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Mobile

Situated at the north end of Mobile Bay in southwestern Alabama, Mobile - The Port City, is home to 195,111 residents per the 2010 census. The metropolitan area includes portions of the Eastern Shore, with many residents commuting to the city from Baldwin County. Within the city limits are the State Docks of Alabama on the banks of the Mobile River. Two major southeastern Interstates and five U.S. Highways cross the area. Interstate 65 brings in traffic from Montgomery, Birmingham, and Atlanta to the north, with Interstate 10 linking Mobile with nearby Biloxi and Gulfport, Mississippi, and the city of New Orleans. Asides the Crescent City in Louisiana, Mobile is the economic hub of the upper Gulf Coast.

Mobile skyline

The GM Building, RSA Tower, and the Renaissance Riverview Plaza Hotel rise to the north of Fort Condé and Interstate 10. Photo taken 02/06/09.

What is there to do in Mobile? Well, tourist attractions such as the USS Alabama, Bellingrath Gardens, Fort Gaines, and the Oakleigh Historic Complex dot the area. The Exploreum Museum downtown features art and cultural exhibits and an IMAX theater. But all of those attractions aside, the Port City is the original home of Mardi Gras. Founded in 1703 by the French soldiers at the 27 Mile Bluff, the city began holding regular parades in the antebellum period. During the Civil War parades were halted and in 1866, a confederate veteran named Joe Cain, dressed up like a Chickasaw indian chief (Slacabamorinico) and began a Mardi Gras style procession thru the streets (solo, but Mardi Gras like) as an act of defiance against Union occupation. The federalies didn't realize this though and so nothing happened to it. As he continued more an more, people began to join him and the rest is history.4 Mardi Gras in Mobile lasts approximately two and half weeks and culminates with the arrival of Lent. Festivities include parades throughout downtown for several days and every night of the Mardi Gras season. These parades consist of live bands, decorative floats in which revelers toss out trinkets to the crowds (known as throws), and various marching bands from throughout the state and region. Unlike Mardi Gras in New Orleans, throws in Mobile consist of not only beads and whistles, but also moon pies, stuffed animals, bracelets, candy, toys, and doubloons (coins of the Mardi Organization conducting the parade). The celebration continues each night after the last parade with a ball hosted by the Mardi Gras organization of the day. The balls are held downtown in the Civic Center, and offer, food, all the drinks one could want, live music and dancing.

St. Michael and Joachim Streets - Mobile, Alabama

Looking southeast from the industrial type north side of downtown at the Mobile skyline from an area near the intersection of Joachim and St. Michael Streets. Photo taken July 18, 2007.

Mobile Government Plaza

Mobile Government Plaza rises above Interstate 10's exit from the George Wallace Tunnel at dusk on February 2, 2009.

The city is also home to the Southern League Double A Baseball team of the Mobile Baybears. Previously the city hosted the Mobile Mystics Minor League hockey franchise, folded in 2001, and the Mobile Revelers NBDL basketball franchise in 2003. A warm climate graces the area, with a average high of 59F in the heart of winter and 80 thunderstorm days a year.

Map Updated October 1, 2012.

The greater Mobile Metropolitan area consists of Mobile County and the Eastern Shore communities of Baldwin County. The 2010 Census lists the population of the metropolitan area, including Daphne and Fairhope along the Eastern Shore, at 412,992, making it the third largest within the state of Alabama following Birmingham and Huntsville. The Mobile metro area ranks as the fifth most populous along the Gulf of Mexico following Houston, Tampa, New Orleans, and Baton Rouge.

Mobile City Guide

An in depth look into the downtown area of Mobile and the associated street and highway network. Coverage includes photographs and guide write-ups, accessible at the Mobile City Guide.

RSA Tower

RSA Tower - Mobile, Alabama

The RSA Tower rises along Water Street in this southward facing photograph from St. Anthony Street. Photo taken July 18, 2007.

