Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

jmanhsv

Alabama Roads and Highways

Which Highway Project is Most Important?  

46 members have voted

  1. 1. Which Highway Project is Most Important?

    • Birmingham: Northern Beltline
      5
    • Birmingham: US 280 Improvements
      2
    • Birmingham, West Alabama: Interstate 22
      10
    • Huntsville: Southern Bypass/Patriot Pkwy
      0
    • Huntsville: Memorial Parkway Overpasses and Service Roads
      0
    • Huntsville: Alabama 53 Widening
      0
    • Huntsville: I-565 Extension East
      3
    • Huntsville, North Alabama: Memphis-Huntsville-Atlanta Interstate
      7
    • Montgomery: Southern Betline
      1
    • Montgomery: I-65 Improvements
      1
    • Montgomery, Black Belt: I-85 West Extension
      4
    • Mobile: Western Bypass
      2
    • Mobile: US 98 Widening
      2
    • Mobile: I-10 Mobile River Bridge/Bayway
      4
    • Other (explain)
      5


Recommended Posts

[threads merged, see codyg1985's post #4 for poll description]

I thought this might be a cool thing to start. This would be a place to post anything related to roads and highways in Alabama, whether it be the announcement of a project, a project update, or a comment about the state highway system (i.e. "Why does it take 4 years for ALDOT to build an interchange?", not "it sucks").

Some Huntsville projects:

Proposed- the stuff that's getting funding:

Light rail between USSRC and Botanical Garden

Transit centers in Research Park and at UAH

Southern Bypass- start date 2008

565 extension to Decatur

565 extension to Moores Mill Road- start date 2008

Memorial Parkway overpass extension to Mastin Lake Road- start date 2011

ITS (traffic cameras, electronic signs)- start date late 2005-2006 (NOTE: this is not an ALDOT project- we learned from Birmingham :lol: )

Under Construction-

Memorial Parkway overpass extension to Sparkman Drive- completion date 2008-2009

Memorial Parkway overpass over Whitesburg Drive and Weatherly Road- Service roads to be completed Spring 2006, final completion 2009-2010

US 72 West 6-lane widening to Indian Creek- completion date November

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


I know there are a lot of choices here, and these are not all of the projects, but I think this is a representation of the proposed highway improvments across Alabama.

I think that an important project that I did not list here is the widening of I-65 throughout Alabama to six lanes minimum and eight lanes minimum in the cities of Birmingham, Montgomery, and Mobile. This highway is heavily-travelled from end to end in this state, and it should be improved for safety as well as to add capacity.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I beleive in the extension of I-85 through west central Alabama. This area needs an economic boost. One of the main reasons I beleive that the Kia plant wasn't built near Meridian, Mississippi is because of the lack of a major 4-lane access road from there to Montgomery. U.S. Highway 80 is a here and there 4 lane road from Montgomery to I-20. The area really needs more jobs ( I know because I am from there). This would not only help that area but improve Alabama as well. This area is known not to have the best of schools, and a lack of good jobs.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

the I-10 bridge/bayway. The tunnel under the river is way to steep and often causes fatal accedents and the growth of the subburbs on the eastern shore are adding to the traffic across the bay. During the summer months traffic often comes to a stand still from all the people passing through. I just hope the bridge is built further north so the shipping lanes wont have to be crossed. I think the whole bridge thing is supposed to be tied in with the bypass.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I beleive in the extension of I-85 through west central Alabama. This area needs an economic boost.

JMO, improving the north-south route to Mobile (something the state has promised ever since the interstate system was begun) would have a greater impact on that area. Done correctly, it would become a preferred route between Birmingham and Mobile-Baldwin, the state's two largest population centers.

The I-85 thing is something the Auburn-Montgomery people really want (to take business from Atlanta-west that is currently in Birmingham-Tuscaloosa-Anniston), and something that will also benefit Meridian, MS. It wouldn't do much for West-Central, IMO.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

well this a no win vote, but since ALDOT is incapable of completing any project it doesn't matter.

If they just did the projects that have been funded it would get some of these off the list.

Huntsville/ North Alabama has suffered for decades. Build the roads in the regions that are consistently bringing in the jobs and growth. That would be North Alabama . A better solution would be to eliminate

ALDLOT and start over with a highway dept that built roads according to need and not politics.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think that the I-85 extension would be the greatest economic impact on the state. It would create jobs and improve conditions across an impoverished region of the state. The rest of the projects are important, but they will only benefit a small portion of the state. For example, the 565 extension is important, but it would only benefit the people of Northeast Huntsville and Jackson County.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm not convinced yet on the I-85 extension. People act as though it'll be some saving grace and just create a huge economic boom in the region. That's NOT a guarantee people. It might make it more likely, but alot of companies are still going to be hesitant of locating there because of a lack of infrastructure there and such poor schools.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm not convinced yet on the I-85 extension. People act as though it'll be some saving grace and just create a huge economic boom in the region. That's NOT a guarantee people. It might make it more likely, but alot of companies are still going to be hesitant of locating there because of a lack of infrastructure there and such poor schools.

Right now there is no real major route (interstate) going through that West Central Alabama area. Either the North-South route from Birmingham to Mobile or the Montgomery to Meridian I-85 extension would help the area. Right now I would say the almost none of the people reading this post travels through that area to go anywhere. If an interstate was run through the area, of course there would be some economic boost because the stops along the route would definetly have new business come into the area. For example the I-85 extension would most likely benefit Selma and Demopolis because they would become the most likely places for people to stop, get gas, and eat. These areas would definetly benefit. Right now there is no flow of steady traffic going through the area so businesses shy away from entering the area. Most people in the area have to travel an hour or hours in any direction to get to some decent shopping destination. There is no doubt this is the area that needs it the most. You can deal with traffic jams for a while, look at Atlanta. This area is a declining area that needs the boost. And I'm not saying it's the most deserving area, because it is definetly not doing a lot for Alabama as a whole except growing a lot of crops and giving us catfish;but the area does need the boost.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The I-85 extension would open up A LOT of areas for industry and economic development. OTOH, it is not guaranteed that the I-85 extension would bring the prosperity that is promised by polititians trying to sell the project to his/her constituants.

A glaring example of this is I-20/59 in Greene County. Not only does the county have access to this busy interstate, but it also has access to two rivers (Black Warrior and Tombigbee) and two railroads (Norfolk Southern and BNSF). It sits just to the southwest of the Tuscaloosa MSA. Yet the county is still one of the poorest in the state.

IMO, the I-85 extension would benefit those areas on either end of the extension more than it would the area that the extension would be built through.

I still say that widening I-10, I-20, and I-65 through the state is very important.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

i only know what little i know, but i agree that the concept of laying out an interstate through the center of a depressed (in economic terms) rural area is not necessarily a boon for those who live in its path. i take the backroads whenever i drive from tuscaloosa to auburn, passing all the famed black belt poverty along the way. without having any way of knowing for sure, i have to wonder how badly the people in this area want to be visited by the economic progress that has so many other small towns throughout the state in its thrall.

like most other states east of the mississippi, AL does have historically well-established routes of travel that have been (mostly) shaped by geographic and commercial forces. i believe it would be beneficial to work with the existing pressure points - routes and destinations that have always seen a demand for high traffic. willing a rural area into prosperity by building more infrastructure is a crapshoot - when it works, it's visionary, and when it doesn't, it leaves the cultural landscape changed but not improved. romantic or not, i embrace the notion that alabama can allow its rural, unchanged places the opportunity to stay that way instead of disrupting and homogenizing the little microcultures that time forgets. we have some urban spaces (particularly birmingham and mobile, imo) with great potential, and i would love to see these nurtured...these can be powerful draws for those from rural areas all over the state who decide they want to embrace the urban version of prosperity.

i'm not ennobling the poor rural folk as quaint scenery we need to keep around - FAR from it. i just hate to think that the only way a rural area in the poor deep south can be considered prosperous is to link it with an urban industrial infrastructure.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am not familar with all of the highway projects but it would give me a better understanding with the posts made below mine if all projects were each prioritized with a brief summary of each. :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am not familar with all of the highway projects but it would give me a better understanding with the posts made below mine if all projects were each prioritized with a brief summary of each. :D

Very well....

