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|US 21 decommssioned|
US 21: An original US highway that entered at Bluefield and proceeded north through Beckley, Charleston and Parkersburg before entering Ohio at Williamstown. Virginia to Bluefield was a replacement for WV 80; Bluefield to the Kanawha River crossing replaced WV 4; there to Charleston replaced WV 3; Charleston to Parkersburg replaced WV 2; Parkersburg to Ohio replaced WV 32.
Oddly, despite the fact that AASHO letters to both Ohio and West Virginia confirm US 21 crossed the Ohio River at Williamstown-Marietta, both the 1926 Ohio Official and 1927 Clasons map show US 21 crossing the river at Parkersburg-Belpre and using OH 7 to Marietta.
Also oddly, West Virginia knew by December 1925 it was going to route US 21 over WV 14 from Charleston to Parkersburg via Spencer, so that WV 2 could be rebuilt.
In 1929, US 21 was rerouted in Charleston. Originally, US 21 left Kanawha St at Piedmont Rd (in the vicinity of today's 35th St bridge, as I-77 destroyed some of Piedmont) and followed Piedmont to Slack to Bullitt to Spring to cross Elk River, then north on Pennsylvania Ave out of town. The new route used Washington St all the way across, then north on Bigley Ave.
In 1930 (WVDOH), US 21 was moved from WV 14 to WV 2 for Charleston to Parkersburg.
About 1931 (WVDOT Annual Report), US 19-21 was removed from CR 19/19 Cherry Creek Cir and CR 119/8 Lamar Cir in Cherry Creek; CR 19/17 Marshall Cir all between Ghent and Shady Spring; also CR 19/28 Ransom Dr, CR 119/20 Little Vine Dr, and CR 19/14 Old US 19 loops above Shady Spring.
Also about 1931 (WVDOT Annual Report), US 19-21 was rebuilt from Skelton to Mount Hope and removed from CR 19/5 and CR 4 Prosperity Rd through Prosperity; CR 16/68 Bradley School Rd; CR 19/1 Maple Ln (no longer connects to), CR 1/25, CR 19/43 Sherwood Rd, CR 21/8 Sherwood Heights Rd
About 1934, US 19 was given new routing between Bluefield and Princeton. The old route became CR 25 Old Princeton Rd out of Bluefield; CR 25 Mercer Mall Rd to Edison (a bit of this is now WV 123); WV 71 legs (now CR 19/33 Maple Acres Rd to Glenwood; Glenwood/Green Valley/Old Bluefield Rds CR 19/29 from Glenwood to Princeton).
Also about 1934 (WVDOT Annual Report), the original Beckley Bypass was completed. It is referred to as "Alternate Route" through at least 1936. Then by 1940, it appears mainline US 19-21 was moved onto it, leaving behind US 19-21 ALT (now WV 16, CR 21/5, more WV 16, and all of WV 210) through Beckley.
Also about 1934 (WVDOT Annual Report), US 19-21 was put on mostly new construction from Oak Hill to Fayetteville, leaving behind CR 19/2 Broadway Ave and CR 19/1 Nickelville Rd.
In Jan 1935, AASHO rejected a request by Ohio to move US 21 to OH 7 between Parkersburg and Marietta OH.
About 1935 (WVDOT Annual Report), US 19-21 was removed from Covington and Piney Creek Rds near Raleigh (south edge of Beckley)
Also about 1935 (WVDOT Annual Report), US 19-21 was put on new construction between Glen Jean and Oak Hill leaving behind CR 20 (now CR 21/20) from Glen Jean to Whipple Jct and CR 15 from Whipple Jct to Oak Hill.
Also about 1935 (WVDOT Annual Report), US 19-21 was removed from CR 21/4 Old Court St north of Fayetteville.
Also about 1935 (WVDOT Annual Report), US 21 was removed from the disconnected Leaf Ln and Wet Water Ln around the CR 56 junction area; CR 21/52 Delta Rd in Sandyville
In 1936 or 1937, US 21 was removed from River Rd/55th St in Vienna and placed on current WV 14.
About 1937, US 21 was placed on the new bypass of Beckley. The old route became US 21 ALT (now WV 210 and WV 16).
