This report is from a daytrip into Alabama from Meridian, MS on March 27, 2000.

Quick Birmingham trip and other...

Had the day off yesterday, so I took a quick "research" trip up to Tuscaloosa and Birmingham. I picked up the 20-year transportation plans from both cities, took a few pics, and scouted out the relatively new "western bypass" of Tuscaloosa.


- Every interstate shield I saw in Alabama (except BGS) had the state name on them.

- The "western bypass" is a new route between I-20/59 and US 82 west of Tuscaloosa. It includes a toll bridge across the Black Warrior River, and is named "Black Warrior Parkway". Also has a county road designation: CR 16. It's 4-lanes undivided with shoulders, turn lanes at major intersections, 2 stoplights (at US 11/43 and US 82), and is 55 MPH south of the river, 45 MPH north. Toll at the bridge is $0.75 for passenger cars, and the toll booth is on the south side of the river. I was told that the owner of the toll bridge has a lot of political clout in the area.

- US 82/AL 69 intersection in Northport is a large one. 3 through lanes each direction through the intersection on both routes, and 2 left turn lanes for each left turn.

- There's a short freeway-type section along US 82/MacFarland Blvd in Tuscaloosa.

- The I-20/59/US 11/AL 5 multiplex is inconsistently signed.

- One thing I haven't noticed before, is that on the Elton B. Stephens Expressway (US 31/280), there is an abandoned loop from the SB expressway to EB 1st Ave (US 11). I was fighting traffic at the time, so I didn't get a pic.

- Some of the long-range plans for the Birmingham-Tuscaloosa area include completion of Corridor X, the Northern Beltline, and the Black Warrior Loop (a northern/northeastern bypass of Northport/Tuscaloosa, from US 82 to I-20/59). Also major widenings of I-20/59 (both the duplex and separated routes), I-65, I-459 (between I-65 and I-20), US 82, and US 31/280.  Full reconstruction of the I-20/59/I-65 interchange is also planned.

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