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Future Interstate 22 & U.S. 78 - Corridor X

U.S. 78 between Memphis, Tennessee and Birmingham, Alabama represents Appalachian Regional Development Corridor X. The route comprises a full freeway from the Tennessee state line at Memphis to Coalburg Avenue in north Birmingham. The corridor doubles as Future Interstate 22, with full Interstate status expected when the interchange with Interstate 65 near Fultondale opens to traffic by October 15, 2014. Signs proclaiming the route a Future Interstate highway were approved for Corridor X in April 2005.4

Construction at the future interchange between Interstates 22 and 65

A tri-level stack interchange will facilitate the movements between Interstates 22 and 65 upon completion. A fourth level will see the I-22 mainline continue to U.S. 31 below I-65 and its c/d roadways. This view looks south at the future I-22 east to I-65 north flyover from the 47th Avenue overpass. Photo taken 10/21/12.

Planning for Corridor X started in 1978, with the first funding in place by 1983.3 26 miles of Future Interstate 22 opened to traffic on November 14, 2007. Included is the stretch between Industrial Parkway (Exit 65) in Jasper to U.S. 78 at Graysville (Exit 85) and the completion of Exit 85 to Cherry Avenue (Exit 91)1, which previously opened to local traffic in early June 2007.2 Another 20 miles of freeway, between SR 129 (Exit 30) and SR 118 west of Jasper, opened November 22, 2005.3 See Interstate 22 @ Interstate-Guide for construction information and a more detailed history.

The easternmost 2.5 miles of Future Interstate 22, between Cherry Avenue and Coalburg Road, opened to traffic on December 9, 2009. This leaves the 2.5-mile approach to Interstate 65, currently under construction as part of a $168.6-million contract to built a four-level stack interchange. Work began in August 2010 on the four year project.5

Future Interstate 22 & U.S. 78 Highway Guides

Scenes pertaining to Future Interstate 22 & U.S. 78
These special blue & white Appalachian Regional Corridor X shields are in use all along the 30-mile Mississippi to Winfield segment of Future Interstate 22. Alabama 4 is the unsigned state route counterpart for U.S. 78 across the state, but is signed well along this segment of freeway. Photo taken 09/25/03.
Interstate 22 construction
Future Interstate 22 ended temporarily at Alabama 129 until November 22, 2005. Photo taken 09/25/03.
The one-half mile guide sign for U.S. 78 and Alabama 129 at Exit 30 and the temporary end of Future Interstate 22 near Winfield. Note that Birmingham, the U.S. 78 eastbound control city, was the only featured. The freeway resumed 25 miles to the east via U.S. 78 east and Alabama 129 south. Photo taken 09/25/03.
A side profile of the Exit 30 guide sign at the temporary east end of the first Corridor X freeway segment in Alabama. Photo taken 09/25/03.
Looking eastward at the temporary end of Future Interstate 22 east at Exit 30. New freeway opened to travel between Alabama 129 and Alabama 118, west of Jasper, on November 22, 2005. Photo taken 09/25/03.
Westward perspective from the eventual westbound lanes of Interstate 22 at the Exit 30 stub interchange. The Hamilton area segment of Corridor X consists of four overall travel lanes. Photo taken 09/25/03.
Construction was well underway at the future Interstate 22 & Alabama 13 diamond interchange north of Eldridge. This ramp opened in November 2005. Photo taken 09/25/03.

The overpasses that now shuttle Future Interstate 22 over Alabama 13 were essentially done at the time of this photo, but were not open to traffic for another two years. Photo taken 09/25/03.
The Jasper segment of Future Interstate 22 concluded at Exit 52, four miles to the east of Carbon Hill. Temporary U.S. 78 ends signs were posted at half mile intervals. Photo taken 09/25/03.
View of the unopened westbound travel lanes at the temporary beginning of Future Interstate 22 west within the Exit 65 diamond interchange. Photo taken 09/25/03.
Westward view of Future Interstate 22 from when the freeway ended at Industrial Parkway. Photo taken 09/25/03.
A historical look at the temporary end of freeway at the Industrial Parkway interchange south of Jasper. Note that the freeway was constructed with six overall lanes westward to Exit 63. Photo taken 09/25/03.
The future Exit 65 eastbound on-ramp to Interstate 22 from Industrial Parkway Road. This ramp opened on November 14, 2007. Photo taken 09/25/03.
Looking to the west at the Exit 65 Industrial Parkway interchange from a perch high above the eastbound lanes. Photo taken 09/25/03.
Whitehouse Road travels east from Industrial Parkway parallel to Future Interstate 22. This view looks from just north of the adjacent road at Corridor X during its construction. The freeway overtook a portion of the original Whitehouse Road alignment, resulting in an adjustment to the road north across I-22 to East Lake Road. Photo taken 09/25/03.
A generous rock cut, alluding to the rocky nature of the Appalachian Piedmont, is evident along Future Interstate 22 between Whitehouse and Walker County Lake Roads, east of Exit 65. Photo taken 09/25/03.
Industrial Parkway northbound at the full diamond interchange with Future Interstate 22 during construction. Photo taken 09/25/03.
This eastward scene looks at what is now the westbound off-ramp of Future Interstate 22 onto Industrial Parkway. Photo taken 09/25/03.
Looking east from the U.S. 78 & Alabama 5 overpass at the unopened Future Interstate 22 (Exit 85) in Graysville. When the stretch of freeway west to Jasper opened in 2007, U.S. 78 through Sumilton was redesignated as U.S. 78 Alternate. Photo taken 09/25/03.
Westward view of the Future Interstate 22 travel lanes from the U.S. 78 and Alabama 5 overpass within the six-ramp partial-cloverleaf interchange of Exit 85. Photo taken 09/25/03.

Sources:

  1. "Two more portions of Corridor X opening." Mobile Press-Register, November 1, 2007.
  2. "DOT set to open more of Corridor X." Mobile Press-Register, June 3, 2007.
  3. "Corridor X open from Jasper to Memphis." Mobile Press-Register, November 23, 2005.
  4. "Interstate signs set to go up on Corridor X." Mobile Press-Register, April 17, 2005.
  5. "Birmingham I-65/Corridor X project set to launch Aug. 1." The Birmingham News, July 26, 2010.
Photo Credits:
2003-09-25 by AARoads

Connect with:
Interstate 65
U.S. Highway 43
Alabama 129

Page Updated 11-09-2012.

 
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