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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


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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.

Damn! I didn't even know. I guess you learn something new about an area everyday. Thanks for the heads up. :thumbsup:

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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.

I can second that about rush hour going into Decatur...that bridge is backed up constantly around 5 PM. Extending I-565 west isn't going to help the problem of the traffic signal just across the bridge at US 31 and Alt US 72 west. Problem is that there isn't enough room to put in an interchange there. Only when the western leg of the Memphis-Huntsville-Atlanta interstate is complete will there be another way across the river.

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Haha, and you learned it from a 17 yo, how great is that!!

I'm not that much older than you. I'm 21 (just 2 months ago), but I look like I'm still in my teens.

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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.

I don't drive on 565 often beyond Madison, but when I saw the traffic while coming back to Huntsville from Decatur about a week ago. It gets heavy when 565 goes from 8 lane to 6 lane at Madison Blvd, and gets even heavier when it goes to 4 lane at Wall Triana. But the real problem starts at Greenbrier and continues until 65, then it thins out a bit before 31, then it gets heavy again along the causeway.

I think the state is extending 565 for safety reasons. 20 as it is now is a deadly highway, and it will get worse after that "super church" is built.

Haha, and you learned it from a 17 yo, how great is that!!

Now I see where 2007 came from- it's your senior year. Well, we have something in common....

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I don't drive on 565 often beyond Madison, but when I saw the traffic while coming back to Huntsville from Decatur about a week ago. It gets heavy when 565 goes from 8 lane to 6 lane at Madison Blvd, and gets even heavier when it goes to 4 lane at Wall Triana. But the real problem starts at Greenbrier and continues until 65, then it thins out a bit before 31, then it gets heavy again along the causeway.

I think the state is extending 565 for safety reasons. 20 as it is now is a deadly highway, and it will get worse after that "super church" is built.

Now I see where 2007 came from- it's your senior year. Well, we have something in common....

Haha, yea, there are quite a few deaths on that roadway. It'll probably get much worse after the "Cult Church" gets built. That's what everyone calls it down here.

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Haha, yea, there are quite a few deaths on that roadway. It'll probably get much worse after the "Cult Church" gets built. That's what everyone calls it down here.

I still am quite amused, but mostly disgusted, with how ALDOT has bent over backwards for this church to get a right in-right out intersection with AL 20, even when the road is supposed to be upgraded to a freeway before we all die of old age. Yes, the church needs a way for people to get in, but given the high speeds of the people that drive that road, it is going to make for a dangerous situation on Sunday mornings and evenings, as well as Wednesday evenings. I just hope that the intersection is not placed right before one of those hills.

Here's a suggestion ALDOT: how about limiting driveway permits on roads with a speed limit of 55 mph or greater with four lanes divided (commonly referred to as expressways)? It's called access management, and the state of Mississippi, which some people are proud to have around to make Alabama look better, has been doing this for years.

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I still am quite amused, but mostly disgusted, with how ALDOT has bent over backwards for this church to get a right in-right out intersection with AL 20, even when the road is supposed to be upgraded to a freeway before we all die of old age. Yes, the church needs a way for people to get in, but given the high speeds of the people that drive that road, it is going to make for a dangerous situation on Sunday mornings and evenings, as well as Wednesday evenings. I just hope that the intersection is not placed right before one of those hills.

Here's a suggestion ALDOT: how about limiting driveway permits on roads with a speed limit of 55 mph or greater with four lanes divided (commonly referred to as expressways)? It's called access management, and the state of Mississippi, which some people are proud to have around to make Alabama look better, has been doing this for years.

ALDOT has NOT been bending over backwards for the church. The city was the one dealing with the church. The road was supposed to have been upgraded months ago but they never did it. The church threatened to put lights. ALDOT and the city promised CA grade interchanges for the church. But the church went ahead and built the regular entrances/exits because they're getting tired of waiting. Last I read in The Daily they were still planning the road.

They were also supposed to start widening the Beltline 4 years ago, but they're STILL trying to figure out drainage issues. The Beltline has been over-capacity for years, and ALDOT still ignores it.

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Visioned Future Alabama Toll Road, Dixie Turnpike??

I know it's ghetto

alabama-map-toll-1.jpg

Ok so, this is what I envision, and would like to happen. Lemme go through and explain.

There are 5 roads in all. Some are paired with interstates. The ones that you see that are colored next to red is paired with interstate.

Toll roads would also make use of existing US Highways.

Also, please note that this is in the future, when Alabama's population could support something on this scale.

I went ahead and put in I-22, and the Northern Beltline in Birmingham.

I added bypasses to cities and metro areas that I VIEW as experiencing the most growth over this vast period of time.

I'll start off by naming the toll roads with the colors of the "Dixie Turnpike". Haha, cheesy name, I know.

(Odd numbered spurs are by-passes and even numbered spurs travel through a major town)

Yellow

*DT-1

(Decatur to Mobile)

- Begins where I-565/DT-23W ends in Decatur

- Continues accross Tenn River into Decatur where it turns west

- In NW Decatur intersects with Spur:DT-11.

- Continues west towards Florence/Muscle Shoals

- In SW Muscle Shoals Spur:DT-12 begins

- Continues southbound towards DT-3

- Intersects with DT-3 near Bankhead NF

- Continues south towards Tuscaloosa

- In eastern Northport Spur:DT-13 begins

- Continues south paired with I-359

- Pairing ends in southern Tuscaloosa

- In southern Tuscaloosa County Spur:DT-13 terminates with main road

- Continues southbound

- Midway between Tuscaloosa and Selma, Spur:DT-14 towards Montgomery begins

- Continues southbound towards I-65

- Intersects with I-65 and DT-4 coming from Dothan

- Continues towards northern Baldwin County, paired with I-65

- In northern Baldwin County, Spur:DT-16 begins towards Orange Beach/Gulf Shores

- Pairing ends with the I-65/I-165 Interchange

Spurs of DT-1

*DT-11 (Decatur By-pass)

(I-565/DT-23 to I-65/Hartselle)

- Beginning in Madison at I-565

- Intersects with I-65 between Decatur and Athens

- Crosses Tenn River west of Browns Ferry Nuclear

- Intersects with DT-1 in NW Decatur

- Continues southeast

- Terminates with I-65 in Hartselle

*DT-12 (Spur into Florence)

(DT-1/Alt 72 to Dtwn. Florence)

- Begins off of DT-1

- Crosses Tenn River via Wilson Dam Rd.

- Terminates in downtown area

*DT-13 (Tuscaloosa By-pass)

(DT-1/Northport to DT-1)

- Begins off of DT-1 in Northport

- Crosses Warrior River east of Northport

- Continues south, east of Tuscaloosa

- Terminates in Southern Tuscaloosa County with HDT-1

*DT-14 (Spur into Montgomery)

(DT-1 to Dtwn. Montgomery)

- Begins off of DT-1 between Tuscaloosa and Selma

- DT-4 terminates with DT-14 northwest of Montgomery

- Terminates in downtown area

*DT-16 (Spur into Orange Beach/Gulf Shores)

(I-65/DT-1 to Orange Beach/Gulf Shores)

- Begins off of I-65/DT-1 in northern Baldwin County

- Continues south through Foley

- Terminates north of Orange Beach/Gulf Shores

Dark Purple

*DT-2

(Dtwn. Huntsville to Auburn)

- Begins in downtown Huntsville overlapping Memorial Parkway

- Continues south towards Spur:DT-21, 10 miles north of Guntersville

- Spur:DT-21 begins 10 miles north of Guntersville

- Continues toward Spur:DT-23

- Intersects with Spur:DT-23 5 miles north of Guntersville

- Continues south towards Gadsden

- Paired with I-759 beginning in Attalla

- Pairing ends after crossing Coosa River via I-759/AL-759

- Continues on top of College Parkway

- Bends south towards Anniston

- Intersects with I-20

- Continues south towards Auburn-Opelika/DT-3/DT-4

- Terminates at interchang with DT-3 and DT-4 in northern Auburn

Spurs of DT-2

*DT-21 (Huntsville northern By-pass)

(DT-2 to I-65/Athens)

- Begins off of DT-2 about 10 miles north of Guntersville

- Bends westward in northeastern Huntsville

- Interchange with northern end of Memorial Parkway

- Continues west

- Interchange with northern in of Research Park Blvd.

