The University Station-Chapel Hill Road was surveyed and constructed in 1855 and 1856, within a year or two of the completion of the North Carolina Railroad through the area. Students arriving by train who were bound for the University of North Carolina would either walk or obtain horse-powered transportation (hack, wagon, coach, etc.) to the university campus. Walking to the university would take about six to eight hours, with travel by horse power taking about half that time. The road was used less by students once the rail line
was built in 1882 to West End (renamed Venable in 1911 and then Carrboro in 1913), which provided students the option of taking the approximate one-hour train trip closer to the University.
The original route of the historic road, as depicted on several historic maps of the county, is still traceable and generally able to be followed utilizing modern roads.
Heading north from the UNC campus, the original University Road follows Hillsborough Road, then (right on) the route of present-day NC HWY 86 (which is Martin Luther King, Jr., Blvd. in the Chapel Hill city limits) north, with only minor variances until just south of Weaver Dairy Road. Just south of Weaver Dairy Road, at about where present-day Westminster Drive is, it veered north-west, and connected with present-day Old University Station Road on the north side of Weaver Dairy Road.
From there, it headed north (its route crossing present-day US HWY 40) and connected with present-day Whitfield Road. It then veered north generally following the route of present-day Turkey Farm Road until Turkey Farm Road terminates at present-day Mt. Sinai Road.
Crossing present-day Mt. Sinai Road, it then generally followed the route of present-day University Station Road, heading north until it reached the train stop and community of University Station