End of US highway 501

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Photo credits: Justin Cozart; Martin Karner; Alex Nitzman; Steve Osborne; Adam Prince; Mike Roberson

Approx. time period North terminus South terminus
1926-1934 Burkeville, VA Durham, NC
1934-present Buena Vista, VA Myrtle Beach, SC

US 501 was an original 1926 route; at the time its south end was in Durham NC. There, old US 501 is now designated Business 15/501:

Osborne, Dec. 2012

That's looking south on Magnum Street, where US 501 ended at its junction with Main Street, which originally carried US 70.

Heading north from there, at Halifax VA, US 501 used to follow what is now VA hwy. 360 and US 360 to its north end in Burkeville:

Roberson, Feb. 2008

US 501 ended at its junction with US 60 (which was later replaced by US 460). In the photo above, we're looking north on VA hwy. 621, which used to be US 501. After crossing under the railroad, it junctions VA 716, or Namozine Street, which originally carried US 60 (and later US 460, before the current US 360/460 interchange was built). The perspective below is looking west on Namozine, or historic westbound US 60:

Roberson, Feb. 2008

US 501 began by turning left, under the railroad, onto Burkes Tavern Road. (Mike notes that RR bridge is dated 1932, so US 501 traffic went underneath it for a couple years.)


In 1934, the US 501 designation was extended south to its present terminus Myrtle Beach SC (which from 1932-1934 had been the south end of US 117). The photo below shows the intersection:

Karners, Apr. 2014

That's looking east at the south end of US 501. Here, southbound US 17 traffic is directed to turn right on 8th Avenue North, and then right again on historic US 17 (now Business US 17), or Kings Highway. Main Street traffic that continues straight (to the left in this photo) merges with Kings Hwy, but there is no indication that's northbound Bus. 17. The photo below shows the signage approaching US 501 from the north on Kings Hwy:

Karners, Apr. 2014

Heading the opposite direction (north on Bus. 17), US 501 traffic isn't directed all the way to Main; instead 3rd Avenue South is signed as "TO US 501 North". But if you miss that, Kings Hwy meets Main at a fairly sharp angle, and left turns are not permitted at that intersection. Instead drivers are directed to turn left at 8th Av North...

Cozart/Nitzman, Nov. 2006

...and then left again at Main after about a half-block. In the photo above, that sign has since been replaced with a simple "JCT US 501" sign, with no directional arrow. The light in the distance is Main, or mainline 501. Once you're on that, the first northbound US 501 sign is posted immediately:

Karners, Apr. 2014


Also in 1934 the north end of US 501 was rerouted to go north from Halifax, through Lynchburg, to its current terminus at its junction with US 60 in Buena Vista VA (by the way, forget anything you know about Spanish: locals pronounce this "Byoo-nuh VIS-tuh", just like the Buena Vista in Colorado). The photo below is looking north on 501 where it ends:

Karner, May 2013 (unchanged since at least 2005)

No "End" sign - just your options at US 60, and a notice that the I-81 interchange is to the left. The shot below shows the north beginning of US 501 as seen from westbound US 60...

Nitzman, June 2005 (unchanged as of 2013)

...and this next one was taken from the opposite direction:

Karner, May 2013

On the far side of that railroad overpass, at the actual intersection, is an identical assembly:

Nitzman, June 2005 (unchanged as of 2013)

If you take that right turn, you'll soon see the first southbound confirming marker:

Nitzman, June 2005 (unchanged as of 2013)