- Continues west

- Terminates at I-65 in Athens

*DT-23 (Huntsville southern By-pass)

(DT-2/Guntersville to I-565/DT-23W/E/Madison)

- Begins at DT-2 in northern Guntersville

- Continues northwest

- Terminates with I-565/DT-23W/E in Madison

*DT-23W (Western branch of DT-23 towards Decatur)

(DT-23/Madison to DT-1/US-31 in Decatur)

- Begins at DT-23

- Terminates with DT-1/US-31 in Decatur

*DT-23E (Eastern branch of DT-23 towards Huntsville)

(DT-23/Madison to DT-2/US-432/231 in Huntsville)

- Begins at DT-23

- Terminates with DT-2/US-431/231 in Huntsville

Brown

*DT-3

(DT-1 to Auburn)

- Begins at DT-1 near Bankhead NF

- Continues southeast towards I-22

- Combines with I-22

- Continues southeast towards Birmingham paired with I-22

- Intersects with Birmingham's northern Beltline

- Continues southeast towards into Birmingham

- Ends pairing with I-22 at interchange with I-65

- Continues south into Birmingham paired with I-65

- Ends pairing with I-65 at Malfunction Junction

- Continues east paired with I-20/59

- Ends pairing at interchange with Us-31/US-280

- Continues south paired with US-31/US-280

- Continues southeast toward I-459 ending pairing with US-31

- Continues pairing with US-280

- Interchange with I-459

- Continues southeast towards DT-31

- Spur: DT-31 is bisected by DT-3

- Continues southeast towards Auburn/Opelika

- Terminates at interchane with DT-2/DT-4 in Auburn

Spurs of DT-3

*DT-31 (Southern Birmingham By-pass)

(East end of Northern Beltline to West end of North Beltline/I-20;59/I-459)

- Begins at the eastern end of Birmingham's Northern Beltline

- Continues south

- Interchange with I-20

- Continues SSW towards DT-3

- Interchange with DT-3

- Continues west towards I-65/Alabaster

- Interchange with I-65 in Alabaster

- Continues NNW through Hoover

- Terminates with the West end of North Beltline/I-20;59/I-459

Darkish Pinkish Color

*DT-4

(Auburn/Opelika to I-65/DT-1 in Evergreen)

- Begins in northern Auburn at interchange with DT-2/DT-3

- Continues southeast towards DT-41

- Interchange with Spur: DT-41

- Continues southeast towards Phenix City

- Spur: DT-41 terminates on DT-4

- Continues southeast toward Phenix City

- Enters northern Phenix City

- Interchange with I-185

- Continues southwest towards Eufala

- Passes through Eufala

- Continues southwest towards Dothan

- Spur: DT-43 begins outside of Dothan

- Continues into Dothan

- Turns due west

- Spur: DT-43 terminates with DT-4 outside of Dothan

- Continues west towards I-65/DT-1

- Terminate with I-65/DT-1 in Evergreen

Spurs of DT-4

*DT-41 (Southern By-pass for Auburn/Opelika)

(DT-4 in northern Auburn to DT-4 in southern Auburn)

- Begins north of Auburn at DT-4

- Continues south

- Intersects with I-85

- Continues southeast towards DT-4

- Terminates at DT-4 in southern Auburn

*DT-43 (Southeastern By-pass for Dothan)

(DT-4 outside of northern Dothan to DT-4 outside of western Dothan)

- Begins at DT-4 north of Dothan

- Continues sout

- Bends SSW around Ross Clark Circle as a southern loop

- Terminates at DT-4 outside of western Dothan

Blue

*DT-5

(DT-4/Dothan to DT-1/Montgomery)

- Begins in Dtwn. Dothan at interchange with DT-4

- Continues out of Dothan northwest bound toward Troy

- Passes through Troy

- Continues northwest toward Montgomery

- Turns north along Taylor Road in central Montgomery

- Pairs with northern portion of Eastern Blvd.

- Pairs with Northern Blvd.

- Ends pairing

- Continues west bound for I-65

- Interchange with I-65

- Terminates with DT-1 in northwestern Montgomery

Well, that's it, leave comments about things that could be improved.

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Build a bunch of roads and you get a bunch of sprawl. Alabama's future ought not be based on more highway building.

As true as that is, you can't say for sure that we won't still be drive on four wheels down a paved road in the future. You're right about the sprawl, but, that's really hard to control without creating hazardous traffic problems.

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To be honest, the only road on that list that would have the highest chance of being built as a toll road would be the one that parallels Alabama Highway 59 (DT-16) from I-65 south to Gulf Shores.

In Huntsville, there are existing plans to keep building the Northern Loop (known as Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd northeast of AL Hwy 53) to US231/431, then southeast to US 72, then southward to tie into the existing Huntsville Eastern Bypass in Hampton Cove. Unfortunately, the plans calls for a four-lane road with a wide median where freeway lanes will be built in the future. The southern portion of this loop, Patriot Parkway, is supposed to be let to contract in a couple of years in three phases, and will be built as an interstate-grade facility.

DT-13 is proposed as being built pretty much as you describe it, except it will end at I-20/59 east of Tuscaloosa. The only portion that has been completed thus far is a bridge over the Black Warrior River connecting Rice Mine Road to Jack Warner Parkway on the other side of the river. This is planned as a freeway for its entire length, but it will be decades before this is built. I could see this perhaps being built as a toll road, especially if growth continues on the east and northeast part of Tuscaloosa.

I can see the reasoning for building another bypass system around Birmingham; there is not a real good bypass in place for I-65 traffic. Even when the Northern Beltline is completed, that will not serve as an effective bypass for north-south traffic because of the length of the bypass. The terrain prevented I-459 from being built more uniformly, and thus it conforms to two mountain ranges for most of its length.

Most of the bypasses on that map, especially if built with an exit at every major road, will inevitably cause sprawl. The key to most toll roads is to spread out exits so that only major roads (interstates and expressways) will have access to it. I-80/90 (Indiana Toll Road) is an excellent example of this concept.

Build a bunch of roads and you get a bunch of sprawl. Alabama's future ought not be based on more highway building.

True that mass transit should be considered as an alternative, especially in the major cities. Toll roads would not produce as much sprawl as normal interstates, especially if built as I mentioned previously with interchanges spaced out uniformly. Still, Alabamians are really attached to their cars, and it is going to be a hard sell to get people to use mass transit of any form, sadly. Small steps will need to be taken in order to convince commuters to use some form of mass transit. Maybe mention the dreaded three letter word "tax" to Alabamians for driving more than a quota and that would get people to switch.

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To be honest, the only road on that list that would have the highest chance of being built as a toll road would be the one that parallels Alabama Highway 59 (DT-16) from I-65 south to Gulf Shores.

In Huntsville, there are existing plans to keep building the Northern Loop (known as Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd northeast of AL Hwy 53) to US231/431, then southeast to US 72, then southward to tie into the existing Huntsville Eastern Bypass in Hampton Cove. Unfortunately, the plans calls for a four-lane road with a wide median where freeway lanes will be built in the future. The southern portion of this loop, Patriot Parkway, is supposed to be let to contract in a couple of years in three phases, and will be built as an interstate-grade facility.

DT-13 is proposed as being built pretty much as you describe it, except it will end at I-20/59 east of Tuscaloosa. The only portion that has been completed thus far is a bridge over the Black Warrior River connecting Rice Mine Road to Jack Warner Parkway on the other side of the river. This is planned as a freeway for its entire length, but it will be decades before this is built. I could see this perhaps being built as a toll road, especially if growth continues on the east and northeast part of Tuscaloosa.

I can see the reasoning for building another bypass system around Birmingham; there is not a real good bypass in place for I-65 traffic. Even when the Northern Beltline is completed, that will not serve as an effective bypass for north-south traffic because of the length of the bypass. The terrain prevented I-459 from being built more uniformly, and thus it conforms to two mountain ranges for most of its length.

Also, the southern portion of DT-11 is in the planning stage, funding is being put in place. So is DT-23.

