Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Back Then: US-421 Widened By Wilmington, NC: Monkey Junction?

From the Wilmington (NC) Star-News.

AUGUST 25, 1961-- The North Carolina State Highway Commission announced that they were letting out bids for widening US-421 from Myrtle Grove Junction to Carolina Beach, where a new bridge was being built over Snow's Cut. Soon, there was to be other bids to widen 421 from Myrtle Grove Junction to Shipyard Boulevard.

The newspaper called it Myrtle Grove Junction instead of the more commonly used name, Monkey Junction. In the late 1950s, New Hanover County had changed the official name of the junction to Myrtle Grove Junction, but later reversed it to its original because of public outcry.

Wilmington officials seemed to be very concerned about the region's image 50 years ago and apparently felt "Monkey Junction" gave a wrong impression.

Luckily, today, the name "Monkey Junction" lives on.

The stretch of 421 from Monkey Junction to Carolina Beach always got me thinking beach when we drove it. You could smell that salt air. And then, there was the first view of the Atlantic Ocean from the top of Snow's Cut Bridge.

You can find out more about how Monkey Junction got its name on my Down Da Road I Go Blog. Check out the labels.

Why Would There Be Monkeys in North Carolina? --RoadDog

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