U.S. 21

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U.S. 21 travels just 35 miles through Grayson and Wythe Counties in western Virginia. The route used to run to Cleveland, Ohio, but was truncated southward from there initially to West Virginia in 1974 and again to its current terminus at Interstate 81 & U.S. 52 (Exit 70) in 1979. All of U.S. 21 north from Wytheville to Bluefield, West Virginia coincided with U.S. 52.

U.S. 21 north
U.S. 21 travels 13 miles from Speedwell into the city of Wytheville. Once there, the US route follows West Main Street to a merge with U.S. 11 south at Lee Highway / 12th Street. Photo taken 07/16/05.
U.S. 11 enters Wytheville from Petunia along Pine Ridge along the Lee Highway. 12th Street continues five blocks from U.S. 11 & 21 to Jefferson Street. Photo taken 07/16/05.
Banners remain from the U.S. 11 & 21 shield assembly at Lee Highway and Main Street from when cutout shields were posted. The Interstate 77 shield is one of the oldest posted in Virginia at the time, but still was devoid of the state name. Drivers bound for Interstates 77 & 81 are advised to follow U.S. 11 north to Exit 73 of the freeway. Photo taken 07/16/05.
U.S. 11 & 21 north
U.S. 21 signage is omitted along West Main Street after the merge with U.S. 11 (Lee Highway). The pair continue directly into downtown. Photo taken 07/16/05.
Just four blocks after they merged, U.S. 11 and 21 part ways at the intersection of West Main Street and 4th Street in downtown Wytheville. Photo taken 07/16/05.
U.S. 52 used to use this intersection, following U.S. 21 south from Crowgeys and U.S. 11 north to Fort Chiswell. The highway now simply utilizes Interstates 77 and 81 to bypass the city. Photo taken 07/16/05.
U.S. 11 continues along Main Street through the Wytheville central business district. U.S. 21 follows North 4th Street to its end at Interstate 81 & U.S. 52 (Exit 70). Photo taken 07/16/05.
U.S. 21 north
Traveling the final length of U.S. 21 between West Main Street (U.S. 11) and Exit 73 of Interstate 81. U.S. 21 was truncated from Cleveland, Ohio in 1971 and Wytheville by 1978. Photo taken 07/16/05.
Ridge Road crosses U.S. 21 (North 4th Street) at a traffic light west of Fisher Road. The arterial continues west along Pine Ridge to become Virginia Secondary 710 en route to SSR 656 near Petunia. Photo taken 07/16/05.
U.S. 52 trailblazers accompany shields for Interstates 77 and 81 along U.S. 21 after Ridge Road. U.S. 52 departs Interstate 81 south for its original alignment leading north from Crowgeys to Favonia and Little Walker Mountain. Photo taken 07/16/05.
U.S. 21 transitions into a four-lane divided highway on the approach to Interstate 81. A number of traveler services and big box retail line the south side of the diamond interchange. The traffic light with Tazewell Street connects North 4th Street with the Wytheville street grid to the east and retail to the west. Photo taken 07/16/05.
Interstate 81 north & U.S. 52 south merge with Interstate 77 next at a trumpet interchange. Buildings to the right in this scene were demolished to make way for new traveler services. The trailblazer for I-77 and light pole were removed in the process. Photo taken 07/16/05.
U.S. 52 joins Interstate 81 north between Exits 70 and 80. The two split at Fort Chiswell ahead of the Interstate 77 southbound turn to Hillsville and Statesville, North Carolina. Photo taken 07/16/05.
U.S. 21 ends within the Interstate 81 & U.S. 52 interchange at Crowgeys. No signs are given of its conclusion. Photo taken 07/16/05.
U.S. 21 south
U.S. 21 (North 4th Street) enters downtown Wytheville and intersects Monroe Street at this traffic light. Photo taken 07/16/05.
One block south, U.S. 21 turns from North 4th Street onto West Main Street, joining U.S. 11 for a four-block overlap. Photo taken 07/16/05.
U.S. 11 north follows Main Street directly to Interstates 77-81 & U.S. 52 at the Exit 73 trumpet interchange. South 4th Street continues to its end at Railroad Avenue and Marshall Street. Photo taken 07/16/05.
U.S. 11 & 21 south
U.S. 11 & 21 combine and leave the Wytheville central business district between 4th Street and 12th Street / Lee Highway. Photo taken 07/16/05.
Main Street sees angled parking along both sides of U.S. 11 & 21. Numbered streets west of Church Street use only even numbers in Wytheville. Photo taken 07/16/05.
U.S. 11 north turns onto Lee Highway at 12th Street for its exit of Wytheville. U.S. 21 continues on Main Street to Grayson Road toward Sand and Stuart Mountains south of town. Photo taken 07/16/05.
U.S. 21 south
Continuing along West Main Street from U.S. 11 (Lee Highway) and 12th Street on U.S. 21 south. Photo taken 07/16/05.
U.S. 21 maintains four overall lanes to its turn from West Main Street onto Grayson Road. Main Street spurs up the hill side to dead end otherwise. Photo taken 07/16/05.
U.S. 21 & 221 south
U.S. 21 & 221 combine from Independence southward to Twin Oaks, North Carolina. The tandem exit the town via Independence Avenue onto New River Parkway. Sparta, North Carolina lies ten miles to the south after the split with U.S. 221. Photo taken 06/17/05.
Virginia Secondary 697 (Beaverdam Road) stems southeast from U.S. 21 & 221 (New River Parkway) along Beaverdam Creek to a rural area adjacent to the New River. Photo taken 06/17/05.
U.S. 21 & 221 span the New River ahead of the North Carolina state line. The two continue into Alleghany County to New Haven. Photo taken 06/17/05.



Photo Credits:

06/17/05, 07/16/05 by AARoads

Connect with:
U.S. 11
U.S. 52

Page Updated 03-30-2010.