Alabama State Route 202
|Maintained by ALDOT|
|Length||9.1 mi (14.6 km)|
|West end||I-20 west of Oxford|
|East end||SR 21 in Anniston|
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SR-202 begins at an interchange with Interstate 20 (I-20) at exit 179 near the Coldwater community. From this point, the route travels in a northeasterly direction before reaching its eastern terminus at SR-21 in downtown Anniston.
The western portion of Alabama 202 was changed in 2008 upon completion of the four lane parkway which comprises the Anniston Western Bypass. Alabama 202 formerly traveled westward across several substandard bridges parallel and just south of the Anniston Army Depot. It then passed through the Bynum community and one of the two main entrances to the Anniston Army Depot before terminating at US-78 just east of the Eastaboga community.
The new routing follows the new fourlane parkway southward crossing US-78 in the Coldwater community and then terminates at the interchange with Interstate 20 at exit marker 179. With this new routing, the entire route of Alabama 202 is now a four laned highway.
Alabama 202 (prior to 2008) was the original alignment of US-78, before being abandoned in favor of the straighter alignment which runs parallel with Interstate 20 in the 1950s.
For many years there had been preliminary plans and discussions concerning bypasses of downtown Anniston for north/south travelers. Discussions centered on two routes, one which would run west of Anniston and connect US-431 with Interstate 20, and the other, which would run east of Anniston and connect US-431 and Alabama State Route 21 with Interstate 20 east of Anniston.
Until 2008, the only viable north/south route through Calhoun County was Alabama 21/US-431 (Quintard Avenue) which passed through the center of Anniston and Oxford. Work first began in the 1970s to make an Anniston Western Bypass. Two projects were key to this effort. One was the creation of the Bynum/Leatherwood Road which is a two lane road which runs from US-431 near the Saks community northwest of Anniston southward and bypassing Anniston. This road leads to one of the two main entrances to the Anniston Army Depot (one of the largest employers in Calhoun County) and also connects to Alabama Route 202 west of Anniston. The second project was the building of a new 4 lane Alabama 202 which began at the intersection of 8th Street and Quintard Avenue. This new route ran due west with bridges built to pass over the rail lines run through the city of Anniston, then passing westward just north of the imposing heights of Coldwater Mountain. When completed, Alabama 202 was removed from its original routing of 10th Street into the western part of Anniston. The old routing and new routing met near the Monsanto Chemical facility in west Anniston. From there, the new 4 lane route westward ran parallel to the old Alabama 202 until just west of the intersection with the Bynum/Leatherwood Road. The combination of the Bynum/Leatherwood Road and Alabama 202 west of their intersection comprised the Anniston Western Bypass until the four lane was completed southward to Interstate 20 in 2008.
The Anniston Eastern Bypass, or Eastern Parkway, is completed as of December 2015. The portion of this road is known within Oxford as Leon Smith Parkway. Within Anniston, from Oxford to Choccolocco Road, this road is known as Golden Springs Road and the remainder as Veterans Memorial Parkway. The road ultimately intersects AL 21 at a trumpet interchange in northern Anniston. The parkway crosses a portion of the former Fort McClellan property which contained some unexploded ordnance from military training that dated back more than 70 years. This segment also crosses some hilly terrain which required a significant amount of earth removal in order to build this road. The parkway is accessible directly from AL 21 and US-431. The entire route will be a four lane with only a few traffic signals to control traffic flow. In December 2015, ALDOT re-routed US-431 onto this new route leaving only Alabama Route 21 serving the downtown Anniston area along Quintard Avenue. Most of the new Eastern Parkway lies within the Anniston city limits except for a short segment near Interstate 20 which is within the city of Oxford.
|Talladega||||0.0||0.0||I-20||Western terminus; I-20 Exit 179|
|Calhoun||Oxford||0.960||1.545||US 78 / SR 4|
|Anniston||9.1||14.6||SR 21 (Quintard Avenue)||Eastern terminus|
|1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi|