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End of US highway 301

View a map showing this route.

Additional research and/or photo credits: Jesse Bender, Justin Cozart; Andy Field; Jake; Jeff Morrison; Alex Nitzman; Nathan Perry; Michael Summa

Approx. time period North terminus South terminus
1932-1934 Petersburg, VA Pee Dee, SC
1934-1941 Petersburg, VA Summerton, SC
1941-1947 Baltimore, MD Summerton, SC
1947-1953 Baltimore, MD Tampa, FL
1953-1960 Baltimore, MD Sarasota, FL
1960-1992 Farnhurst, DE Sarasota, FL
1992-present Glasgow, DE Sarasota, FL

As you can see from the chart above, the end of US 301 extended steadily both northward and southward during the early years (You can view photos from the Petersburg endpoint on my US 17-1 page, and you can view a photo from Pee Dee on my US 217 page). Within two years of its commissioning, US 301 had been extended down to Summerton SC. The photo below is looking west on Main Street:

Nitzman, May 2007

US 301 ended here at Church Street (US 15) for about 15 years. As you can see, it now continues south with US 15 - that extension happened in 1947. Below we're looking north on Church:

Nitzman, May 2007

Today US 15 and US 301 part ways here, but it used to be that the south beginning of US 301 was to the right.

In 1947, US 301 was extended all the way down to Tampa (where I'm told it ended at the intersection of Florida and Lake Avenues). I assume this means US 301 came in on Harney Road, which becomes Lake, ending at US 41 (which ran along Florida at the time). The shot below is looking west on Lake at Florida:

Google Maps Street View, 2008

That was briefly the south end of US 301. But four years later, the designation was again extended, this time to its current terminus in Sarasota FL. Perhaps the photo below shows how signage looked back then:

Summa, 1975

That was northbound on US 41; US 301 began straight ahead. Compare that to the photo of modern signage below, taken at roughly the same location:

Cozart, Apr. 2004

After a short distance, the first northbound confirming marker comes into view:

Cozart, Apr. 2004

Now we'll turn around and head the opposite direction - the photo below shows the last southbound marker...

Morrison, June 2009

...and here is the south end of US 301 at its junction with US 41:

Morrison, June 2009

Originally the north end of US 301 was in Petersburg VA, but in 1941 it was extended up to Baltimore. USGS topos from the mid-1940s show US 301 on a route that's impossible to follow today, but I'll try to describe it: north on Annapolis Road; west on Wenburn Street; north on Russell Street; north on a segment of Fremont Avenue that's since been erased by MLK Blvd; north on Paca Street; ending at Franklin Street (which carried US 1/US 40):

Google Maps Street View, 2010

That's still US 40 (but westbound only). This now marks the end of MD 295, while straight ahead is the beginning of MD 129.

My 1959 map shows US 301 coming in on Monroe Street and meeting US 1 at Wilkens Avenue. It may have been co-signed with US 1 up to US 40, which by then was running along the one-way pair of Franklin and Mulberry. But here's a photo of the Monroe/Wilkens intersection:

Field/Nitzman, Oct. 2004

That's looking east on Wilkens, from the perspective of a driver on northbound US 1. The north beginning of US 301 was to the right on Monroe. Even back then, you couldn't go left on Monroe, because that's southbound US 1 - northbound traffic continues ahead to the next block (Fulton Avenue) and turns left (north).

In 1960 the US 301 designation was truncated near Bowie MD, and instead of serving Baltimore it was routed across the Chesapeake with US 50. On the Delmarva Peninsula it went north, ending in the Wilmington area at I-295. You can view photos and read more about that location on my Wilmington-New Castle page.

US 301 in Delaware had some strange split routings until the 1990s, when the north end of the route was changed to its current terminus in Glasgow. Yet even as of 2004 some road signs in the area still reflect the pre-1990 route (as you'll see below). This first shot shows the north beginning of US 301 as seen from westbound US 40:

Nitzman, Apr. 2004

Kind of odd that it says "TO South 301", when it is 301. In fact, if you take that left turn, you'll soon see the most convincing signage that this is the de facto northern terminus of US 301:

Nitzman, Apr. 2004

However, signage from the opposite direction on US 40 (eastbound) was even more confusing:

Nitzman, Apr. 2004

Again, there's the "To South 301". But why would it say "To North 301" straight ahead, if the north beginning of 301 is right here? Well, that's a remnant from the pre-1990 arrangement, where US 301 extended over to I-295 at Farnhurst... guess they hadn't gotten around to changing the signs yet. But they have now, and that sign bridge makes more sense now:

Bender, July 2010

The problem also exists in signs on 301 itself, at its northern terminus. Below is the sign bridge where - instead of the expected "End 301" - you see the cryptic "To North 301"...

Nitzman, Apr. 2004

...but I'm guessing that sign has been changed, too, at the same time as the one above. Further evidence that US 301 actually ends here - instead of somewhere off to the right:

1.) The DE state highway map indicates that.

2.) The two major road atlases say so.

3.) Recent signs posted on I-295 don't mention US 301 anymore (see below):

Nitzman, Feb. 1999

The photo above shows an old sign on southbound I-295, as it appeared in February 1999. The shot below shows the replacement signs as they were in 2000:

Nitzman, 2000

Note the lack of a US 301 shield there.

Lastly, a shot from the beginning of US 301 as seen from southbound DE 896:

Nitzman, Apr. 2004

Straight ahead is actually the north beginning of US 301. Maybe they'll replace these confusing signs...