US 74 in North Carolina

US 74 in North Carolina


US 74
Get started ranger
End Wilmington
Length 413 mi
Length 665 km
  • Tennessee → Clevelandranger
  • Murphy
  • Andrews
  • Lauada
  • West Bryson City
  • Bryson City
  • Ela
  • Birdtown
  • Cherokee
  • Dillboro
  • Sylva
  • balsam
  • South Waynesville
  • North Waynesville
  • Dellwood
  • Clyde
  • Canton
  • → Knoxville / Asheville
  • → Asheville / Spartanburg
  • Columbus
  • Mill Spring
  • Rutherfordton
  • Chesnee
  • Forest City
  • Ellenboro
  • Mooresboro
  • Shelby (old US 74)
  • Washburn Switch Road
  • Shelby West (NC-226)
  • Shelby
  • West Kings Mountain
  • Kings Mountain
  • → Atlanta / Charlotte
  • Gastonia
  • Belmont
  • Charlotte
  • → Downtown Loop
  • Independence Park
  • Wendover Road
  • Albemarle Road
  • Matthews
  • monroe
  • Wadesboro
  • West Rockingham
  • Cordova
  • Rockingham
  • West Hamlet
  • Hamlet
  • Gibson
  • East Hamlet
  • Laurel Hill
  • Gibson
  • West Laurinburg
  • Laurinburg
  • Downtown Laurinburg
  • East Laurinburg
  • Maxton
  • alma
  • Pembroke
  • → Savannah / Richmond
  • Fairmont
  • boardman
  • Chadburn
  • Whiteville
  • East Whiteville
  • Wilmington
  • Wrightville Beach

According to, US 74 is a US Highway in the US state of North Carolina. The road forms a long east-west route through the south of the state, more or less paralleling the borders with South Carolina and Georgia. Numerous routes have been developed as motorways or with 2×2 lanes. The total route is 665 kilometers long.

Travel directions

US 74 in western North Carolina.

US 74 at Wilmington.

US 74 between Charlotte and Monroe.

The road begins as a 2×2 trunk west of Ranger at the Tennessee border . The route then joins US 64 to the east. From Murphy, the road turns northeast and US 74 runs as a 2×2 trunk through the Great Smoky Mountains. About 50 miles of the route between Tennessee and Interstate 40 is a highway, the rest is a 2×2 lane highway with at -grade intersections. At Waynesville, US 74 merges with I-40 and both roads are double numbered. This continues until the city of Asheville, where I-40 continues toward Winston-Salem and US 74 follows the route of Interstate 26 south, closer to the border withSouth Carolina is coming.

At Columbus, US 74 exits from I-26, continuing toward Spartanburg and Columbia. The US 74 forms an individual highway here for about 55 kilometers. At Shelby, the highway is interrupted by a 2×2 lane main road with at -grade intersections. Just before Gastonia, the US 74 becomes a highway again. One then crosses Interstate 85, the highway from Atlanta to Charlotte. US 74 then forms a 2×2 lane highway, through Gastonia and to the largest city in the state, Charlotte. The route here runs close to I-85. One then crosses the Catawba River and then crosses Interstate 485, theCharlotte’s ring road. US 74 then passes through the center of town and intersects Interstate 77, the highway from Columbia to Cleveland. US 74 then forms the eastern highway of Charlotte and also has 2×2 lanes east of the city for a long distance, but is not a highway.

One passes through Monroe, where one crosses US 601 and continues east. From Cordoba, US 74 forms a short 17-mile highway around the town of Rockingham and later Hamlet. After that, the highway section is again briefly interrupted by a 2×2 main road, after which the road around Laurinburg is again a highway over 24 kilometers. After that, US 74 is a single-lane highway for the first time, but a freeway is planned here until Interstate 95, the highway from Savannah to Fayetteville and Washington. After I-95, the road is again a main road with 2×2 lanes. There is a short 20-mile stretch of highway surrounding Whiteville, after which the road becomes a 2×2 lane main road to Wilmington, a city on the Atlantic Ocean. US 74 then runs through town to the beach.


