Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Alabama Interstates: A Bit of History

On March 3 Dianne and I were in downtown Birmingham headed to Texas de Brazil for dinner. Currently that area is undergoing a significant transformation: the old Interstate is being torn down and a new section built. If you've ever been to that part of the city around the BJCC, you'll see from the first three photos below that things are looking strange there!

Seeing this work underway naturally made me wonder about the history of Interstate development in Birmingham and the rest of Alabama. I've included a dozen or so photographs and one newspaper article below to give a flavor of the early days in the state. 

For more detail you can read about the Interstate Highway System in general here. Wikipedia also has articles on all the Interstates in Alabama

On May 30, 2019, AL.com published numerous photos of the ongoing construction in downtown Birmingham.

Part of I-65 in Cullman has been designated a Blue Star Memorial Highway. I've written about that here.

Stretch of Interstate opens in Ensley August 1968

Source: Birmingham News 28 August 1969
via Birmingham Public Library Digital Collections

Interstate north of Birmingham November 1959

Interstate north of Birmingham August 1962

Interstate 65 & 85 interchange Montgomery December 1973

Interstate under construction in Birmingham in 1968

Interstate under construction in Birmingham in 1968

Start of construction of I-85 in Montgomery in May 1968

Crane lifting a steel beam for Interstate in Birmingham 1968

Gov. Guy & Helen Hunt at an I-59 rest stop November 2, 1990

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