Want to ask a question? Click here

When signs state how many miles to Wilmington, to what part of the city are they referring?

John Peaspanen

Q. When I am driving into Wilmington on any major road and I see a state highway sign stating miles to the city, what part of the city does that refer to?

A. The figures on those highway signs refer to a fixed point – city center.

According to Steve Abbott, communications officer with the N.C. Department of Transportation, city center is used to avoid the need to change figures when a municipality grows.

“The mileage number on highway signs is to the center of that town or city,” Abbott explained. “The reason is that the center of a town or city doesn’t change, so the number will always be accurate. That isn’t necessarily the case for a town or city limit, as it could change through annexation or development.”


Why are there covered-up stop signs on Salisbury Street in Wrightsville Beach?

Why are blue street signs replacing green street signs in Wilmington?

User-contributed question by:
Chris Herndon

Got a comment about this post or know more about the answer? Click here to let us know!

Bookmark and Share

3 Responses to “ When signs state how many miles to Wilmington, to what part of the city are they referring?”

  1. On October 15, 2013 at 6:01 pm Sarah wrote:

    You state the the city’s center will not change due to annexation, but what if the land surrounding the city is not annexed symmetrically? Wouldn’t that cause the city’s center to shift?

  2. On October 16, 2013 at 1:56 pm Si Cantwell wrote:

    I take “city center” to mean the heart of a city’s downtown area. Certainly Front and Market isn’t the geographic center of Wilmington, but it appears the mileage counts down to somewhere around that intersection.

  3. On November 3, 2013 at 4:19 pm David wrote:

    Usually the city center is designated with a “Zero mile marker.” I believe in Wilmington it is beside City Hall.

Ask a question

Ask a question

If you’re looking for answers about living in coastal North Carolina, you’ve come to the right place. If we don’t have the answer to your question, we’ll find out or try to find someone who does. Hey, that’s our job! So, ask your question below and we’ll do our best to find the answer. Once we do, we’ll post it in an appropriate category.

Can we use your name to credit you by name (no e-mail or other contact information) with this question when we post an answer?
Your question:

Post a comment

Talk to us!

Have a comment about this post or know more about the answer? Use this form to let us know. Note that all comments are moderated and must be approved before they are posted, although you may see your own comments the first time you post them.

Your comment: