This report is from a trip to Montgomery, AL on June 23, 1999.

Alabama Highway Notes (long)

As part of a trip to help a friend move to Montgomery, AL yesterday, I made a quick stop at ALDOT headquarters to do some research...

- The Memphis-to-Atlanta Interstate (freeway, as ALDOT calls it) is currently under a Corridor Study within Alabama. I've seen a few maps of the various routes, but none I could get any real details on. An EIS is to be completed hopefully by end of the year.

- There IS a freeway planned for between Dothan and I-10.  I don't have much info on the Florida side, but the Alabama side is currently in planning. It looks like it will roughly parallel US 231, and will tie into US 231 north of Dothan, but construction won't be until well into next decade at the earliest.

- 6-laning of I-65 north of Birmingham continues.  Currently, a short section in Blount County is completed and open. This was the first section to be started, as it was part of a massive bridge replacement project and comprises some hilly terrain, so ALDOT decided to get everything done in one fell swoop and 6-lane it at the same time. Sections on either side, going up to near AL 69 South and down to Warrior, are currently under construction, though I've heard the northern section is not an actual widening. The gap section between the end of the existing 6-lane at Mt Olive Rd and Warrior is planned to be let to contract this winter.

- 6-laning of I-65 north of Montgomery from AL 143 to AL 14 is planned in the next few years.

- US 78/Corridor X construction continues, and is expected to accelerate. It is hoped that it will be completed within the next 8-10 years, and the current construction schedule reflects this. The easternmost section in Birmingham will be 6 lanes, with a brief 8-lane section right at I-65 and the 6 lanes extending west probably to existing US 78.

- US 80 between Mississippi and Montgomery (part of High Priority Corridor 6) has more upgrades planned. Bypasses of both Uniontown and Demopolis are planned for the middle of next decade, but I've heard that there is some opposition to both bypasses. More definitive upgrades will close the gap between I-20/59 and the end of the 4-lane just east of the Tenn-Tomm Waterway, starting with construction of a parallel span over the Tenn-Tomm in late 2002 and 2003. (Catching this, Andy Field?)

- 4-laning of US 98 between the Mississippi line and Semmes is planned for late 2001. This will complete 4-laning of US 98 between Hattiesburg and Mobile, and should make Alex Nitzman happy...:o)

- Filling in the various gaps on US 82 between the Mississippi line and Tuscaloosa is planned in the next 5-10 years. This, along with completion of most of Mississippi's 1987 Highway Program, will make US 82 fully 4-lanes from the Mississippi River to near Centreville, AL.  As a side note, the section of US 82 from the Mississippi line to near Coal Fire (mentioned in here about a year ago) was a fully new ROW when it was done in recent years. What ALDOT did was build 2 new lanes on a new 4-lane ROW, with plans to finish the other two lanes when money became available. The old US 82 routing is now Pickens CR 30.

- The planned Mongomery outer loop now shows up as a proposed route on the new 1999 Alabama state highway map.  Construction is currently planned over the next few years, but may be pushed back due to the overall cost (over $300 million). The routing, from west to east, starts on US 80 a few miles west of the Montgomery Airport, catches I-65 about a mile north of US 31, and continues to skirt east and north, ending at I-85 just west of AL 126.

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