Interstate 65 in Alabama

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This article is about the section of Interstate 65 in Alabama. For the entire route, see Interstate 65.

Interstate 65 marker

Interstate 65
Route information
Maintained by ALDOT
Length: 367 mi[1] (591 km)
Major junctions
South end: I‑10 in Mobile
  I‑165 in Prichard
Future plate blue.svgNo image wide.svg
I‑85 in Montgomerty (Future)
Future plate blue.svgNo image wide.svg
Future I‑685 / I‑85 in Montgomery
I‑459 in Hoover
I‑20 / I‑59 in Birmingham
I‑22 in Fultondale

I‑565 / US 72 Alt. in Decatur
North end: I-65 at Tennessee state line
Highway system
  • Alabama State Routes
SR 64 SR 65

Interstate 65 (I-65) meanders across 367 miles (591 km) of the Alabama countryside linking six of the state's ten largest cities. The highway links together many important roadways that make commerce inside and outside of the state's boundaries possible. It starts at Interstate 10 near Mobile. The route passes through the major cities of Decatur, Birmingham, and Montgomery before entering Tennessee in the north near the town of Ardmore.

The entire Alabama portion of I-65 is dedicated as Heroes Highway,[2] in honor of the CIA officer Johnny "Mike" Spann and all of the people who died during the September 11 attacks.

Route description[edit]

I-65 starts in Mobile at an interchange with Interstate 10, not far from the Gulf of Mexico. From there it runs northeast, intersecting with I-165 in Prichard, Alabama and crossing the Mobile River delta at the General W.K. Wilson Jr. Bridge. En route to Montgomery, it passes county seats Evergreen (Conecuh County) and Greenville (Butler County). In the case of an hurricane evacuation on Alabama's coast, I-65 can be converted to an evacuation route where all lanes flow in the northbound direction from Mobile to Montgomery. This process is known as contra-flow.

Billboard along I-65 North, north of Prattville and just south of mile marker 191.[3]

At Montgomery, it intersects the southern terminus of I-85 and crosses the Alabama River north of the city. The Hyundai Corporation's automotive plant in Montgomery is located just off I-65. It can be accessed using the Pintlala-Hope Hull exit (number 164).

At Chilton County, I-65 enters the Birmingham, Alabama, metropolitan area. Approximately halfway between Montgomery and Birmingham, it passes Clanton (Chilton County seat), where the water tower, visible from the road, is shaped and painted to resemble a huge peach.

From mile marker 242 to 290 I-65 carries at least 6 lanes of traffic. I-65 intersects I-459 in Hoover, then passes through the cities of Vestavia Hills and Homewood, which often generate heavy traffic. As the interstate passes by downtown Birmingham, south-bound travelers have a view of the Vulcan statue atop Red Mountain. At the north edge of downtown, I-65 intersects I-20/I-59 with a cross-over interchange, often called Malfunction Junction.

North of Birmingham at mile 266, interchange ramps provide access to parallel US-31. The incomplete I-22 from Memphis, Tennessee is expected to intersect there with the most expensive interchange in Alabama history, consisting of approximately 14 bridges. The interstate then continues 98 miles (158 km) in the general direction of Huntsville, passing the city of Cullman on the way. After entering the Decatur Metropolitan Area, in southern Morgan County, the interstate passes Decatur. The highway connects the Decatur and Huntsville Metropolitan Areas as it crosses Wheeler Lake (Tennessee River) on a 2.6-mile (4.2 km) bridge. The interstate emerges again into the fringes of Decatur, in an open area of seemingly "endless" cotton fields where it intersects, inside Decatur, with Alabama 20, US-72 Alternate, and the spur-route, I-565 to Huntsville.

Between Walkers Chapel Road in Fultondale and the Tennessee River in Decatur (Limestone County), I-65 has been designated the "Ronald Reagan Memorial Highway". The sign designating the north end of this portion of road cites Reagan's speech in Decatur on July 4, 1984. The interstate then continues, passing Athens, and merges with US-31. The 2 routes travel concurrently approximately 12 miles to the Tennessee state line.

In the Birmingham/Hoover vicinity, a plan to widen the interstate from North Birmingham to Alabaster has been proposed. The project is to widen the interstate by adding a HOV lane and keeping the original 3 lanes making it four lanes in each direction. This is planned to stretch to the Pelham area. From there on the interstate will widen from 2 lanes each way to 3 lanes each way into the Helena/Alabaster area.

Preliminary roadwork to widen I-65 on either side of the new interchange has been ongoing since 2007. I-22 will provide a direct link between Birmingham and Memphis, Tennessee. Currently no good Interstate Highway link exists between these two cities, making Memphis one of the few major Southeastern cities without a good interstate routing to Atlanta, a nexus of transportation in the Southeast.

