End of US highway 76

View a map showing this route.

Additional research and/or photo credits: the Benjamins; Andy Field; Adam Froehlig; Martin Karner; Mike Roberson; Jim Teresco; Mac Watkins; Ed Wilson; Morgan Younce

Approx. time period East terminus West terminus
1926-1932 Florence, SC Greenville, SC
1932-1935 Florence, SC Chattanooga, TN
1935-2001 Wrightsville Beach, NC Chattanooga, TN (Broad)
2001-present Wrightsville Beach, NC Chattanooga, TN (MLK)

US 76 was a 1926 route, with its east beginning in Florence SC (you can view photos from there on this page). At the time, the west end of US 76 was in Greenville SC. The photo below is looking east on North Street:

Karner, May 2013

The crossroad is Main Street, which originally carried US 25/29. The west beginning of US 76 was straight ahead on North.

In 1932 the west end of US 76 was truncated at Laurens SC, and instead extended via its modern corridor through Georgia to Chattanooga TN (you can view photos from there on this page).

In 1935 the east end of US 76 was extended to Wrightsville Beach NC, outside Wilmington. However, Mike reports a 1936 atlas shows both US 74 and 76 duplexed all the way to the north end of the island (you can view photos of that endpoint on my US 74 page). It wasn't until about 1940 that US 76 began serving the current terminus at the south end of the island. Today US 74 and US 76 take different routes through Wilmington; on the east side they are co-signed for a short distance before splitting apart again on Harbor Island to take separate causeways over to Wrightsville Beach. This town is on a barrier island (a long, narrow island which parallels the coast). US 74 heads to the north end of the island, while US 76 serves the south end:

Karners, Apr. 2014 (sign posted since at least 2012)

The "Next 1.7 miles" sign seems like kind of an odd way to phrase it. But the point they're trying to make is: while that's not the actual end of the highway, the intention is to reduce unnecessary traffic by sparing unsuspecting tourists the trouble of driving another two miles to a dead-end, only to have to turn around. However, if you actually want to reach the endpoint, keep driving and following the signs, and you'll finally come to the one shown below:

Watkins, Jan. 2008

Just behind the camera, southbound Waynick Boulevard makes a turn to the east and becomes Sunset Avenue. That sign directs travellers to turn south again on Lumina Avenue. From there, it's only about a half-mile to where US 76 ends, at the spot shown below:

Field, May 2005

The south end of Lumina turns right and becomes Jack Parker Boulevard. That road is about two blocks long, and its west end is also the east end of US 76. Below is a close-up of the sign:

Benjamins, Apr. 2006 (US 76 shield gone as of Apr. 2014)

Ben proudly points out that he was coincidentally 76 years of age at the time of that photo. Which means: when he was born, the US highway system was in its infancy as well. May they both enjoy many more good years.

Heading the opposite direction, the first westbound US 76 sign is posted in a few blocks...

Watkins, Jan. 2008 (possibly gone as of Apr. 2014)

...but at the time of that photo, it was obscured by a (hopefully temporary) electrical connection. Incidentally, about four miles in that direction is the east end of US 74.