  • Birmingham: Northern Beltline - This is a proposal to complete the freeway perimeter around Birmingham. There has been a need for alternative routes in the Birmingham interstate system, epesically with two tanker trucks crashing and destroying two bridges at Malfunction Junction two years apart. The Northern Beltline would start at the current intersection of I-20/59 and I-459 at Bessemer and run northeasterly through Pleasant Grove and Adamsville before interecting US 78 and future I-22. It would run north from there then east to cross I-65 south of Morris and north of Gardendale. It would then run southeasterly and cross AL 79 and AL 75 north of Pinson and Center Point, then intersect with I-59 northeast of where I-459 currently terminates in Trussville. There is also talk of extending this road from I-59 into St. Clair County in a southeasterly direction north of Moody to I-20 west of Pell City. This is basically the northern version of I-459.

  • Birmingham: US 280 Improvements - This is a multi-faceted proposal to elliviate traffic on US 280 in southeastern Jefferson and northern Shelby Counties. Currently US 280 is a six-lane arterial boulevard that begins in Homewood and travels southeasterly towards the affluent suburbs of Mountain Brook, Vestavia Hills, Cahaba Heights, Hoover, and Inverness. Many shopping centers dot the landscape as one drives through this area, and many more subdivisions are abound right beyond those shopping centers. At the confluence of all of this lies the US 280/I-459 interchange which is always backed up. The proposals include at a minimum constructing flyover ramps for the I-459/US 280 interchange to eliminate all the traffic signals at the intersection. Other improvement proposals range from adding an extra lane in each direction to syncronizing the traffic signals to contructing interchanges as busy intersections along the route.

  • Birmingham, West Alabama: Interstate 22 - Known originally as Appahacian Regional Development Corridor X, this freeway will link Birmingham with Memphis when complete in 2012. With Memphis being called the "distribution center of America," many trucks use what was once a two-lane US 78 to deliver goods to Birmingham, Atlanta, and beyond. Once those trucks get to Birmingham, heavy traffic is encountered along Arkadelphia Road in a one-mile stretch to get to I-20/59. The freeway is complete throughout Mississippi (with some exceptions) and through Alabama to Jasper. The freeway is scheduled to be opened to Graysville in 2008 (open to local traffic to Cherry Avenue). The final link at I-65 has not been started, but should begin construction soon. In Mississippi, some things need to be done to bring the freeway up to interstate standards, not to mention a connection needs to be made to the Memphis interstate system.

  • Huntsville: Southern Bypass/Patriot Pkwy - Over the next several years, about 3000 jobs will be coming to Redstone Arsenal and the Huntsville area due to BRAC. Motorists from south Huntville need an easier way to get to Cummings Research Park. The Southern Bypass, aka Patriot Parkway, will be an interstate-grade facility that will begin at the I-565/AL 255/Rideout Road interchange, and follow Rideout Road south into Redstone Arsenal, then take a southeasterly turn through the base, then east to emerge in south Huntville at Memorial Parkway near its intersection with Hobbs Island Road. This road is part of the proposed Memphis-Huntsville-Atlanta freeway.

  • Huntsville: Memorial Parkway Overpasses and Service Roads - Memorial Parkway is the most heavily-travelled throroughfare in Huntsville. It has many shopping centers and subdivision entrances on the southern end while traversing the western portion of downtown Huntsville in the middle while providing access to Alabama A&M university on the northern end. The middle portion of the roadway has been converted to a controlled-access facility that utilizes service roads, slip ramps, and u-turns to keep traffic flowing. The road becomes a standard boulevard at Oakwood Drive on the northern end and Martin Road on the southern end. Construction of the service roads is almost complete north of Oakwood Drive to Mastin Lake Road and south of Martin Road to south of Weatherly Road. The proposal calls for the controlled access system to extend from Alabama A&M on the northern end of the city to the Tennessee River on the southern end of the city.

  • Huntsville: Alabama 53 Widening - Many subdivisions are being developed north and west of Huntsville in the Monrovia area. Alabama Highway 53 provides a direct connection from Huntsville to I-65 north at Ardmore, and to Nashville. Many people use Alabama 53 to get to their jobs in Huntsville from as far away as Ardmore and Giles County, TN. Currently this arterial is a two-lane road from Alabama Highway 255/Research Park Blvd to the Tennessee State Line. Work is underway to extend the five-lane section about a mile northwest of this intersection. The proposal is to have a four lane road between here and I-65 at Ardmore.

