The Highways of North Carolina
U.S. 23 
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Photo: US 23 entering North Carolina from Georgia (Mark Clifton)
US 23
U.S. 23  120 miles
The Road: Enters from Georgia below Otto (Macon County) and leaves into Tennessee at Sams Gap (Madison County). Nationally the road runs from US 17 Jacksonville, FL to I-75 Mackinaw City, MI
Towns and Attractions: Macon Co.: Franklin  
Jackson Co.: Dillsboro, Sylva  
Haywood Co.: Blue Ridge Pkwy, Hazelwood, Waynesville, Lake Junaluska, Clyde, Canton  
Buncombe Co.: Enka, West Asheville, Asheville, Weaverville  
Madison Co.: Pisgah Nat'l Forest  
History: US 23 is an original US Highway that did not come to North Carolina until 1930. It attached itself to NC 285 from Georgia to Dillsboro; NC 10 Dillsboro to Asheville; NC 69 Asheville to Cane Creek; NC 692 Cane Creek to Tennessee. Here is a geographic look at its history.
Georgia to Enka:

US 23 appeared in North Carolina in 1930. It entered from Georgia below Otto and headed up today's US 23-441 to Franklin, except it used the "Old US 23" loop near the state line and a longer "Old US 23" in the Union area. It used US 441 business through Franklin.
Leaving Franklin, US 23 followed today's route except used SR 1331 Brendle Rd. US 23 then followed NC 116, then SR 1360 Old Franklin Rd, then US 23-441 across the river, then Webster St to Dillsboro. US 23 then followed US 23 Business through Sylva.

1924 Official
Georgia to Sylva, 1924
1933 Official
US 23 arrives


US 23 followed SR 1432 Skyland Dr through Beta and Addie to Willets before picking back up today's US 23-74. US 23 used SR 1472 Balsam Loop Rd through Balsam. After more US 23-74, US 23 used SR 1243 Old Balsam Rd through Saunook to Hazelwood.
US 23 picked up US 23 Business through Waynesville to Lake Junaluska. US 23 then followed NC 209 north a little, then SR 1523 Old Clyde Rd east through Clyde and Phillipsville to Canton. SR 1523 used to connect to current US 19-23/NC 215 just west of Watts St. After a stretch on current NB US 19-23, US 23 originally followed SR 1600 Groundhog Rd to Buncombe County, then SR 1130 "Old NC 19-23" through Luther to Candler Heights. US 23 then picked back up current US 19-23 to Enka.
Between 1939-44, US 23 was rerouted in Waynesville to use US 276 Russ St to Walnut St back to US 23 Bus. The old Main St routing became US 19A-23A.

1936 Haywood County
US 19-23 on Main St. in Waynesville
1944 Haywood County
US 19-23 rerouted in Waynesville


Between 1945-49, US 23 was removed from "Old NC 19-23" through Luther.
About 1954, US 23 was placed on its current routing from Lake Junaluska through Clyde and Canton. Also it was removed from SR 1600 near Buncombe County. The old route became all secondary except NC 209 absorbed about a half-mile of it.

1949 Haywood County
US 19-23 on Old Clyde Rd

1957 Haywood County
US 19-23 moved to current routing


Between 1954-57, US 23 was put on its current routing between Georgia and Franklin, leaving behind all the "Old US 23 loops".
Also between 1954-57, US 23 was removed from SR 1331 Brendle Rd in Macon County.
Also between 1954-57, US 23 was placed on new alignment from Greens Creek to Dillsboro, leaving behind an extended NC 116 and SR 1360 Old Franklin Rd.
Also between 1954-57, US 23 was placed on modern US 23-74 bypassing Beta and Addie; also Balsam was bypassed.
Between 1958-62, US 23 was placed on one-way splits through Sylva. NB used Main St and SB used Mill St.
Between 1963-68, US 23 was placed on one-way splits through Canton, with SB using Park St.

1962 Haywood County
US 19 original Canton routing
1968 Haywood County
US 19 on one-way splits in Canton


In 1968, US 23 was given its bypass of Hazelwood and Waynesville, leaving behind US 23 Business and unnumbered Walnut St. The route also bypassed Saunook leaving behind SR 1243 Old Balsam Rd.
1967 Official
US 19A-23 through Waynesville
1968 Official
US 19A-23 bypasses Waynesville

In 1974, US 23 was placed on its bypass of Franklin, leaving behind only US 441 Business for some reason.