Remember, this is just a large full out scale of a toll road. If I had a choice, I would build all of these roads. This is also assuming that no advancements are made and we're still driving around on four rubber wheels in 100 years. I'm just mapping out places that would be best to put them that's why I colored them and named them differently, so that they could be looked at in different segment instead of a whole big picture. When you see one big glob of roadways it looks outrageous, but when you divide them up, it helps to see priority.

The DT-3 Corridor is the one that I view as being most important if thought about. There will probably be a need for this exact type of project in the future. As much as I hate to admit it, Auburn is one of the fastest growing cities, and the void between Birmingham and Auburn needs to be filled.

As much as it would encourage sprawl, the southern bypass for Birmingham is needed. There's going to be a lot of traffic and population growth in that area and it's going to need to be linked.

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Haha, yea, there are quite a few deaths on that roadway. It'll probably get much worse after the "Cult Church" gets built. That's what everyone calls it down here.

what's the name of the church?

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Build a bunch of roads and you get a bunch of sprawl. Alabama's future ought not be based on more highway building.

Exactly! We don't need anymore interstates or widened existing interstates.

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As true as that is, you can't say for sure that we won't still be drive on four wheels down a paved road in the future. You're right about the sprawl, but, that's really hard to control without creating hazardous traffic problems.

Suburban sprawl is the source of hazardous traffic problems. Building or widening roads induces more traffic, creating traffic problems rather than alleviating them.

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Suburban sprawl is the source of hazardous traffic problems. Building or widening roads induces more traffic, creating traffic problems rather than alleviating them.

I agree. We need more coordinated control over all this sprawl that is occuring in the state just look at Greater Birmingham. It is sprawling in all directions nowdays where it used to just do this in just south of the city towards Shelby County. Now Shelby County is hemmed into major traffic problems because all this out of control growth. The state's transportation funding should be divided evenly between roads and public transportation. This would allow better management of funds while improving on our existing infustructure in our cities.

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The only toll roads that would really make any sense would be something like the I-95/JFK Highway in NE Maryland applied to I-65 north of BHM. And the other would be the elevated roadway on US 280.

With the JFK Highway you are charged a one-time toll of $5 on your northbound travel, this would be applied to I-65 just inside the TN state line. There would be no other tolls charged for exits, just a one time toll upon entering the state.

US 280 would recieve its elevated roadway and have 3 tolled entry and exit points, Homewood, I-459 and the eastern terminus between Eagle Point Pkwy and Highland Lake Dr.

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It's obvious you put a lot of work into this, but I have to agree, many of these have little chance of being built in the foreseeable future. (I once routed out a deep-bore subway system for Birmingham if it makes you feel better.) Tolled lanes in metro Birmingham, and later the other big 3 I envision within the next 5-20 years.

To play devil's advocate I'd say the reason many of these freeway corridors aren't built already (or will be this century) is because the demand isn't there, and aside from some sort of population explosion in the state I'd be surprised if that changed drastically. Aside from a crisis scenario, like an 10m evacuation of coastal Florida due to rising sea level, I just don't see Alabama's economy growing so much faster than the national average as to see that come to be. To be sure there are many corridors with outdated alignment and that could use an upgrade to freeway status (in my opinion the Shoals area's survival depends on a limited access US-72), quite possibly with a toll component.

One thing I don't understand is the talk about a major north-south freeway in west Alabama from Muscle Shoals to Mobile. Am I missing something, is there some pent-up demand and need for such a freeway? It strikes me as a road built from somewhere to somewhere else. A big project to fill a perceived vacuum, to connect dots that don't need it. I would imagine it would be among the lightest traveled freeways in the state, mostly truck traffic and beach-bound Tennesseans. Considering the number of public works and road projects already needed, not to mention debt, I'd lay that asphalt elsewhere. Toll roads can and do fail to pay for themselves, like the Hardy toll road in Houston.

I suspect Alabama will be very slow to embrace a long distance tollway model like Oklahoma or New Jersey's. I mean, it could happen (I also marked up a few state maps with planned 800mph maglev.)

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It's obvious you put a lot of work into this, but I have to agree, many of these have little chance of being built in the foreseeable future. (I once routed out a deep-bore subway system for Birmingham if it makes you feel better.) Tolled lanes in metro Birmingham, and later the other big 3 I envision within the next 5-20 years.

