Alabama Routes v0.3

(Last set of updates, December 5, 2000)

This is formerly Dave Sturm's site.  Unfortunately, both Dave and his website have disappeared.  However, I had backed up a copy of it, and will host it for the time being (either temporarily or permanently).  I have changed little from the original pages, except to update some of the routes (and more updates will be forthcoming).  Do enjoy.

- Froggie, 12/5/00

Please note that this site is in no way official, or connected to the State of Alabama Department of Transportation of any other agency. The bulk of this site is under development, and is based on years of family experience living in Alabama, and occasional visits to the DoT library which features state maps going back to the beginning of the century. The ALDoT is very progressive, and has a nice web site under development at In the next version, I'll add a "decryption" routine for the contracts that are out for bid. They utilize a county-numbering scheme (different from the well-known license number scheme), district, route number, and checksum digits. Alabama license plates are coded by county. I haven't finished the license plate and DOT county number listings yet, but they're here.

Alabama routes were numbered well BEFORE the creation of the US system of routes. The original numbers are still in place, however on most US routes, they are now "secret" numbers, seen only on the state maps, and in atlases that don't know any better, such as Rand McNally· Trust me, you'll never see a reassurance road sign showing you that you're on Alabama route 1, 2, 3, 6, 7, 8· (The only exception are some trailblazers on interstate exit signs, most of which have been replaced· I'm aware of US 72/AL 2 and US 82/AL 6)

Unlike what some think, Alabama is NOT a flat state with little relief. The large differences in terrain (even the southern parts are rolling coastal plains) create a situation quite unlike Indiana. Few if any routes are due N/S/E/W. The system has odd routes running N/S and even routes E/W with few if any marked exceptions. State route 35 is the only clear exception I've heard of, and that was the result of an extension westward along old US 72. Route numbers are used in order among the odds and evens, and thus the newest routes, such as 287, 267, 248· often represent the newest construction or routings. Because of this slow growth, the pure state routes don't make it into the 300's, 400's, etc. Also, retired routes, such as 203 and 211, and twice-retired routes, such as 37 and 138 can be reissued.

There is some 'grouping' of route numbers. For example, unsigned 57 is near 56. 51, 52, 53, 54 and 55 are neighbors, as are 67, 69, 71, 73, 75· 213, 217· 248 and 249· and many others most likely all coincidental and others that aren't.

US highways numbers were added according to the 1926 plans, which caused the state to remove number duplications. Thus AL 11 was renumbered an extension of AL 21 to not repeat US 11. Others will be noted as they're found.

Interstate highway numbers are duplicated. Why? Not sure, but there are no confusing intersections, as other states have or had (such as the until-recent Illinois 88 and I-88). All 2di (2 digit interstate) routes XX, have *secret* state highway numbers of the pattern 6XX. I discovered this by accident (a flat tire one afternoon on I-85· over along the ROW boundary was a sign that said 685 and had a decimal mile indication over a drainage hole. Over time, I noticed the 6XX pattern on the other routes, too.) Also, 3di (3 digit·) routes (except 165) are numbered high enough to avoid state route duplication. Hence 59's 3di's include 359, 459, unsigned 559, and 759· Unknown is the state's number for I-165. This number was assigned in the 70's, likely long after the engineer at ALDOT in the 50's who devised the 6XX pattern for 2di's, and the 3di>300 constraints.

Pages on Alabama Routes:

Original Odd Alabama Routes

Original Even Alabama Routes

Modern Odd Alabama Routes

Modern Even Alabama Routes

Alabama US-signed Routes

Historic U.S. Route Termini

Alabama Interstate Highways

Please note, all pages are UNDER CONSTRUCTION. All 6 current pages exist, but a lot of details remain to be entered in the charts.

Alabama has VERY GOOD HIGHWAYS! One might not expect this in the South, but although not as fancy as Tennessee highways and Florida highways, this state keeps up well. Makes Georgia rural roads look as bad as they really are. Here are some pages on neighboring states:

Official Sites

Roads Scholars' Sites

Florida DOT

No known sites

Georgia DOT

Steve Williams' Georgia pages

Tennessee DOT

No known sites

Mississippi DOT

Adam Froehlig's Magnolia Meanderings

Back to Magnolia Meanderings