Alabama State Route 20

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State Route 20 marker

State Route 20
Route information
Maintained by ALDOT
Length: 73.978 mi[1] (119.056 km)
Major junctions
West end: SR 69 northwest of Florence
  Natchez Trace Parkway northwest of Florence
US-43 / US-72 / SR-157 at Florence

US-72 Alt. / SR-157 at Muscle Shoals
SR-67 at Decatur
US-31 at Decatur
East end:
I‑65 / I‑565 / US-72 Alt. at Mooresville
Location
Counties: Lauderdale, Colbert, Lawrence, Morgan, Limestone
Highway system
  • Alabama State Routes
I-20 SR-21

State Route 20 (SR-20) runs from the Tennessee state line (State Route 69) northwest of Florence, Alabama, east to I-65 east of Decatur in the northwestern Alabama. It crosses the Tennessee River at Florence (with US-43, US-72, SR-17, and SR-157) and also at Decatur (with US-31 and Alternate US-72)

Alternate US-72 follows Highway 20 from the Junction of US-72 at Muscle Shoals to I-65 east of Decatur, the entire stretch being four laned.

History[edit]

State Route 20 was created when Alabama renumbered State Route 41 with a statewide renumbering in 1929. The original route ran from US-72 at Muscle Shoals to US-31 at Decatur. This portion was named the Joe Wheeler Highway and markers commemorating this are still located on East (Decatur at ailroad/Church Streets) and West (Tuscumbia-Old Lee Highway) ends. In 1931, Highway 20 replaced State Route 2 following US-72 west to the Mississippi state line west of Margerum and in 1936 was extended east to Huntsville.

1957 saw many changes to SR-20. It was replaced again by SR-2 along US-72 to the Mississippi state line, and in turn SR-20 replaced SR-2 running north to Florence and northwest of Florence to the Tennessee state line (State Route 69), forming a route popularly known as New Savannah Highway. Highway 20 was also re-aligned to a much more direct route between Decatur and Huntsville, bypassing the town of Madison.

Beginning in the early 1980s, the eastern terminus of Highway 20 began retreating to the west. The original terminus was at Clinton Avenue and US-231/US-431 in downtown Huntsville. With the construction of I-565 in the early 1990s along the route of Highway 20 east of I-65, Highway 20 was slowly pulled back to its current terminus at the junction of I-65 and becomes I-565.

Major intersections[edit]

County Location Mile[1] km Destinations Notes
Lauderdale   0.000 0.000 SR 69 north – Savannah Tennessee state line
  7.645 12.303 Natchez Trace Parkway interchange
  17.162 27.620 SR-133 south (Cox Creek Parkway) to US-43 north / US-72 east – Athens, Joe Wheeler State Park
Florence 22.048 35.483 US-43 north / US-72 east / SR-13 north / SR-17 north (SR-2 east) – Port of Florence Western end of US-43 / US-72 / SR-2 / SR-13 / SR-17 concurrency; interchange
Tennessee River 22.795 36.685 O'Neal Bridge
Colbert Sheffield
Muscle Shoals
24.475 39.389 SR-184 east (Second Street) – Muscle Shoals, Sheffield
Tuscumbia / Muscle Shoals 27.803 44.745 US-43 south / SR-13 south / SR-17 south / US-72 west (SR-2) – Russellville, Corinth, Tuscumbia Eastern end of US-43 / US-72 concurrency; western end of US-72 Alt. concurrency
  29.870 48.071 SR-133 north / SR-157 north (Wilson Dam Road) / CR-57 south – Airport west end of SR-157 overlap
  32.189 51.803 SR-157 south – Moulton, Cullman Eastern end of SR-157 concurrency; no left turn westbound
Lawrence Town Creek 43.103 69.368 SR-101 – Lexington, Hatton, Wheeler Dam, Joe Wheeler State Park
Courtland 50.609 81.447 SR-33 south – Moulton, Courtland Historic District
Morgan   65.780 105.863 SR-67 south (Beltline Road)
Decatur 69.147 111.281 US-31 south (6th Avenue / SR-3) – Hartselle Western end of US-31 / SR-3 concurrency
Morgan
Limestone
68.484 110.214 Steamboat Bill Memorial Bridges over Tennessee River
Limestone 72.130 116.082 US-31 north (SR-3) – Athens, Calhoun Community College Eastern end of US-31 / SR-3 concurrency; interchange
73.978 119.056 I‑65 – Nashville, Birmingham

I‑565 east / US-72 Alt. east – Huntsville
signed as exits 1A (south) and 1B (north); I-65 exit
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

Historic routes[edit]

Several sections of Old Highway 20 still exist:

  • Lauderdale County Road 200 through Sullivans Crossroads, Central Heights, Lovelace and McGee Town, known as Old Savannah Highway.
  • Lauderdale County Road 41 from McGee Town to Florence
  • Colbert County Road 22 through Leighton.
  • Jefferson Street through Courtland
  • Old Trinity Road between Trinity and Decatur
  • Old Highway 20 through Mooresville - The section east of Mooresville is part of the 1957 alignment.
  • 1936 Alignment
    • Mooresville Road north of Mooresville through Belle Mina to Old Highway 20.
    • Old Highway 20 east through Greenbrier to County Line Road.
    • County Line Road north to Palmer Road.
    • Palmer Road east to Downtown Madison.
    • Old Madison Pike from Madison to I-565 / Exit 15.
  • 1957 Alignment
    • Madison Boulevard from I-565 / Exit 5 to I-565 / Exit 13.
  • Governors Drive in Huntsville from I-565 / Exit 17 to Clinton Avenue.
  • Clinton Avenue in Huntsville to US-231/US-431, Memorial Parkway.

Corridor V[edit]

Corridor V is part of the Appalachian Development Highway System and follows the path of Highway 20 between Decatur and the eastern Terminus at Interstate 65.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]