The RSA Tower, owned by the Retirement Systems of Alabama (RSA), was constructed between 2004 and 2006 along Water Street in downtown Mobile. The high-rise dethroned the Wachovia Tower in Birmingham as Alabama's tallest building. Costing $162 million, the skyscraper rises to 745 feet and contains 35 floors. See the following links for more:

RSA Tower Photos
Views of the RSA Tower and the Mobile skyline from the Water Street northbound off-ramp from Interstate 10. Photos taken 06/06/06.
RSA Tower resides along Water Street between Dauphin and St. Louis Streets. Pictured here are views of the high-rise taken from locations along Water Street. Photos taken 06/06/06.
The completed RSA Tower as seen from Cooper Riverside Park & Mobile Landing. Photos taken 07/18/07.

Interstates

Photos:
East - Mobile
East - Baldwin
West - Baldwin
West - Mobile

The Main Street of the Gulf Coast, Interstate 10 maintains this distinction through Alabama. Interstate 10 cuts a 66.30 mile swath across Mobile and Baldwin Counties while carrying traffic between New Orleans and Biloxi/Gulfport to the west with Pensacola and Jacksonville to the east. The freeway carries four lanes overall, with an six to eight lane portion between Interstate 65 and the George Wallace Tunnels underneath the Mobile River. Outside the city of Mobile and the bay, the freeway resembles any other southeastern Interstate, with a pine forest buffer.

Highlighted along the route within the Heart of Dixie is the Mobile Bayway, an eight mile viaduct over the northern reaches of Mobile Bay. This portion of the bay is overall very shallow, with the paralleling Battleship Parkway only a few feet above sea level. The causeway was once the sight for a massive car pileup due to dense fog, and hence has variable message signs and speed limits posted throughout the routing. At the west end of the Bayway is the George Wallace twin tubes. These tunnels carries two lanes in each direction with a 55 mph speed limit. Fair weather speed limits on the Bayway are posted at 65 mph.

The future for Interstate 10 includes a brand new suspension bridge over the Mobile River shipping channel to offer an alternative to the Wallace Tunnel. This bridge will be located just to the south of the current waterway crossing, and will consist of six lanes. East of the tunnels (which will remain open after the completion of the new bridge), the two roadways will tie back together and carry an expanded eight lanes eastward to Spanish Fort on the Eastern Shore.

Adam Froehlig attended an ALDOT public hearing on the new suspension bridge and Mobile Bayway widening project during November of 2001. Here is the report Adam posted to misc.transport.road on November 28, 2001:

The proposed bridge is a cable-stayed bridge, 3 lanes each direction with 10' shoulders on each side, Y-shaped main piers (as opposed to the H-shaped piers on the Cochrane Bridge to the north), and will be located just south of the Wallace Tunnel. ALDOT's consultant (Volkner, IIRC), designed it in such a way that there is only one private property (a drydock) that would need to be acquired...the rest of the land is either city-owned or state-owned. From west to east:

The west end of the approach span begins between Virginia St and Texas St, and rises on a 4% grade. It begins parallel to, and outside of, the existing I-10 lanes here. Near the Water St exit, it curves to the right as it continues its ascent. In fact, the EB approach span will go directly over the EB off-ramp to Water St for a short ways.

The main span is 1250' long, with a minimum clearance of 190' (commented by one official at the hearing to be the second highest clearance in the US across a navigable channel). Of the two main bridge piers, one will be on land off the west side of the river, while the other is in the river, near the eastern side. The cables will stretch 475' west of, and 575' east of, the main piers (asymmetrical due to the Water St. interchange).

East of the main span, the bridge takes two curves to the right, separated by a short straight stretch, coming down on another 4% grade, and ends in the median of the "Bayway", roughly even with the entrance to the USS Alabama battleship park.

The bridge is built primarily with I-10 through traffic in mind (which comprises 60% of overall I-10 traffic in the area, based on traffic studies). Existing I-10, including the Water St and Bankhead interchanges, as well as the Wallace Tunnel, will remain open, and will serve traffic heading to downtown. No clue yet as to what each route will be signed as.

On the western (Mobile) side, there'll be some ramp/lane changes. The EB on-ramp from Broad St will be widened to 2 lanes...which, in conjunction with a 5th EB lane that begins just east of the Broad St overpass, will give 7 lanes on the EB approach to the bridge/downtown split. Four lanes will continue to downtown, as is the case today, while the right three lanes split off for the bridge. Westbound, instead of having seven lanes merge into four in a short space (about 1/2 mile), the proposal is to taper off the lanes coming from downtown, one at a time, prior to and at the downtown/bridge merge, in order to minimize the potential bottleneck. The actual gore in both directions will be just north(east) of Texas St. Also, the ramps at Texas St (half-diamond to/from the east) will be removed, and the interchange at Virginia St will be reconstructed into a standard diamond, with the eastern ramps accessible to/from the bridge (but not downtown).

And from the same post regarding the Interstate 10 Mobile Bayway Expansion:

ALDOT plans on widening the I-10 Bayway from 4 to 8 lanes, from where the proposed Mobile River Bridge merges in, east to the US 90/98 interchange in Daphne. The additional lanes will be added in the "median", and the left shoulder widened from the current 5'3" to the standard 10'. This will reduce the median (defined here as edge of left lane to edge of left lane) from the existing 139'3" to 73' (slightly narrower near the eastern shore). The US 90/98 interchange ramps will be reconstructed in the same configuration as exists today, and the 8 laning will end just east of the interchange.

Additionally a new interchange at McDonald Road to the west of Theodore is slated for construction by 2010. Another potential new exit would be the West Mobile Bypass, but that freeway is no longer being considered for construction in the short-term. The bypass would serve the growing West Mobile vicinity, and it would tie into Interstate 10 between the new McDonald Road interchange and Exit 4 at Grand Bay.


Photos:
North - Mobile
North - Baldwin
South - Baldwin
South - Mobile

Interstate 65 is the primary link between the state capital and the north to Mobile and the Gulf Coast. Interstate 65 overall carries a large amount of through travel, but its impact on the local economic development is just as important. Beginning at Interstate 10 (Exit 20), the freeway cuts through mid-town Mobile on a northeasterly trajectory. Passing through the 14th largest city in Alabama at Prichard, Interstate 65 also serves northern suburban cities of Chickasaw, Saraland, and Satsuma. The freeway overall carries six lanes and a 65 mph speed limit between the southern terminus and Exit 13. North to Exit 19, the freeway is four lanes, but proposed to be expanded to six by 2010.

As Interstate 65 leaves the immediate Gulf Coastal Plain, it crosses a nine-mile series of bridges over the Mobile and Tensaw Riverways. The bridge itself is climaxed over the shipping channel of the Tensaw River, as the transition to the Tombigbee River northward makes this an important waterway for shipping traffic. This series of bridges (also crossing the Little Lizard Creek and Mifflin Lake), was the last section of Interstate 65 to be completed south of the city of Birmingham. Speed limit on the twin spans is 70 mph.

Not much can be said about Interstate 65 between the "Dolly Parton" Bridges (the affectionate or derogatory nickname applied to the Mobile/Tensaw River series of bridges) and the city of Montgomery. Overall the freeway carries four lanes as it snakes its way to the north and east through pine forest industry land. Asides the towns of Evergreen and Greenville, Interstate 65 remains rather isolated in an economically repressed area.


Photos:
North / South

Interstate 165 constitutes a 4.90-mile freeway spur that allows Interstate 65 traffic to access to downtown Mobile easily from the north. The Interstate cuts a southeasterly swath from its parent in Prichard to the State Docks area north of downtown. Six lanes facilitate travel with a 65 mph overall speed limit in place. The entire highway is elevated over wetlands and residential areas from Conception Street/Road and the Alabama State Docks northward to Interstate 65.

