The Highways of North Carolina
N.C. 226 
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Photo: NC 226 from US 29 (Chris Patriarca)
NC 226
N.C. 226  112 miles
The Road: Begins at US 29 Grover (Cleveland County) and ends at the Tennessee State Line above Buladean (Mitchell County). The road continues as TN 107 in a southwest arc back around to the NC Line at Max Patch Mtn.
Towns and Attractions: Cleveland Co: Grover, Shelby, Polkville
Rutherford Co: None
McDowell Co: Marion, Pisgah Nat'l Forest
Mitchell Co: Spruce Pine, Bakersville
History: NC 226 appeared in 1961 as a renumbering of NC 26. Ran essentially as it does today.
1941-42 Official
NC 26 above Marion
1942 Gen Draft
NC 26 below Marion

1963 Official
NC 26 becomes NC 226 above Marion
1963 Official
NC 26 becomes NC 226 below Marion, too

In 1967 or 1968, NC 226 was removed from central Shelby to its current routing with US 74 Bypass. Previously, NC 226 entered on SR 1861 Grover St over to NC 18, then south to central Shelby where the route had split into one-way alignments (SB - Lafayette and E. Graham; NB - Washington and E. Marion St.). NC 226 continued south on SR 2104 S. Washington then along East Rd which met US 74 at the current US 74/NC 226 SB split.
The new (current) route replaced SR 1300 down to US 74 from Dover.

1962 Cleveland County
NC 226 through central Shelby
1968 Cleveland County
NC 226 avoids central Shelby

In 1992 or 1993, NC 226 was placed on the new western bypass of Marion. The old route became US 221 Business.

1990-91 Official
NC 226 through Marion
1993 Official
NC 226 bypasses Marion

Comment: NC 226 is largely unchanged since its designation.
The climb north to the Blue Ridge Pkwy is very steep - 1400 feet in 4 miles. by contrast NC 226-A takes 11 miles to do the same.
NC 226 skirts the South Mountains and elevates to 3700 feet at the Tennessee State Line.
NC 226 falls just a couple hundred feet short of making it to South Carolina.

Last Update: 29 May 2009

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