I will post some more information later, unless someone posts more about what I did not talk about here.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I-65 in Montgomery once you get into city limits, the interstate is only two lanes. The Interstate in the city has not been improved since it was built. The joints in the cement are coming out creating a roller coaster ride that feels like the axle on your car will break. The two lanes is also very dangerous considering the number of 18-wheelers that come through from the car plant or just passing through. Fortunately, this problem will be shortlived because a widening project just began from the Alabama River bridge to just south of Hyudai Blvd.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Montgomery: Southern Betline: The I-85 interchange with I-65 in Montgomery can be a bottleneck for motorists going from I-85 south to I-65 south. There has been plans for a southern bypass of Montgomery that will be built to interstate standards. It would run from US 80 west of Montgomery southeastward to I-65 near Hope Hull and the Hyundai plant, then it would take an easterly jog to US 331, then northeast to US 82/231, then terminating at I-85 west of the Montgomery/Macon county line. This freeway bypass would spur development on the southern side of the Montgomery metropolitan area, and it may play into a westward extension of I-85. Some think that this highway will only contribute to sprawl in the Montgomery area.

  • Montgomery, Black Belt: I-85 West Extension: US 80 from Montgomery to I-20/59 in Cuba, AL varies between a four-lane highway and a two-lane drag. It passes through some of the poorest portions of Alabama, and many have gotten on the bandwagon of extending I-85 west from Montgomery to I-20/59 in Cuba, AL, just east of Meridian and the Mississippi state line. The proponents of this extension claim that this road will open up the Black Belt to economic prosperity. Opponents to this extension need only to point at I-20/59 in Greene County, AL, which is also one of the poorest counties in the entire state. I-20/59 has been finished through Greene County for decades, but it has not reaped many benefits from its path through the center of the county. Not only would this extension affect the black belt, but it would also provide Meridian with a route to Montgomery, and it would provide motorists an alternate route to Atlanta without passing through Birmingham.

  • Mobile: Western Bypass: Over recent decades, west Mobile has experienced rapid development. Airport Road in west Mobile is a busy boulevard that can become a parking lot during rush hour. Mobile Regional Airport sits at the end of Airport Blvd, and as such enjoys no direct connection to Mobile's interstate system. The Mobile Western Bypass would be built to interstate standards, and it would run from I-10 near the new CR 39 interchange northward, passing Mobile Regional Airport to the west, to US 98 near Semmes. Then, the freeway would take a northeasterly trek to intersect with US 45, then terminate at I-65 just south of the US 43 interchange near Creola. This project for now has been put on hold by ALDOT due to property disputes from people living near the proposed corridors for the project and lack of public input or interest for the project. There is also fears that this highway will only cause traffic problems in the area to get worse, as it will cause more sprawl.

  • Mobile: US 98 Widening: US 98 connects Mobile with Hattiesburg, MS and Jackson, MS. Many out-of-state motorists use this road to get to Mobile and Alabama's beaches. Mississippi has completed most of it's share of the work to four-lane US 98 east of Hattiesburg, but Alabama still has a two-lane segment from the state line east to Semmes. Work will soon be underway to construct eight miles a four-lane expressway (not interstate or freeway standard) on a new alignment that will be north of the current US 98. This new roadway will be north of the current US 98 on a new alignment to pass north of Big Creek Lake, which satisfied local residents who were concerned about construction impacting the lake, which is part of the water supply for the city of Mobile. Then the roadway will return to its original alignment east of Semmes to the western extent of the US 98 four-lane. The widening of US 98 has major implications for trucking and delivery interests in the area, as well as hurricane evacuation.

  • Mobile: I-10 Mobile River Bridge/Bayway: At the end of the Mobile River sits the Alabama State Docks, which recieves a large amount of cargo from overseas and from inland daily. South of the docks sits I-10, which currently goes underneath the Mobile River via a twin-tube tunnel, two lanes in each direction. The eastern approach to the tunnel sees the reduction of lanes from four to two. Moreover, there is a sharp curve immediately before the western portal of the Bankhead tunnel. On normal days the tunnel is a bottleneck to commuters going into and out of Mobile, and a wreck near the tunnel can tie up traffic for hours on end. In the event of a hurricane evacuation, the traffic situation near the tunnels is even more dire. Most important, hazardous cargo is forced to take a detour around the northern portion of Mobile to avoid the tunnels. A four-lane cable-stayed bridge span is currently proposed south of the Bankhead Tunnel. The tunnel would remain in service after the bridge is built because access to Water Street and Battleship Pkwy may not be possible from the bridge due to the required height of the approach spans. Also proposed is additional lanes on the bayway, which is the portion of I-10 that crosses Mobile Bay east of the Bankhead Tunnel. There has been some opposition to the Mobile River bridge as it may impact development on Mobile's waterfront. There has also been talk of building the bridge and the bayway expansion as a tolled facility to help pay for the construction costs.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Alabama's Twisted Fate: The State's Person to Car Ratio is 1:1