Near the northern border of Alabama with Tennessee on southbound I-65 is located the Alabama Welcome Center and rest area. The unique feature of this rest area compared to others is the existence of a large Saturn IB rocket erected on the site as a memorial to Alabama's—and in particular, Huntsville's—contribution to NASA's space exploration.[4]

History[edit]

In 1997, at Georgiana (Exit 114), honoring legendary country musician and Alabama native Hank Williams, the interstate was designated as Hank Williams' Memorial "Lost Highway", after one of his songs. This designation continues northward until mile 179 north of Montgomery. From the state's capital, I-65 doglegs northwards, bypassing Prattville and Clanton before going through Metropolitan Birmingham, Alabama. From exit 242 to 290, this highway carries at least six lanes of traffic. A portion of the interstate running through Birmingham, has been nicknamed for its numerous wrecks. These accidents include two separate occasions of the support beams melting after crashes by 18-wheelers, and the numerous collisions that happen every year, result from the junction with I-20 and I-59.

In 2004, following the death of President Ronald Reagan, a lengthy segment of I-65 from Jefferson County to Limestone County was designated the Ronald Reagan Memorial Highway. The sign designating the north end of the segment includes a statement from Reagan's speech at Point Mallard Aquatic Center in nearby Decatur on July 4, 1984.

Future[edit]

I-22 will connect with I-65 at the new exit 265. Construction on this interchange was expected to begin in August 2009.

Just a few miles north of I-22 will be the new interchange (exit 274), which will be the Corridor X-1 and has been designated as I-422. This loop route will connect I-65 with I-59 northeast of Birmingham and I-20/I-59 southwest of Birmingham, and this will serve as an Interstate Highway bypass of Birmingham, augmenting the existing I-459, which already provides the southern loop of Birmingham. Construction of this interchange is still several years away, but right-of-way is in the process of being acquired to build I-422.

Exit list[edit]