1969 Official
US 23 through Franklin
1974 Official
US 23 bypasses Franklin


Also in 1974, US 23 was given its bypass of Sylva and Dillsboro, leaving behind US 23 Business and unnumbered Walnut St.
1973-74 Official
US 19A-23 in Sylva
1974-75 Official
US 19A-23 bypasses Sylva


Enka northward:
US 23 initially followed current US 19-23-74 to West Asheville, then US 19 Bus-23 Bus. At I-240, US 23 initially continued on Haywood St across the French Broad River to Jefferson Dr to Patton Dr to Broadway to Merrimon north out of Asheville. US 19 followed today;s US 25, then US 19 Bus through Weaverville.
North of Weaverville, US 23 followed SR 2148 Old Mars Hill Hwy through Stockville and Flat Creek, then across the freeway it used SR 2207 Stockton Rd to SR 1610 Forks of Ivy Rd and then SR 1540 Beech Glen Rd. US 23 followed this through Ivy to current US 19. US 23 used several SR loops through the Buckner area and the longer SR 1507 "Old US 19" to Ivy Gap.
US 23 more or less followed its current routing (maybe a stray SR loop) to US 19E-19W. Then US 23 followed US 19W to the Tennessee Line.
By 1932, it appears US 23 was rerouted in Asheville to use Haywood to Clingman to Hilliard to Biltmore which turns into Broadway.
By 1937, it appears US 23 was rerouted to use Clingman to Patton to College to Biltmore.

1926 Auto Trails
US 23 original Asheville route
1932 Texaco
US 23 rerouted in Asheville

1937 Texaco
US 23 rerouted in Asheville


About 1947, US 23 was rerouted in the Mars Hill area. It was removed from Beech Glen Rd and instead followed essentially US 19's current routing. North to the current I-26/US 19 split was already part of NC 36. East from there to SR 1540 had been part of NC 213.

1946 Gen Draft
US 23 Madison County (1930-46)
1947 Gen Draft
US 23 moved to today's US 19 corridor


Around 1949, US 23 was placed on a bypass of West Asheville to its current route on Patton Ave. The old route became US 19A-23A (some is still US 19 Bus-23 Bus).
In 1952, US 23 was removed from US 19 and US 19-W from Mars Hill to Tennessee and instead replaced NC 36 from Mars Hill to Tennessee at Sams Gap. Note that today's "Old US 23" in the Faust area was bypassed by 1944 while the route was still NC 36.

1928 Gen Draft
US 19 and NC 692 to Tennessee before 1930
1939 Official
US 23 in Yancey County
1953 Official
US 23 moved to replace NC 36


Between 1955-57, US 23 was given a split routing in downtown Asheville: NB used Patton to Market north to Woodfin west to Broadway north. SB used Broadway south to College west to Patton.
About 1961, US 23 was removed from downtown Asheville and placed on the East-West Expressway. US 23 continued to used Merrimon north from the expressway. The '61 Official suggess US 23 Business was extended into downtown.

1949 Buncombe County
US 23 bypasses W. Asheville
1960 Official
US 23 on one-way splits
1961 Official
US 23 moved in 1961


About 1966, US 19-23 was placed on new freeway to bypass Weaverville, leaving behind only US 19 Business.
About 1973, US 23 was removed from Merrimon St (remained US 25) and placed on its current freeway leaving Asheville.
About 1975, US 23 was placed on more freeway from Weaverville to Mars Hill.

1963 Official
US 23 on Merrimon and through Weaverville
1968 Official
US 19-23 bypasses Weaverville
1974-75 Official
US 23 removed from US 25 Merrimon
1979-80 Official
US 23 freeway to Mars Hill area

About 2006, US 23 was moved onto the recently completed I-26 up to Sams Gap. The old route became US 23-A and Sams Gap Rd.

2004 Official
US 23 not on I-26
2009 Official
US 23 becomes US 23-A

Comments:
US 23 is now duplexed with another route everywhere it runs in North Carolina.
South of Lake Junaluska, US 23 is still a major corridor and a good way to get to the Atlanta area from Western N.C.
US 23 is all multilane except from Canton to Enka, which is the only 2-lane stretch of US 23 left between the Atlanta area and northern Ohio.

Last Update: 29 November 2009

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