The number of vehicle miles traveled per capita is an indicator of highway use. The U.S. Census reports that there were 4.55 million Alabamians in 2005. There were 4.54 million private vehicles registered in the state in 2005, according to the Alabama Department of Revenue, indicating a ratio of almost has one car per person.
"We do like our cars and trucks," Ingram said. "People are not going to let gas prices keep them at home. They may change their driving habits a little bit, but it won't keep them at home."

They also go on to say that we are a rural state. :blink: Alabama is nowadays is 70% urban. We just don't take the initiative to incorporate efficient mass transit into our urban areas.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

They also go on to say that we are a rural state. :blink: Alabama is nowadays is 70% urban. We just don't take the initiative to incorporate efficient mass transit into our urban areas.

True that most of Alabama's population lies within an urban area, but most of the state, in terms of land area, is still considered rural.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Fatalities are down since ALDOT decided to start installing barriers along some of the more heavily-travelled interstate segments. The work has not been finished, but in the areas where the barriers have been installed, deadly cross-over crashes have decreased.

I wished that ALDOT would accelerate the pavement rehab for all of its interstates; there are still many segments that make your teeth chatter. However, most of the rehab projects will be included when some of the interstates are expanded (e.g. I-20 east of Birmingham, I-65 south of Birmingham).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think that extending I-565 into Decatur is one of the most important projects in the state. Along with the Northern Beltline in B'ham, and a southern by-pass in Huntsville. I know most of you don't drive through Decatur's rush hour. But at about 5:30 PM, it's at a stand still all the way from the Interstate 65 with 565, all the way over the Tennessee River into town. It's impossible to get through all of the traffic in under an hour.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Alabama's Twisted Fate: The State's Person to Car Ratio is 1:1

They also go on to say that we are a rural state. :blink: Alabama is nowadays is 70% urban. We just don't take the initiative to incorporate efficient mass transit into our urban areas.

Yea, in places like Decatur, Birmingham, Florence, Dothan, Gadsden, and Dothan especially. The cities just don't want to take the time to worry about that stuff. I know in Decatur, the city council doesn't WANT to do anything, and are slow to do anything about anything, they're too worried about their reputations. It seriously disgusts me how some councils are more worried about their reputation instead of getting the citizens of their city what they need and when they need it. :angry:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think that extending I-565 into Decatur is one of the most important projects in the state. Along with the Northern Beltline in B'ham, and a southern by-pass in Huntsville. I know most of you don't drive through Decatur's rush hour. But at about 5:30 PM, it's at a stand still all the way from the Interstate 65 with 565, all the way over the Tennessee River into town. It's impossible to get through all of the traffic in under an hour.

Damn! Is it that bad on US 31/SR 20/Alt US72 after I-565 ends? I've never travelled over that bridge during rush hour, so I wouldn't know. I just figured that traffic would be just horrible around Huntsville and Madison in Madison County instead.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Damn! Is it that bad on US 31/SR 20/Alt US72 after I-565 ends? I've never travelled over that bridge during rush hour, so I wouldn't know. I just figured that traffic would be just horrible around Huntsville and Madison in Madison County instead.

Decatur has a large metropolitan area for its size, larger than Dothan MSA, Anniston MSA, Florence MSA, Gadsden MSA, and Auburn MSA. There are only two places along the Tennessee River in Morgan County to cross from Limestone or Madison Counties. Since half of the county lives in Decatur, it's usually the US 31, AL 20, and Alt 72 bridge that most people use. About 35% of Decatur works accross the river at places like Delphi, Browns Ferry NP, Redstone, CRP, and MSFC, and most of them get off work at about 4:30 PM. The Delphi people are usually lucky enought to make it over the river by 5:00. But then gradually, after that time, the traffic light in Decatur with Wheeler Highway (Alt 72, and AL 20) and 6th Avenue (US 31). From there traffic backs up about 5-6 miles to I-65, and you feel like driving through the fields just to get around the jam.

Also, all of the people that work accross the river that live in Lawrence County, yea, they also have to drive through to Decatur to get to their place of employment.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.