In 1940 (WVDOT Annual Report), US 21 was removed from CR 21/24 Falcon Dr between Charleston and Guthrie; CR 21/38 Whittington Rd; CR 21/37 Whittington Rd N; CR 21/18 Margaret Ln; a bit of CR 24 Wallace, CR 24/1 Old Tupper Creek Rd, CR 24/2 Arney Dr (no longer connects to), CR 21/30 Honeywell Dr; CR 21/39 Rena Dr; CR 21/29 Stalite Rd near Pocatalico; CR 21/21 Old Mill Rd in Sissonville
Also about 1940, US 21 was rerouted south out of Parkersburg to use 5th St and Division (which were both part of WV 2), then replaced CR 34/2 plus new construction as Blizzard Rd to the Broadway/Pike intersection. The old route via Pike/East/7th became US 21E (now unsigned WV 14 ALT).
In 1941, US 21 was removed from Faber Ln and abandoned routing plus a bit of Spindle Ln, abandoned routing and Faber Ln south of WV 34.
By 1942, US 21-60 was removed from CR 60/29 Piedmont Rd north of Maiden.
In 1945 (bridge date), US 21 was removed from 13th Ave/12th Ave/12th St south of Vienna.
A 1947 Official map shows US 21 swapping with US 21 ALT in Beckley, but I believe this is erroneous, as the 1949 Raleigh County map does not show it and US 21 is still shown on the bypass route on the 1970s officials.
In 1949 (bridge date), US 21 was removed from CR 21/23 Cemetery Rd and (no longer connects with) CR 25 Cedar Lakes Dr, plus Charleston Dr from Fair Plain to Ripley.
In the early 1950s, US 19-21 was removed from CR 19/31 at Camp Creek and straightened outfrom CR 2 to CR 1 in Mercer County all due to the construction of the West Virginia Turnpike - some of the abandoned pieces are east of the turnpike
Sometime in the 1950s. US 21-60-119 was placed on one-way splits in Charleston, with NB US 21 remaining on Washington St while SB used Lee St
In 1956 or 1957, US 21 was removed from CR 21/3 and CR 21/2 Old River Rd in the Boaz-Pohick area.
Also in 1956 or 1957, US 21 was given one-way splits in Northern Parkersburg to accomodate the new Memorial Bridge. However, the SB split tied back in where today's U-turn back to WV 14 NB is just south of the bridge access.
About 1959, US 21-60 was removed from CR 60/12 Dupont Ave between Maiden and Belle.
Also about 1959 (bridge date), US 21 was rerouted at the current I-77 interchange with WV 622 to the current WV 622/CR 21 routing. The original route is in I-77's right of way through here.
About 1960 (bridge date), US 21 was rerouted at the current I-77 Exit 116 to CR 21's current alignment. The original alignment from the end of the I-77 NB ramp to about the Jackson County line, plus from CR 42 to CR 19 were actually west of current I-77.
Between 1958-68, US 21's SB split in northern Parkersburg was extended all the way downtown using Garfield to 4th. NB continued to use 5th/Ann/Murdoch.
In 1960, US 21 was placed on the Oak Hill Expressway, leaving behind WV 16.
In August 1966, West Virginia requested the elimination of US 21 within the state when I-77 was finished. AASHO approved this request in June 1968 except US 21 would still need to end at US 52-460 Bluefield. Given the completion status of I-77 at that time, US 21 north was truncated to I-77 at Pocataligo. The route north to Mineral Wells became CR 21; Mineral Wells to Marietta OH became WV 14 except CR 14/44 Pike St and a little Alpine St south of Parkersburg; the approach to the Ohio River bridge became WV 31.
About 1969 (bridge date), US 21 was removed from CR 60/21 E Dupont Ave from Belle to Diamond
About 1972 (bridge date), US 21 may have been placed on current US 19 from WV 16 Bradley to Oak Hill. The old route would have remained WV 16 (except the Mt. Hope routing became WV 211)
In 1976, US 21 north was truncated to Bluefield leaving behind US 19 from Bluefield to Beckley; WV 16 Beckley to US 60 (except WV 16 Byp on the expressway portions); US 60 from WV 16 to Charleston; CR 21 to near Pocatalico; WV 622 to I-77.
In June 1979 (AASHTO), US 21 north was truncated to Wytheville VA. In West Virginia this left behind US 52 (now WV 598).
Oddly, both the Clarksburg Publishing Company 1933 Mercer County map and the 1932 Virginia Dept of Highways map of Bland County show US 21 using the old state line crossing used by the Raleigh-Grayson Turnpike. In this routing, US 21 avoids Bluefield entirely. However, the WV highway department annual reports clearly have US 21 following the path of today's WV 598 by 1928.
Page last modified 22 July 2022