End of US highway 78

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Photo credits: Justin Cozart; David Dawson; Alex Nitzman; me

Approx. time period East terminus West terminus
1926-present Charleston, SC Memphis, TN

US 78 was an original 1926 route, and it's one of the few whose endpoints haven't changed over the years (at least not significantly). However, the route is poorly-signed at both of its termini. The west end of US 78 is in Memphis. TN DoT maps indicate the terminus is on Linden Avenue at 2nd Street, which is the same endpoint shown on a 1938 map. The photo below was taken looking south on 2nd:

me, Oct. 2007

I think the intention there was for the US 78 marker to have a left arrow (not a straight-ahead arrow), because that route begins to the left on Linden, which is visible in the distance. (Incidentally, it's kind of strange that US 64/70/79 are signed on 2nd at all. That's their historic routing, but I think those highways all run along Danny Thomas Boulevard now.) Anyway, if you're alert enough to turn left on Linden, you'll see the first confirming marker about four blocks to the east:

me, Oct. 2007

That's at the Turley Street intersection; Danny Thomas is a block ahead. (On the far side of Danny Thomas is the first "East US 78" assembly.) Note also in the foreground the zero mile-marker for TN 278. I don't think the route's beginning is exactly there - I think it actually begins at the same place US 78 does.

Heading the opposite direction (west on US 78), the route is not signed all the way to its terminus. The photo below is looking west on Crump Boulevard:

me, Oct. 2007

US 78 traffic is directed to the north on East Street, but that's the last mention of the route. After three or four blocks, US 78 should turn west again on Linden, but there is no signage for that turn, nor is there any US 78 signage at all before reaching its endpoint:

me, Oct. 2007

That's looking west on Linden at 2nd, where the US 78 designation officially ends.


The east end of US 78 is in Charleston SC. Traffic winds up on King Street, but signage is very poor. One of the only US 78 signs anywhere near the terminus is the one shown below:

Nitzman, Dec. 2006

That's on Romney Street where it intersects King. According to official records, US 78 continues about 14 blocks south from there, passes under the US 17 viaducts, and ends at Line Street (which carried US 17 traffic before modern US 17 was built). The photo below is looking south on King:

Cozart/Nitzman, Nov. 2006

US 78 officially ends at the intersection ahead (Line). Since King has no direct access to US 17, traffic is directed to the left on Line, then left again on Meeting Street (which is US 52, and is equally unsigned). Originally, US 78 continued one block past Line, ending at Columbus (you can view a photo from there on my Charleston page, which includes an historic map of the city).

Heading the opposite direction (north on King), you won't see US 78 reassurance signage until you've driven for about a mile-and-a-half:

Dawson, Sep. 2001

That's looking north on King at Mt. Pleasant Street. David reports this is the first westbound US 78 sign. Cars behind the I-26 assembly are on US 52 (Meeting).