To play devil's advocate I'd say the reason many of these freeway corridors aren't built already (or will be this century) is because the demand isn't there, and aside from some sort of population explosion in the state I'd be surprised if that changed drastically. Aside from a crisis scenario, like an 10m evacuation of coastal Florida due to rising sea level, I just don't see Alabama's economy growing so much faster than the national average as to see that come to be. To be sure there are many corridors with outdated alignment and that could use an upgrade to freeway status (in my opinion the Shoals area's survival depends on a limited access US-72), quite possibly with a toll component.

One thing I don't understand is the talk about a major north-south freeway in west Alabama from Muscle Shoals to Mobile. Am I missing something, is there some pent-up demand and need for such a freeway? It strikes me as a road built from somewhere to somewhere else. A big project to fill a perceived vacuum, to connect dots that don't need it. I would imagine it would be among the lightest traveled freeways in the state, mostly truck traffic and beach-bound Tennesseans. Considering the number of public works and road projects already needed, not to mention debt, I'd lay that asphalt elsewhere. Toll roads can and do fail to pay for themselves, like the Hardy toll road in Houston.

I suspect Alabama will be very slow to embrace a long distance tollway model like Oklahoma or New Jersey's. I mean, it could happen (I also marked up a few state maps with planned 800mph maglev.)

Yea, that's why I included only if there was to be enough support for one. :)

The reason why the want a north south freeway is to spark growth in the Black Belt. It would like the Shoals to Tuscaloosa then Selma then I guess eventually Mobile.

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It would like the Shoals to Tuscaloosa then Selma then I guess eventually Mobile.

I think the Tuscaloosa-Mobile route that ALDOT is looking at now is farther west ( possibly around Gordo ).

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The reason why the want a north south freeway is to spark growth in the Black Belt. It would like the Shoals to Tuscaloosa then Selma then I guess eventually Mobile.

After spending the last 4 days in the "Black Belt", which I can safely say is named such, not for its ethnic makeup, but for the fact that if you were to take a picture from an airplane at night, all you would see is big black spot, I am convinced that the good people of that region are content with the way things are. I was working in Coffeeville and staying in Thomasville, and got the impression that they were content with their support of the logging industry and I'm sure enough of them commute to Montgomery, Mobile or Meridian to work. The most important thing that needs to be developed in the area is funding, if the state made an effort and dumped money into improving the education it would make all the difference in the area.

Building a N/S interstate in the western part of Alabama makes about as much sense as a domed stadium in Birmingham.

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I say to connect all of the main cities in Alabama need to be connected by the interstate system. This does not currently exists. Mobile & Tuscaloosa.. Mobile & Montgomery.... Huntsville, Gadsen, Anniston all cities that are fairly close to each other are not connected without doing some major backtracking when you travel.

1) Build an expressway between Tuscaloosa and Mobile (the western alabama north south freeway except don't build the part north of tuscaloosa, there won't be a need for that since I-22 will go through this area and the Memphis to Huntsville expressway.

2) Go ahead and build the 85 extension from Montgomery to Meridian. This will connect Montgomery with Meridian, Jackson, and Tuscaloosa (by way of the highway built between Mobile and Tuscaloosa)

3) Build the Memphis to Huntsville expresway (don't build the part to atlanta i have a solution below for that part) (US 72 in Huntsville is also supposed to be upgraded to interstate grade all the way I-24 outside of Chattanooga)

4) Instead of building the Huntsville to Atlanta highway, built a north south expressway connecting Huntsville-Gadsen-Anniston and terminating as far south as needed possibly all the way to I-10. or connect to I-85 somehow. This can be an alternative to the extra north-south freeway that may be needed to alleviate traffic on 65

5) Of course the Memphis to Birmingham freeway is already under construction

6) Birmingham to Auburn/Columbus GA also connecting Montgomery with Columbus, GA and possibly intersecting with the Huntsville/Gadsen/Anniston freeway and connecting with Dothan depending on how far south the Hsv/Anniston freeway goes.

That will give all of the major cities an extra highway or so going through the city

6) Whatever loop expressways are needed for each city, e.g. Birmingham Northern Bypass... Huntsville Southern & Northern Bypass.. Tuscaloosa western bypass, etc.

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