U.S. Route 72 Alternate
|Alternate route of US 72|
|Maintained by ALDOT|
|Length||67.526 mi (108.673 km)|
|West end||US 43 / US 72 at Muscle Shoals|
|East end||I-565 / US 72 at Huntsville|
Alternate U.S. Route 72 (Alt. US 72) exists in Alabama on the mostly south side of the Tennessee River between Muscle Shoals and Decatur, while US 72 follows on the north side of the river between Florence and Athens. Alternate 72 crosses the Tennessee River at Decatur, Alabama along with U.S. Highway 31 and follows the entire route of Interstate 565. SR-20 was co-signed with Alt US 72 from Muscle Shoals to Huntsville. SR-20 has since been truncated to the junction of I-65 just east of Decatur.
Originally, Alt US 72 turned off SR-20 on to SR-53 / Jordan Lane in Huntsville and followed it north 1-mile (1.6 km) to rejoin with US 72. With the completion of I-565 in the early 1990s, Alt US 72 was routed along with I-565 to the termination of I-565 at US 72.
A few miles east of there, the roads split. SR 157 heads straight towards Moulton. US 72 Alt. turns diagonal at the interchange, heading towards Town Creek and Decatur. US 72 Alt. heads west in Muscle Shoals on SR 157's right-of-way.
US 72 Alt. enters Decatur after leaving Trinity, carrying SR 20, and serves as the northern terminus for The Beltline(SR 67) and continues eastward towards the town center. After traveling by the Old State Bank, and the Dancy Polk House in the downtown area, US 72 Alt. has an intersection with US 31 and continues over the "Steamboat Bill" Hudson Memorial Bridge as it and SR 20 continue east towards the interchange with I-65 and I-565, while US 31 continues north towards Athens and Calhoun Community College.
This section contains a table that is missing mileposts for one or more junctions.
|Colbert||Muscle Shoals||US 43 / US 72 (Lee Highway)||Western terminus|
|||SR 113 (Wilson Dam Road)|
|||SR 157 (University of North Alabama Highway)|
|Lawrence||Leighton||SR 48 (County Line Road)|
|Town Creek||SR 101 (Wheeler Dam Highway) – Wheeler Dam|
|Courtland||SR 33 (Wilderness Parkway)|
|Morgan||Decatur||SR 67 (Beltline Road)|
|US 31 (6th Avenue)|
|I-65 / I-565 / SR 20||Western terminus of I-565; west end of I-565 concurrency; I-65 north exit 340, south exits 340A-B; I-565 west exit 1, east exits 1A-B|
|Madison||Madison Boulevard/County Line Road|
|Madison||Glenn Hearn Boulevard – Huntsville International Airport|
|SR 255 (Research Park Boulevard)|
|Sparkman Drive – Tranquility Base|
|SR 53 (Jordan Lane)|
|US 231 (Memorial Parkway) / US 431||Eastern terminus of I-565 and US 72 Alt.; east end of I-565 concurrency|
|1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi
Route map: Google