U.S. Route 13
|Length||517.81 mi (833.33 km)|
|South end||I-95 / I-295 near Fayetteville, NC|
|North end||US 1 in Falls Township, PA|
|States||North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania|
U.S. Route 13 (US 13) is a north–south U.S. highway established in 1926 that runs for 517 miles (832 km) from Interstate 95 (I-95) just north of Fayetteville, North Carolina to US 1 in the northeastern suburbs of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in Morrisville. In all, it traverses five states in the Atlantic coastal plain region. It follows the Atlantic coast more closely than does the main north–south U.S. highway of the region, US 1. Its routing is largely rural, the notable exceptions being the Hampton Roads area in Virginia and the northern end of the highway in Delaware and Pennsylvania. It is also notable for being the main thoroughfare for the Delmarva peninsula and carrying the Chesapeake Bay Bridge–Tunnel to it in Virginia.
US 13's original plan in 1926 had the route serve no further south than the Delmarva peninsula. However, it has been extended many times, connecting to the mainland via ferry service and eventually reaching North Carolina. This link across the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay became fixed in 1964 with a bridge-tunnel. The entire route on the Delmarva peninsula, except for a few sections in Accomack County, Virginia, has been dualized fully with four lanes, and further upgrades continue, such as a freeway section around the east side of Salisbury, Maryland.
Main article: U.S. Route 13 in North Carolina
US 13 runs southwest to northeast through the eastern part of North Carolina. It begins at I-95 near Fayetteville as a continuation of I-295 (Fayetteville Outer Loop) and heads northeast, intersecting US 421 in Spivey's Corner and US 701 in Newton Grove. It passes over I-40 without an interchange; access is provided via US 701 or NC 50. It then passes through the city of Goldsboro, where it intersects US 70 and US 117. US 13 continues northeast and shares a brief concurrency with US 264 before passing through the city of Greenville. US 13 then heads north from Greenville, following the limited-access US 64 east between Bethel and Williamston and US 17 north between Williamston and Windsor. US 13 then heads north from Windsor towards the Virginia border and crosses US 158 in Gates.
Main article: U.S. Route 13 in Virginia
US 13 continues north, expanding to four lanes near Suffolk and diverges onto the Suffolk Bypass where it joins US 58 and US 460. Here, one of the many business routes of US 13 passes straight through the city as the bypass passes the city to the west. It continues through the Hampton Roads area on the Military Highway and continues north to the Chesapeake Bay Bridge–Tunnel, which the route uses to continue across the Chesapeake Bay to the Eastern Shore of Virginia. Here, US 13 is the main north–south route of the region, and connects to most cities and towns with four more business routes forming loops off the highway. North of New Church, US 13 crosses the state border into Maryland.
Main article: U.S. Route 13 in Maryland
US 13 passes through the lower Eastern Shore region of Maryland. It runs through Pocomoke City in Worcester County, where it meets the southern terminus of US 113. It continues north into Somerset County, where it passes through the town of Princess Anne. It then enters Wicomico County, where it bypasses the city of Salisbury and the town of Fruitland to the east on the limited-access Salisbury Bypass, with the former alignment signed as US 13 Business. On the northeastern part of the bypass, US 13 is concurrent with US 50, which bypasses Salisbury to the north. North of Salisbury, US 13 continues to the state line town of Delmar.
Main article: U.S. Route 13 in Delaware
US 13 runs through the entire north–south length of Delaware. It enters the state in Delmar and runs through western Sussex County, intersecting US 9 in Laurel and passing through the city of Seaford. It continues into Kent County and heads north towards the state capital of Dover. US 13 forms the commercial district of the city of Dover. Between Dover and Wilmington in New Castle County, US 13 is paralleled by the Delaware Route 1 freeway, portions of which are a toll road. It crosses the Chesapeake & Delaware Canal on the St. Georges Bridge. US 13 continues towards Wilmington, sharing a concurrency with US 40 in the New Castle area. It bypasses the heart of Wilmington to the east, with US 13 Business passing through the downtown area. US 13 parallels I-495 between Wilmington and the Pennsylvania border.
Main article: U.S. Route 13 in Pennsylvania
Upon entering the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania from Delaware, US 13 runs along the banks of the Delaware River parallel to I-95 through Delaware County. It then runs a southwest to northeast path through the city of Philadelphia. It traverses West Philadelphia on many one-way pairs and then passes by the Philadelphia Zoo. US 13 then runs through North Philadelphia and Northeast Philadelphia by following Hunting Park Avenue, the Roosevelt Boulevard (which is also US 1), and Frankford Avenue, where it crosses the Pennypack Creek on the oldest bridge in the United States. US 13 then enters Bucks County, again closely following I-95, the Delaware River and US 1. US 13 ends after an interchange with US 1 near Morrisville in Falls Township. The road continues north toward Yardley as Pine Grove Road.
The original 1925 U.S. highway plan, which never came to fruition, had provision for a US 13 in North Carolina. It would have started in Wilmington and run at least as far north as Elizabeth City, following what would become US 17. Although US 13 was signed in most northern states by the late 1920s, it would not reach North Carolina until the early 1950s.
The route was proposed as one of the first four-laned highways in the United States of America to Pierre S. du Pont by John J. Raskob so as to run from Wilmington, Delaware to the State Capital, Dover. Du Pont wanted a two-laned highway—which were standard at the time, but Raskob suggested, with the growth and development of Northern Delaware, there will be a future need for a four-laned one. Du Pont agreed and, to honor Raskob for his insight, sought to name the route after him. However, Raskob declined.