then Lexington Rd, Flint Hill-Hillsville Rd and Old Lexington Rd.
NC 90 picked back up US 64, then Pleasant Grove Rd which zig-zags across 64 a few times. The road becomes SR 2205 in Davidson County and Raleigh Rd into Lexington. NC 90 used Main St (then US 70-170) over to 5th St, then used 5th St out of town.
NC 90 used Old Mocksville Rd and Old US 64 to the Yadkin River, then US 64 to Mocksville except it used John Crotts Rd and Aubrey Merrel Rd. In Mocksville NC 90 used Depot St, Main St, Avon St and Wilkeboro St. NC 90 then followed US 64, then NC 901 to V Point. NC 90 used OLd Mocksville Rd and Dunlap Gate Rd to US 21/NC 26, which NC 90 followed south to Statesville.
NC 90 initially used today's US 64 through Statesville, then picked up today's NC 90 at I-40. NC 90 used its current route to Taylorsville, and used Main St initially. NC 90 then used "Old NC 90" from Ellendale, then modern NC 90, possibly Oak Hill Park Rd, Millers Creek Rd, and more 90. NC 90 then ended at NC 18 Lenoir (or possibly at the NC 17-18 jct).
In 1929, NC 90 was rerouted east of Statesville to use modern US 64 to NC 901.

1922 Auto Trails
NC 75 routed out to Lenoir

1929 Official
NC 90 replaces NC 75 west of Pittsboro

Also in 1929, NC 90 was extended east as new primary routing from Columbia, using Road St to hug Albermarle Sound around to end at Fort Landing.
About 1930, NC 90 was rerouted east of Columbia to use New Rd to cutoff part of Road St.
1929 Official
NC 90 extended to Ft. Landing
1930 Official
NC 90 using New Rd (mileage change)

In 1932, US 64 was assigned to NC 90 from Statesville east to Fort Landing.
In late 1934, NC 90 was dropped east of Statesville to end at the current US 64-70/NC 90 jct west of town, but also extended west to its current ending in Edgemont. Lenoir to Edgemont was a replacement for NC 171.

1929 Official
NC 171 Lenoir to Edgemont
1935 Official
NC 90 replaces NC 171

Between 1939-44, NC 90 was extended east to its current ending, replacing what had been US 64's routing through town.

1936 Iredell County
NC 90 not in central Statesville
1944 Iredell County
NC 90 extended back east

Between 1963-68, NC 90 was removed from Old NC 90 west of Taylorsville.
Also between 1963-68, NC 90 was rerouted in Lenoir. Originally it used Harper St west to Main St north. Now NC 90 WB left Harper via Mulberry, then used W St to the courthouse and Main St. NC 90 EB still used Main to Harper.
Between 1969-82, NC 90 was rerouted in Lenoir again where NC 90 WB left Harper on Ridge St to W Ave.

1962 Caldwell County
NC 90 through Lenoir
1968 Caldwell County
NC 90 splits up
1982 Caldwell County map
NC 90 WB split changes

Around 2008, all primary routes were removed from central Lenoir. NC 90 was moved onto US 321 around the north of town to Valmead, then south on what had just been US 321-A to get back to its route heading west to Edgemont.

NC 90's westernmost miles are still unpaved and poorly marked. Adam Prince profiles this part of NC here. I personally drove the unpaved section at night in 1988 and can't give much personal testimony.
Original NC 90 was 367 miles long in 1934.

Last Update: 4 December 2009

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