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The Highways of South Carolina US 21 
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US 21
From: S-7-406 Hunting Island State Park (Beaufort County)
To: North Carolina State Line above Forest Lake (York County)
Total Length: 231.6 miles  
Nationally, US 21 runs from Hunting Island to I-81/US 52 in Wytheville, VA.
ROUTE LOG
S-7-406: 0 - 0
US 21 Bus, SC 802 NB: 15 - 15
SC 802 SB: 3.5 - 18.5
US 21 Bus: 3 - 21.5
SC 170: 1.1 - 22.6
SC 280: 1 - 23.6
SC 116: 1.4 - 25
US 17 NB: 9.7 - 34.7
US 17 SB, US 17 ALT Begin: 6.5 - 41.2
Hampton-Beaufort Line: 2.4 - 43.6
SC 68: 1.2 - 44.8
Colleton-Hampton Line: 2.2 - 47
US 17 ALT NB: 1.6 - 48.6
I-95 (exit 42): 2.4 - 51
SC 63: 10 - 61
SC 64: 6.4 - 67.4
SC 212: 5 - 72.4
SC 217: 3.6 - 76
Bamberg-Colleton Line: 6.1 - 82.1
SC 61: 0.1 - 82.2
Orangeburg-Bamberg Line: 0.1 - 82.3
US 78 WB: 5.4 - 87.7
US 78 EB: 0.3 - 88
SC 210: 0.4 - 88.4
US 21 Bus, US 178 EB, US 178 Bus: 15.1 - 103.5
US 301: 1.4 - 104.9
SC 33: 1.1 - 106
US 21 Bus, US 601: 0.8 - 106.8
US 178 WB: 1 - 107.8
Calhoun-Orangeburg Line: 7.2 - 115
SC 6 EB, SC 172: 4.6 - 119.6
SC 6 WB: 1.6 - 121.2
Lexington-Calhoun Line: 3.2 - 124.4
I-26 (exit 129): 1.7 - 126.1
Calhoun-Lexington Line: 1.1 - 127.2
US 176 EB: 2.1 - 129.3
Lexington-Calhoun Line: 6.1 - 135.4
I-26 (exit 119): 0.7 - 136.1
US 321 SB: 1.9 - 138
I-77: 3 - 141
I-26 (exit 115): 0.4 - 141.4
SC 2: 1 - 142.4
SC 302: 1.6 - 144
SC 35: 0.9 - 144.9
SC 2: 0.8 - 145.7
Richland-Lexington Line: 0.6 - 146.3
US 1, US 78: 1 - 147.3
SC 12: 0.4 - 147.7
I-126 Bus WB, US 76 WB: 0.5 - 148.2
SC 48: 0.6 - 148.8
I-126 Bus END, US 76 EB: 0.1 - 148.9
US 176 WB: 0.5 - 149.4
SC 16: 0.7 - 150.1
SC 215: 0.6 - 150.7
US 321 NB: 0.9 - 151.6
I-20 (exit 71): 2.6 - 154.2
I-77 (exit 34): 7.1 - 161.3
SC 555: 1.1 - 162.4
Fairfield-Richland Line: 4.5 - 166.9
SC 34: 4.4 - 171.3
SC 200 SB: 16.9 - 188.2
Chester-Fairfield Line: 0.2 - 188.4
SC 99: 2.8 - 191.2
SC 97 NB: 1.4 - 192.6
SC 97 SB, SC 200 NB: 0.2 - 192.8
SC 9: 7.3 - 200.1
SC 223: 5.2 - 205.3
York-Chester Line: 3.9 - 209.2
SC 5 EB: 3.8 - 213
I-77 (exit 73): 3.7 - 216.7
US 21 Bus, SC 72: 0.7 - 217.4
SC 121 SB: 0.2 - 217.6
SC 122: 1.4 - 219
US 21 Bus, SC 121 END: 2.7 - 221.7
I-77 (exit 82): 0.3 - 222
SC 161: 0.3 - 222.3
US 21 Bus: 1.4 - 223.7
SC 160: 2.1 - 225.8
US 21 Bus: 4 - 229.8
SC 51: 0.6 - 230.4
I-77 SB (exit 90): 0.3 - 230.7
NC STATE LINE: 0.9 - 231.6
Creation: Appeared in 1927 as an original US highway. Began at US 17 (current US 17 ALT) near Yemassee, proceeding north to Orangeburg, St. Matthews, Columbia, Ridgeway, Winnsboro, Chester, Rock Hill, and Fort Mill before entering North Carolina heading towards Pineville, NC. US 21 was attached to SC 301 from Yemassee to Bells Crossroads; SC 6 from there to Orangeburg; SC 2 from there to Columbia; SC 16 from there to Chester; SC 7 from Chester to the NC Line.
In 1928, all SC routes were dropped from US 21.
