NC 133 is a coastal route originating at Caswell Beach in Brunswick County. The state route crosses the Intracoastal Waterway north to Brunswick County Airport and NC 210 near Southport. Prior to 2016, the two highways combined east for 0.80 miles to Dosher Cutoff SE. Opening at that time was a 3.4-mile realignment along Long Beach Road Extension. The two-lane road bypassed Dosher Cutoff SE and shortened the overlap with NC 87 north out of Southport for NC 133. Work on the $22 million contract ran from May 2013 to May 2016.1

Additional work starting in 2019 will add a grade separation between NC 133 at NC 210. The new overpass will be built as part of an $85 million project to expand N.C. 211 east from Midway Road to N.C. 87 at Southport.2

NC 133 combines with NC 87 for one mile north to River Road. NC 87 branches northwest to Boiling Spring Lakes while NC 133 shifts eastward alongside Sunny Point Military Ocean terminal and the Cape Fear River. The state route continues along River Road to Belville and a diverging diamond interchange (DDI) with U.S. 17/74/76 opposite Village Road and Leland. The exchange opened to traffic on April 15, 2016 and was built during the Causeway Bridge Project underway from January 27, 2014 to November 15, 2016.3

Heading east toward Wilmington, NC 133 navigates along a series of overlaps, starting with U.S. 17/74/76 across the Brunswick River. The state route accompanies U.S. 74 & 421 north from U.S. 17/76 over the Cape Fear River to Martin Luther King, Jr. Parkway, an expressway spanning the Northeast Cape Fear River into Wilmington. U.S. 74 & NC 133 overlap east 1.8 miles to Hightsville, where NC 133 shifts onto Castle Hayne Road north.

NC 133 combines with U.S. 117 from Castle Hayne northward across the Northeast Cape Fear River into Pender County. The two split 1.78 miles beyond the county line at Marlboro, with the final 3.90 miles of NC 133 extending west to NC 210 between Rocky Point and Long Creek.


North Carolina 133 north
N.C. 133 separates from the U.S. 74 freeway and heads north into Hightsville. Photo taken 12/31/17.
N.C. 133 overtakes Castle Hayne Road north from the ensuing traffic light after U.S. 74. Photo taken 12/31/17.
Reassurance marker posted north of Gordon Road. Photo taken 12/31/17.
North 23rd Street angles southeast from N.C. 133 (Castle Hayne Road) to Wilmington International Airport (ILM) and U.S. 74 (Martin Luther King, Jr. Parkway) east to North College Road (U.S. 117) and I-40. Photo taken 12/31/17.
23rd Street leads 2.5 miles south from Hightsville to U.S. 17 (Market Street) east of Downtown Wilmington. Photo taken 12/31/17.
Castle Hayne Road and Kerr Avenue come together at a commercialized intersection in Wrightsboro. Kerr Avenue runs north of Wilmington International Airport (ILM) to U.S. 117/NC 132 and Murrayville. Photo taken 12/31/17.
Castle Hayne Road remains a three-lane boulevard north from Kerr Avenue to North County Drive. Photo taken 12/31/17.
North Carolina 133 (Castle Hayne Road) advances two miles north from Wrightsboro to a folded diamond interchange with Interstate 140. Photo taken 12/31/17.
Interstate 140 wraps around the north side of the Wilmington area along a 25-mile course between Bishop and Kirkland. Photo taken 12/31/17.
U.S. 17 was previously cosigned with I-140 between U.S. 421 west of the Northeast Cape Fear River and I-40 near Murraysville. The route extended east of I-40 toward the Pender County line along unmarked NC 140. Photo taken 12/31/17.
I-140 provides a bypass of Wilmington for U.S. 17 north to Topsail Beach and Jacksonville. Encircling Leland to the southwest, I-140 connects with U.S. 17 ahead of Shalotte and Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Photo taken 12/31/17.
North Carolina 133 south
North Carolina 133 shield posted along Castle Hayne Road southbound after Kerr Avenue in Hightsville. Photo taken 11/11/06.
North 23rd Street branches southeast from N.C. 133 (Castle Hayne Road) to Wilmington International Airport (ILM) and U.S. 74 (Martin Luther King Jr. Parkway). U.S. 74 comprises an expressway link east to U.S. 117 & N.C. 132 south of the I-40 eastbound beginning. Photo taken 11/11/06.
Castle Hayne Road partitions with N.C. 133 to the southeast as the state route connects with U.S. 74 (Martin Luther King, Jr. Parkway). Prior to September 2005, N.C. 133 remained along Castle Hayne Road southwest toward the Parsley Street Bridge. The alignment changed when MLK, Jr. Parkway opened. Photo taken 11/11/06.
A trumpet interchange joins North Carolina 133 south with U.S. 74 (Martin Luther King, Jr. Parkway) at Hightsville. The parkway is a controlled access expressway west across the North East Cape Fear River to U.S. 421 and east to U.S. 17 (Market Street) at Eastwood Road. Photo taken 11/11/06.
U.S. 74 west-421 south & North Carolina 133 south
Heading south along U.S. 74-421 and North Carolina 133 between Martin Luther King, Jr. Parkway and the Cape Fear River. Photo taken 11/11/06.
U.S. 74 west & NC 133 south combine with U.S. 17-76 along a freeway to Belville and LeLand. A loop ramp joins U.S. 17-76-421 east across the Cape Fear River into Wilmington. Prior to 2005, U.S. 74 combined with the three routes east. Photo taken 11/11/06.
U.S. 17 south, U.S. 74-76 west & North Carolina 133 south
U.S. 17-74-76 & NC 133 combine ahead of Alligator Creek on Eagle Island. The Causeway Bridge Project underway between January 2014 and November 2016 included replacement of the bridges across Alligator Creek. Photo taken 06/01/05.
NC 133 separates from U.S. 17-74-76 just across the Brunswick River and resumes a southerly course. Paralleling the west bank of the Cape Fear River, the state route travels to Clarendon, Pinelevel and NC 87 by Sunny Point Military Ocean terminal. NC 87 and 133 combine toward Southport. Photo taken 06/01/05.
NC 133 bypasses Southport along Long Beach Road, linking NC 87 with NC 210 west before continuing south onto Oak Island. Oak Island features several beaches, including Caswell Beach on the eastern tip (near the Oak Island Lighthouse), Yaupon Beach near the center of the island, and Long Beach. Photo taken 06/01/05.
Orton Plantation is located along NC 133 (River Road) about midway between U.S. 17 and Oak Island. The plantation is the former home of Roger Moore, who arrived in 1725. The plantation has a storied past, having been located one mile from the town of Brunswick and used as a hospital for a period of time during post-Civil War Reconstruction. Photo taken 06/01/05.
The diamond interchange with River Road (NC 133) south and Village Road (SR 1472) west was reconfigured into a DDI. The new ramp system debuted to motorists on April 15, 2016. Photo taken 06/01/05.

Sources:

  1. "Balfour Beatty Awarded $22 Million Contract for New Route on N.C. 133/Long Beach Road." NCDOT press release. April 17, 2013.
  2. "$85 million work to widen the Brunswick County roadway has been delayed due to utility conflicts." Wilmington Star News (NC), April 5, 2018.
  3. "Diverging Diamond Interchange on N.C. 133 in Brunswick Co. Opens to Traffic April 18." NCDOT press release. March 31, 2016.


Photo Credits:

  • 06/01/05 by AARoads.
  • 11/11/06 by AARoads and Justin Cozart.
  • 12/31/17 by AARoads.

Connect with:
Interstate 140
U.S. 17
U.S. 74
U.S. 76
U.S. 421

Page Updated 09-10-2018.