The construction of the Interstate 165 freeway was not without its controversy, as most modern area Interstates face. Many established neighborhoods within the city of Prichard were disrupted with the northernmost segment of the Interstate spur. Of significance, former the intersection between Alabama 194/Meaher Avenue and Wilson Avenue was obliterated. Prichard City Hall, situated just to the west of the Interstate along Prichard Avenue near the Bay Bridge Road interchange, became more isolated from the eastern reaches of the city due to the freeway construction. Today the city faces many economic hardships, and some residents may attribute part of this issue to the construction of the elevated Interstate 165 freeway.

Interstate 165 originally was planned as Interstate 210. That numbering convention related from the planned connection between Interstate 10 and 65 directly. The southern terminus of Interstate 210 would have used the Water Street (Exit 26B) interchange of Interstate 10. With a lack of available right-of-way, and extremely high costs both socially and economically associated with the acquisition of suitable land in the downtown area, Interstate 210 through the central business district was dropped in favor of a six lane boulevard along Water Street. This curtailment of the freeway resulted in the numbering change to Interstate 165 and a change from freeway loop to spur, with a terminus at the intersection of Beauregard and Water Streets. For more detailed information concerning the history of Interstate 210, please see the Interstate 210 @ Interstate-Guide.

Interstate 165 opened to traffic on October 29, 1994 at a cost of $240 million. The 5.2 mile project composed the last segment of the Alabama Interstate system at the time (Interstate 22 and potential extensions to Interstate 459 and 565 are now possible).1 All along the elevated freeway are single post overhead lighting fixtures. These lights were were installed by latter November of 1994.2 The freeway was to have opened to traffic on October 20, 1994, but last minute delays pushed it back to the 28th.


West Mobile Bypass - DEFERRED IF NOT CANCELED

According to the Mobile Register as of April 6, 2003, the state canceled the West Mobile Bypass due to significant community opposition along the proposed route (especially in western reaches of unincorporated Mobile County), environmental concerns (endangered gopher tortoises), and the cost of performing an impact statement of not only the road itself but also any ancillary development along the path of the highway. Although Alabama DOT officials will not call this project dead, it is certainly deferred at this time. A new proposal would have to address the concerns of those who attended the public meetings in the Spring of 2002.

In addition, costs (currently estimated around $250-300 million) are certain to rise as the 30-mile highway construction project is further delayed. Meanwhile, traffic lights continue to be erected at an alarming rate throughout western Mobile County as traffic counts increase with new development, and additional cars follow existing primary arterial corridors, including belabored Airport Boulevard. It is unclear if a bypass would have helped alleviate this kind of traffic increases or not. However, funds that would have been allocated to this project are likely to find their way to other urgent transportation needs in the region.

The following section provides the details on the proposed freeway.

This map shows the two alternatives considered for the West Mobile Bypass freeway as displayed during a public hearing April 11, 2002. The green line represents the outer loop path and the orange line represents the inner loop path. The yellow, purple, and red lines represents alternatives that allow for portions of both paths to be used. Interchange locations were indicated on the original map and are displayed here. The alignments are still open for debate and public opinion.

The West Mobile Bypass is the planned freeway bypass of the city of Mobile. Although in the very preliminary stages, public hearings have already been conducted to gather public input for the right-of-way and other concerns. Two main routes are considered with both beginning at Interstate 10 to the west of the new interchange for McDonald Road (Mobile County 39). The routes diverge from one another near the Mobile Regional Airport with the inner path crossing U.S. 98 between Schillinger and Firetower Roads. The outer path continues northward to U.S. 98 near the Blackwell Nursery Road intersection.

The inner route heads east-northeast from the airport to meet U.S. 45 near Kushla with an eventual end at Interstate 65 just north of the Alabama 158/213 Interchange (Exit 13). The outer route takes sweeping arc, falling just outside of Mobile County 78/Spice Pond Road, until it meets Interstate 65 between Exit 19 and 15 at roughly milepost 17.