In 1935, US 21 was extended to Beaufort as a multiplex with US 17 from Yemassee to Pocotaligo and replacing SC 28 from there to Beaufort.
Around the mid 40s(?) US 21 was rerouted to avoid St. Matthews, replacing part of SC 31. This left behind an extended SC 26 and SC 6 remained as before.
Sometime between 1939-47, US 21 was rerouted in Columbia to run Main St to Elmwood, then west to Assembly, south to Gervais, and followed US 1 west across the Saluda River (This was a 6-plex of routes by 1951: US 1-21-176-321-378 and SC 215). Initally US 21 ran Main St to Gervais.
In 1948, US 21 was given its bypass of Fort Mill, leaving behind US 21 Business.
In 1950, US 21 underwent several notable changes:
US 21 was given its direct route north of Orangeburg to Sandy Run, replacing SC 210. Orangeburg to St. Matthews became an extended SC 26 (current US 601) and St. Matthews to Sandy Run became an extended SC 31 (current US 176).
Also in 1950, US 21 was given its direct route from Ridgeway to Rock Hill, replacing SC 5. Ridgeway to Winnsboro became SC 34; Winnsboro to Chester became an extended US 321; Chester to Rock Hill became SC 72.
Also in 1950, US 21 was given its bypass of Rock Hill, which was a replacement of SC 554. The original route through Rock Hill became US 21 Business.
Also in 1950, US 21 was placed on a bypass around Orangeburg - current US 21 Bypass to US 601 Magnolia St, then south through the eastern part of Orangeburg on Boulevard to Broughton St. Columbia Rd into central Orangeburg and much of Broughton became US 21 Business (the Columbia Rd portion is now US 21-178 CONN).
In 1954, US 21 was extended out to Hunting Island, replacing SC 285.
In 1954 or 1955, US 21 was rerouted in Columbia to continue south on Assembly to Blossom St before heading west across the Saluda River on the current US 21 bridge. The old route remained US 1-378 and SC 602, with a piece of Charleston Hwy becoming a US 1-21 connector. US 21 followed US 1 to Charleston Hwy (SC 602's beginning) before heading south towards Dixiana.
Between 1965-67, US 21's bypass around Orangeburg was expanded to today's loop. Magnolia Avenue became US 21 Business.
Also between 1965-67, US 21 was given its bypass of Lesslie, leaving behind S-46-5.
In 1968 or 1969, US 21 was rerouted to enter North Carolina where it does today, first as a super-2 but later with I-77. The old route heading to Pineville became the anomalous second SC 51.
In 1978, US 21 was removed from Assembly St in Columbia and rerouted along Huger St like today. Assembly St became an extended SC 48.
In 1989 or 1990, US 21 was given its bypass of Beaufort, replacing SC 281 and multiplexing with SC 802. This left behind US 21 Business.
Improvements:Upon designation, US 21 was paved only from Columbia to Blythwood and from Smiths Turnout to Fort Mill.
In 1928, US 21 was paved from Fort Mill to the NC Line and also around Orangeburg.
In 1929 or 1930, US 21 was paved from Smiths Turnout south to Blackstock; Columbia to Sandy Run; and also around St. Matthews.
In 1931, US 21 was paved Blackstock to Simpson; Blythewood to Columbia; and from Sandy Run to St. Matthews.
In 1932, US 21 became paved continuously from Branchville to the NC Line and around Ruffin.
In 1935, US 21 was paved from Branchville to SC 64.
The last piece of US 21 to be paved, SC 64 to Yemassee, occurred in 1938.
The first piece of US 21 to be 4-laned was in place by 1937, from the current US 321 split north of Columbia to the US 1 split in West Columbia.
In 1956, US 21 was 4-laned down to the US 321 south split in Dixiana.
In 1957 or 1958, US 21 was 4-laned on the north side of Rock Hill.
Between 1960-62, US 21 was 4-laned from SC 116 to Beaufort.
Between 1965-67, US 21 was 4-laned from the south end of the Rock Hill Bypass to the Chester County Line.
In 1970, US 21 was 4-laned at the NC Line.
In 1973, US 21 was 4-laned from Lobeco to SC 116.
In 1975, US 21 was 4-laned from US 321 NB split to a mile or so past I-20.
In 1980 or 1981, US 21 was 4-laned from Lobeco to Gardens Corner.
In 1989 or 1990, US 21 Bypass of Rock Hill was 4-laned, as was the Beaufort Bypass south to SC 802 when designated.
Between 1993-96, US 21 was 4-laned from 2 miles north of the Orangeburg Bypass south around to US 301 and also from the Orangeburg Bypass south 3 miles towards Rowesville.
In 1997, US 21 was 4-laned on its US 17 multiplex.
Between 1998-2000, US 21 was multilaned further north from Orangeburg to the Calhoun County Line.
Comment: US 21 carries little importance in South Carolina these days except to get to Beaufort. Most of US 21 today parallels either I-26 or I-77. The Orangeburg to Yemassee section is independent but hardly anyone drives this way.