County Location mi km Exit Destinations Notes
Mobile Mobile 0 I‑10 – Mississippi, Florida Southbound exit and northbound entrance; southern terminus; I-10 exit 20
1 US 90 (Government Boulevard, SR 16)
3 Airport Boulevard Serves Mobile Regional Airport and University of South Alabama
4 Dauphin Street
5A Springhill Avenue
5B US 98 (Moffett Road, SR 42)
Prichard 8 US 45 (SR 13) – Prichard, Citronelle
9 I‑165 south – Prichard, Downtown Mobile I-165 exits 0A-B
Chickasaw 10 West Lee Street
Saraland 13 SR 158 / SR 213 – Eight Mile, Saraland
15 Saraland, Citronelle
  19 US 43 – Satsuma, Creola
  22 Creola
Mobile River
Tensaw River
General W.K. Wilson Jr. Bridge
Baldwin   31 SR 225 – Stockton, Spanish Fort
  34 SR 59 – Bay Minette, Stockton
  37 SR 287 (Gulf Shores Parkway) – Bay Minette, Rabun
  45 Rabun, Perdido
Escambia   54 CR 1
  57 SR 21 – Atmore, Uriah
  69 SR 113 – Flomaton, Wallace
Conecuh   77 SR 41 – Brewton, Repton
  83 Castleberry, Lenox
  93 US 84 (SR 12) – Evergreen, Monroeville
  96 SR 83 – Evergreen, Midway
  101 Owassa
Butler   107 Grace, Garland
  114 SR 106 – Georgiana, Starlington
Greenville 128 SR 10 – Greenville, Pine Apple Southern end of SR 10 Truck overlap
130
SR 185 / SR 10 Truck east – Greenville
Northern end of SR 10 Truck overlap
Lowndes   142 SR 185 – Fort Deposit, Logan
  151 SR 97 – Letohatchee, Davenport
  158 To US 31 (SR 3) – Pintlala, Tyson
Montgomery   164 US 31 (SR 3) – Pintlala, Hope Hull
Montgomery 166 I‑85 north to I‑685 Future Southern Terminus of Montgomerty bypass. Future Southern Terminus of I-85.
167 US 80 west (SR 8 west) – Selma Southern end of US-80/SR 8 overlap
168 US 80 east / US 82 east (South Boulevard, SR 6 east/SR 8 east/SR 21) to US 231 (SR 53) / US 331 (SR 9) Northern end of US-80/SR 8 overlap; southern end of US-82/SR 6 overlap
169 Edgemont Avenue Southbound exit and northbound entrance
170 Fairview Avenue
171 I‑85 / I‑685 north / Day Street – Atlanta I-85 no number signed; Future Interstate 685
172 Herron Street, Clay Street – Downtown Montgomery
Bridge over the Alabama River
173 To US 231 (North Boulevard)
Elmore Millbrook 176 SR 143 – Millbrook, Coosada Northbound exit and southbound entrance
MillbrookPrattville city line 179 US 82 west (SR 6 west) to Montgomery Toll Road – Millbrook, Prattville Northern end of US-82/SR 6 overlap
Prattville 181 SR 14 – Prattville, Wetumpka
Autauga 186 US 31 (SR 3) – Pine Level, Prattville
Chilton   200 Verbena
Clanton 205 US 31 / SR 22 (SR 3) – Clanton, Verbena
208 Clanton, Lake Mitchell
212 SR 145 – Clanton, Lay Dam Peach Tower exit
  219 Jemison, Thorsby
Shelby Calera 228 SR 25 – Montevallo, Calera
231 US 31 (SR 3) – Saginaw, Calera, Montevallo
234 Shelby County Airport
  238 US 31 (SR 3) – Alabaster, Saginaw
Pelham 242 CR 52 – Pelham, Helena
246 SR 119 (Cahaba Valley Road)
Hoover 247 CR 17 (Valleydale Road)
Jefferson 250 I‑459 – Atlanta, Gadsden, Tuscaloosa I-459 exit 15
  252 US 31 (Montgomery Highway)
  254 Alford Avenue
Homewood 255 Lakeshore Drive
256 Oxmoor Road – Homewood Signed as exits 256A (west) and 256B (east) southbound
Birmingham 258 Green Springs Avenue
259A University Boulevard (northbound)
6th Avenue South (southbound)
Signed as exit 259 northbound
259B 4th Avenue South Southbound exit and northbound entrance
260 US 11 (3rd Avenue North, US-78/SR 4 east/SR 7) / 6th Avenue North – Downtown Birmingham Southern end of unsigned SR 4 overlap; signed as exit 260B northbound
261 I‑20 (SR 4 west) / I‑59 – Gadsden, Atlanta, Tuscaloosa Northern end of unsigned SR 4 overlap; signed as exits 261A (east/north) and 261B (west/south); I-20/59 exits 124A-B
262A 16th Street Northbound exit and southbound entrance
262B Finley Boulevard To US-78
263 32nd Avenue (northbound)
33rd Avenue (southbound)
264 Daniel Payne Drive Ramp to I-65 North also connects to I-22 West also
Fultondale 265 I‑22 – Memphis Future eastern terminus of Interstate 22, exits 95A-B.
266 US 31 (SR 3) – Fultondale Signed as exits 266A (south) and 266B (north)
267 Walker Chapel Road
Gardendale 271 Fieldstown Road
272 Mt. Olive Road actually takes motorists to Mt. Olive Boulevard, which intersects Mt. Olive Road about a quarter mile east of the exit
  275 To US 31 (SR 3) – Morris
Warrior 280 US 31 (SR 3) – Warrior
281 Warrior
282 Robbins, Warrior
Blount Smoke Rise 284 US 31 south (SR 3 south) / SR 160 east – Hayden, Corner Southern end of US-31/SR 3 overlap
287 US 31 north (SR 3 north) – Garden City, Blount Springs Northern end of US-31/SR 3 overlap
  289 Empire, Blount Springs
Cullman   291 SR 91 – Hanceville, Colony
  299 SR 69 south – Jasper, Dodge City Southern end of SR 69 overlap
  304 SR 69 north – Cullman, Good Hope Northern end of SR 69 overlap
Cullman 308 US 278 (SR 74) – Cullman, Double Springs
310 SR 157 – Cullman, Moulton
Morgan   318 US 31 (SR 3) – Lacon, Vinemont
  322 Falkville, Eva
Hartselle 325 Thompson Road
328 SR 36 – Hartselle
DecaturPriceville city line 334 SR 67 – Decatur, Priceville, Somerville
Wheeler Lake
Tennessee River
Bridge over Wheeler Lake and Tennessee River
Limestone Huntsville 340 I‑565 east / SR 20 west (US-72 Alt.) – Huntsville, Decatur Signed as exits 340A (west) and 340B (east) southbound; I-565 exit 1 westbound & 1A-B eastbound
Tanner 347 Huntsville–Browns Ferry Road
Athens 351 US 72 (SR 2) – Athens, Huntsville
354 US 31 south – Athens Southern end of US-31 overlap
  361 Elkmont
  365 SR 53 – Ardmore
  I-65 north – Nashville Continuation into Tennessee
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

Lane configurations[edit]

Total Mileage in Alabama-366.00 miles

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "FHWA Route Log and Finder List: Table 1". Federal Highway Administration. Retrieved 4 October 2014. 
  2. ^ "Heroes Highway of Alabama". Montgomerygop.net. Retrieved 2009-08-05. 
  3. ^ Simon, Scott (July 23, 2005). "Alabama Billboard's Message Changes". All Things Considered. NPR. Archived from the original on 2007-07-14. Retrieved July 26, 2013. 
  4. ^ Hughes, Bayne (April 6, 2014). "Iconic rocket due for repair". Decatur Daily. Retrieved April 8, 2014. 

External links[edit]

Route map: Bing / Google


Interstate 65
Previous state:
Terminus
Alabama Next state:
Tennessee