Now these two options have three connectors between the two. Meaning that the final path may utilize parts of both segments. The first segment is located between Old Shell Road (outer) and Airport Blvd (inner), the second from Howells Ferry Road (outer) to Firetower Road (inner), the third between Kushla (inner) to near I-65 (outer).

Additionally, an ALDOT representative mentioned that all of the available Interstate money for the state had been depleted. As a result of this, an Interstate designation is not planned for the route at the present time.

U.S. Highways

Photos:
North
South

U.S. 31 generally shadows Interstate 65 throughout the state of Alabama. Small exceptions occur, where U.S. 31 drifts some distance from the freeway replacement. This occurs in Baldwin and Escambia Counties, where U.S. 31 travels a good distance away from the limited access highway as it serves towns such as Bay Minette, Flomaton, and Brewton.

U.S. 31 in the Mobile Metropolitan area has seen a truncation from downtown Mobile with a 1990 terminus at U.S. 90 in Spanish Fort. This shortening does not downplay U.S. 31 from a local standpoint, or from the standpoint of those traveling to the resort areas of Gulf Shores and Perdido Key from Interstate 65 to the north. U.S. 31, combined with Alabama 59, plays the role of the economic lifeline for Baldwin County between Interstates 10 and 65. The Gulf Shores Parkway, as it is known, carries four lanes between Interstate 10 and the county seat of Bay Minette. Alabama 59 splits with U.S. 31 near Loxley, and carries beach goers the remaining 32 miles to the beaches of the Alabama and northwest Florida coastline.

Overall, U.S. 31 retains a southern charm that Interstate 65 ignores. The highway strolls through forested countryside and small towns (most of which are now in economic disfavor) between Baldwin County and Montgomery. And although there is a slower 55 mph speed limit in affect, the highways more relaxed pace allows for more of an appreciation for the landscapes it graces. That appreciation is lost within the hustle and bustle of Interstate 65...


Photos:
North
South

An important link for commerce in the cash strapped Black Belt Region of Alabama. U.S. 43 serves paper mills and other industrial areas situated to the west of the Mobile and Tombigbee Rivers in southwestern Alabama. The result of this role has been a four-laning of the highway from Mobile northward to Thomasville in Clarke County. The U.S. route also plays an important role in the regional flow of things, as it connects Mobile with Interstate 20/59 near the city of Tuscaloosa. Many University of Alabama football make the 200 mile journey northward via U.S. 43 to watch their beloved Crimson Tide in person each Fall.

Like U.S. 31 to the east, U.S. 43 has also been truncated from its downtown terminus within the city of Mobile. This was done by late 2001 in conjunction with the closing of a bridge along Telegraph Road near the Alabama State Docks. U.S. 90, which had been multiplexed with U.S. 98 through the Bankhead Tunnel, was relocated in a northern loop of downtown via old U.S. 43, Interstate 165, and Bay Bridge Road. There was no need to retain U.S. 43 from the terminus at Broad and Government Streets downtown to the junction of Telegraph Road with Bay Bridge Road northward at Prichard, as the highway no longer retained its own roadway independent of another route. So the new terminus is located at the access connector (Traffic Street) between U.S. 90/Bay Bridge Road to Telegraph Road. North of this intersection, U.S. 43 carries four divided lanes serves local traffic between Prichard and Chickasaw, Saraland, and Satsuma, before intersecting Interstate 65 at Exit 19.


Photos:
North
South

U.S. 45 enters the state of Alabama about 59 miles short of its terminus in downtown Mobile. The route is primary link between Mobile and the city of Meridian, Mississippi. However through our experiences, the U.S. route receives only light amounts of traffic between Mobile and the Mississippi state line.