Although US 21 looks like it zig-zagged much more in its pre-1950 routing, its distance in 1948 was actually shorther than today's distance.
US 21BUSINESS
From: US 21 Fort Mill (York County)
To: US 21 in Forest Lake (York County)
Total Length:6.1 miles  
ROUTE LOG
US 21: 0 - 0
SC 160 EB: 1.9 - 1.9
SC 160 WB: 0.4 - 2.3
US 21: 3.8 - 6.1
Creation: Appeared in 1948, running as it does now. It was mainline US 21 prior to this.
Adjustments: None
Improvements: Fully paved from inception; no multilane segments.
Comment: US 21 Business for Fort Mill uses Spratt St, White Ave (multiplex with SC 160), and an unknown road heading north.
With several turns in Fort Mill, it is difficult to say if US 21 Business uses the original state route through Fort Mill, SC 7.
US 21BUSINESS
From: US 21SC 5 Rock Hill (York County)
To: US 21SC 121 Rock Hill (York County)
Total Length:6.6 miles  
ROUTE LOG
US 21, SC 5 EB: 0 - 0
SC 121 NB: 0.3 - 0.3
SC 72, SC 121 SB: 0.6 - 0.9
SC 5 WB, SC 72 Bus: 1.4 - 2.3
SC 122: 0.2 - 2.5
SC 274, SC 322: 1.2 - 3.7
US 21, SC 121: 2.9 - 6.6
Creation: Appeared in 1950, running as it does now. It was mainline US 21 prior to this.
Adjustments: In 1963, US 21 Business was put on one-way streets between SC 72 Bus and SC 72, using Main St and Black St. US 21 Business initially used Main St. only.
Between 1983-85, US 21 Business was placed on Black St. only.
Improvements: Fully paved from inception; north of SC 274/322 was multilaned in 1957 or 1958; from SC 72 Bus south to US 21 in 1963; SC 72 Bus to SC 274/322 was multilaned between 1983-85.
Comment: US 21 Business for Rock Hill uses Main St E., a sliver of Albright Rd., Black St. E, Saluda St, Main St for a block, Oakland Ave, and Cherry Rd.
US 21 Business north of Downtown was part of original SC 7. US 21 Business south of downtwon (except Black St) has always been part of SC 5.
US 21 Business south of town was mainline US 21 only in 1948-49, as US 21 initially used SC 72 Business south of Rock Hill from 1927-48.
US 21BUSINESS
From: US 21 Orangeburg (Orangeburg County)
To: US 21US 601 Orangeburg (Orangeburg County)
Total Length:2.9 miles  
ROUTE LOG
US 21: 0 - 0
US 178 Bus EB: 0.2 - 0.2
US 178 Bus WB: 0.4 - 0.6
US 301, US 601 SB: 1.2 - 1.8
SC 33: 0.1 - 1.9
US 21, US 178, US 601 NB: 1 - 2.9
Creation: Appeared between 1965-67, running as it does now. It was the first US 21 Orangeburg Bypass prior to this.
Adjustments: None
Improvements: Fully paved from inception; no multilane segments shown on maps.
Comment: US 21 Business for Orangeburg uses a tiny piece of Rowesville Rd, a little Charleston Hwy and Magnolia St.
US 21 Business was once part of SC 2. A tiny piece on the south end was once part of today's SC 6.
US 21BUSINESS
From: US 21SC 802 Ladies Island (Beaufort County)
To: US 21 Beaufort (Beaufort County)
Total Length:3.2 miles  
ROUTE LOG
US 21, SC 802: 0 - 0
US 21: 3.2 - 3.2
Creation: Appeared in 1989 or 1990, running as it does now. It was the mainline US 21 prior to this.
Adjustments: None
Improvements: Fully paved from inception; partially multilane west of the Beaufort River.
Comment: US 21 Business for Beaufort uses Boundary St, Carteret St. and Sea Island Pkwy.
US 21 Business was once part of SC 28 west of the river and SC 285 east of the river.
The first time I ever drove the drawbridge (1987) over the Beaufort River I had to stop while Dominoes Pizza delivered to the bridgekeeper.
US 21 Business  Decommissioned
Previous US 21 Business: US 21 Business: Appeared in 1950 as US 21 was placed on its original bypass through eastern Orangeburg.
US 21 Business followed Broughton St and Columbia Rd.
Between 1965-67, US 21 Business was removed entirely from this routing, leaving behind its US 178 Bus Broughton St multiplex and a secondary Columbia Rd. (US 21-178 CONN is now assigned on Columbia Rd.)
The initial US 21 Business in Orangeburg was never part of mainline US 21, which used US 601's routing until 1950. It was however the original SC 24 on Broughton St and SC 210 on Columbia Rd.

Last Update: 22 April 2006

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