US 74 was created in 1926 and then ran from Asheville to Chadbourn. In 1935, the route to Wrightsville Beach near Wilmington was extended. In 1987, the route was also extended west to Tennessee, creating the current route through North Carolina.

Appalachian Mountains

As early as the 1950s, an 11-kilometer section between Lake Junaluska and Canton was widened to 4 lanes. In the 1960s the diversion of Lake Junaluska was upgraded to a freeway, at the same time a diversion of nearby Waynesville was opened, these parts were realized at the same time as I-40 towards Asheville.

In the 1960s, a section between the Tennessee and Ranger border in southwestern North Carolina was also widened to 2×2 lanes. In the 1970s, a 2×2 diversion was constructed at Bryson City. In 1979 the Andrews bypass opened and in 1980 the Murphy bypass opened. The intermediate section from Murphy to Andrews was widened to 2×2 lanes shortly afterwards.

Asheville – Charlotte

The first bypass of US 74 was at Rutherfordton in 1949. As early as the 1950s, US 74 was widened to 2×2 lanes over a stretch from Shelby via Gastonia to Charlotte. In 1970 the first freeway of US 74 opened, a 16-mile stretch from Spindale, past Forest City to Mooresboro. This followed the Rutherfordton diversion opened in 1949. In 1985, a freeway bypass of Kings Mountain opened, connecting with I-85 toward Charlotte.

A major change came in 1994, when a 35-mile stretch of freeway opened between I-26 at Columbus and Forest City. US 74 was routed over this new freeway and the already existing I-26, turning the old route between Asheville and Forest City into US 74 Alternate. However, US 74 was no longer through, the winding direct route was replaced by a new highway connection via I-26. About 90 kilometers of the former US 74 became an alternate route between Asheville and Forest City.


Independence Boulevard was Charlotte’s first freeway and was built in the 1940s between downtown and the eastern neighborhoods. Charlotte was a relatively small town at the time, and the road would become congested in later years. The first section opened in 1949, and the highway section was completed in 1950. The road was extensively modernized in the 1980s.

Between 2015 and 2018, the Monroe Expressway was constructed as a bypass route of US 74 around the eastern suburbs. The 30-kilometer toll road opened to traffic on November 27, 2018. The project cost $840 million.

Charlotte – Wilmington

US 74 at Rockingham.

In the 1960s, the first sections of US 74 between Charlotte and Wilmington were widened to a 2×2 divided highway. In 1970, the longest stretch of 2×2 was between Rockingham and Laurinburg, as well as the west approach road from Wilmington. The Laurinburg bypass was already developed as a freeway at the time. In the early 1970s, a new freeway route was constructed between I-95 at Lumberton and Chadbourn. In 1975 the road in the western suburbs of Wilmington was expanded into a freeway around Leland and Belville. In 1976 the Chadbourn and Whiteville diversion was completed. In 1986, the road was further rerouted on a new 2×2 line between Whiteville and the Wilmington area, completed in 1993.

The largest upgrades also took place between Rockingham and Lumberton, where a longer section has been developed as a freeway. In 1984 the freeway opened around Maxton. In 2002, the great Rockingham and Hamlet diversion, a 25-kilometer stretch of freeway, opened. In 2007, a 17-mile stretch of freeway opened between Maxton and Lumberton, including a new interchange with I-95.

On June 12, 2020, a new junction opened at Hallsboro, effectively extending the US 76 freeway around Whiteville eastwards for 12 kilometers.


Shelby Bypass

A bypass will be constructed in phases around Shelby with Interstate Highway design requirements. The bypass runs from Mooresboro to Kings Mountain and is 30 kilometers long. In September 2016, the first 3 kilometers opened at Mooresboro. In August 2017, 3 kilometers opened at Lattimore. On April 14, 2020, 10 miles between Mooresboro and NC-226 opened on the west side of Shelby. In December 2023, the 7-kilometer section between NC-226 and NC-150 along Shelby is to be opened. After that, another section to the east of Shelby has to be built. Asheville is then directly connected to Charlotte by highway.

Rockingham – Whiteville

The US 74 has already been developed as a highway in three places between Rockingham and Whiteville. The intention is that this route will continue to become a freeway, and then numbered as Interstate 74.

US 74 in North Carolina