U.S. 521

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U.S. 521 extends just 3.72 miles north into Mecklenburg County, North Carolina from Indian Land, South Carolina. The route concludes at a cloverstack interchange joining Johnston Road with Interstate 485 in south Charlotte.

Constructed as a part of an $83.3-million contract to widen Interstate 485 from I-77 east to Rea Road, a flyover was built from U.S. 521 north to I-485 west (inner loop).1 Work was underway by Summer 2013 and the flyover completed by August 2014. The new ramp replaced a left turn for the Beltway west.

The historic alignment of U.S. 521 ran alongside U.S. 21 on Pineville Road and South Boulevard northward to Downtown Charlotte. By 1980, U.S. 21 was realigned onto an overlap with I-77. U.S. 21 remained along Pineville Road north to Woodlawn Road west, where it ended at I-77/U.S. 21.

U.S. 521 previously extended north along Billy Graham Parkway to Interstate 85 northeast of Charlotte Douglas International Airport (CLT). U.S. 521 was truncated southward to the Charlotte Beltway at Exit 61 with approval by the American Association of State Transportation and Highway Officials (AASHTO) on May 30, 2003. Prior to that, U.S. 421 was relocated from Pineville onto a shared alignment with Interstate 485.

Charlotte, NC - 1973

Charlotte, North Carolina - 1973

U.S. 521 North
Entering Mecklenburg County, North Carolina along U.S. 521 (Johnston Road) north. Photo taken 05/30/05.
Reassurance marker posted between the state line and Carolina Academy Road (SR 3634). Photo taken 05/30/05.
A third lane opens along U.S. 521 (Johnston Road) northbound from Ballantyne Commons Parkway to the entrance ramp for I-485. Photo taken 08/11/14.
Two lanes separate from U.S. 521 (Johnston Road) for Interstate 485 (Charlotte Beltway). Photo taken 05/21/19.
Traffic separates for Interstate 485 west to Pineville and Downtown Charlotte and east for Matthews and Concord. Photo taken 08/11/14.
Completed in 2014, the flyover for I-485 west accommodates two lanes of traffic. Photo taken 08/11/14.
An end shield for U.S. 521 stands at the northbound ramp to Johnston Road from I-485 west. Photo taken 05/21/19.
U.S. 521 South
Johnston Road leads south between the Toringdon Market and Toringdon Circle retail areas to the inner loop entrance ramp for I-485 to Pineville and I-77. Photo taken 05/21/19.
Johnston Road south becomes U.S. 521 through the cloverstack interchange with Interstate 485. Photo taken 05/21/19.
A loop ramp follows from U.S. 521 (Johnston Road) south to the outer loop of I-485 to Matthews and Mint Hill. Photo taken 05/21/19.
The first confirming marker for U.S. 521 south appears by the Ballantyne Corporate Place overpass. Photo taken 05/21/19.
U.S. 521 intersects Brixham Hill Avenue and John J. Delaney Drive at Ballantyne Corporate Park. Photo taken 05/30/05.

  1. "$83.3 Million Contract Awarded to Widen Section of I-485 in South Charlotte." North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT), press release. September 18, 2012.

Photo Credits:

  • 05/30/05 by AARoads.
  • 08/11/14 by Jamie Dzencelowcz.
  • 05/21/19 by AARoads.

Connect with:
Interstate 485 - Charlotte Beltway

Page Updated 08-06-2020.

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