Truncation also occurred with U.S. 45 in Mobile, but not as dramatically as its north-south counterparts. U.S. 43 originally ended with U.S. 31 and 43 at the intersection of Broad and Government Streets. But since the highway did not retain any routing independent of another U.S. route (similar to that of U.S. 31 at one time), it was truncated back to Springhill Avenue (U.S. 98) at St. Stephens Road. For the most part, U.S. 45 straddles blighted areas between the terminus and Interstate 65 in Mobile and Prichard. However, the same can be said about U.S. 45 northward throughout Prichard to the hamlet of Kushla. North of Kushla, U.S. 45 rides rolling hills through mostly pine-forest industry land en route to State Line, Mississippi. The only deviation from this description occurs within the the far northern suburb of Citronelle in northern Mobile County.


Photos:
East - Mobile
East - Baldwin
West - Baldwin
West - Mobile

The Old Spanish Trail, U.S. 90 stays mainly to the south of its Interstate counterpart. The highway is overall a sleepy affair outside of the Mobile and Daphne city areas. The highway reduces from four to two lanes at the Mississippi state line and encounters the small town of Grand Bay not far to the north of the Forrest Gump made famous town of Bayou La Batre. U.S. 90 does not see an increase in traffic or importance until it arrives at Theodore, the southwestern reach of the Mobile area suburbs. Government Boulevard, to which the highway becomes, carries four lanes amidst a hodgepodge of strip malls, gas stations, car dealerships, and other cookie cutter type developments. The landscape remains the same through Theodore, Tillman's Corner, and ultimately Mobile.

It is not until east of Interstate 65 at Dauphin Island Parkway, that U.S. 90 alters from a suburban to urban type landscape. It is here that the designation of Government Boulevard switches to that of Government Street. You may think that you are driving Victory Drive in Savannah or U.S. 25 in Brunswick, Georgia, rather then U.S. 90 in Mobile. The landscape is quite serene, with large cypress and oak trees and fantastic Victorian homes flanking both sides of the four lane thoroughfare. Traffic is at moderate levels this stretch, but not unbearable by any stretch.

U.S. 90 transitions from residential areas to the central business district at Broad Street. However, as of late 2001, U.S. 90 no longer continues eastward along Government Street through the central business district, but instead turns northward on Broad Street (part of the Hank Aaron Loop around downtown). The route shares a three block wrong-way multiplex with U.S. 98 before turning northeastward toward the State Docks and Interstate 165 at Bishop State Community College.

U.S. 90 mainly acts as a bypass for truck traffic from downtown Mobile north along Interstate 165, Bay Bridge Road and the Africatown-Cochrane cable-stayed Bridge. The highway resumes its original routing at the east portal of the Bankhead Tunnel/U.S. 98. The roadway becomes Battleship Parkway (cosigned with U.S. 98), and is designated as such because of the permanent docking of the USS Alabama at Battleship Park just east of the city. The eight mile causeway is also home to various seafood restaurants and a public boat launch. Fishing is very popular along the parkway, with many places to drop your fishing pole in the bay along the way.

On the Eastern Shore of Mobile Bay at the civil war famous town of Spanish Fort, U.S. 90 parts with U.S. 98, and turns eastward. The highway resumes its sleepy fashion east of Daphne, as it serves local traffic for small towns such as Malbis, Robertsdale, and Seminole, before sneaking into Florida at the Perdido River.


Photos:
East - Mobile
East - Baldwin
West - Baldwin
West - Mobile
Alternate

Not in the original scheme of U.S. highways when they were laid out in 1926, U.S. 98 was extended westward through Alabama to the Magnolia State by the late 1940s. The route parallels and shares pavement with U.S. 90 throughout the cities of Mobile and Spanish Fort, but otherwise follows its own path. The highway is the main thoroughfare between Mobile and Hattiesburg, with a greater responsibility in the southeast region for traffic headed towards Jackson, Memphis, and Little Rock from Florida and the Gulf Coast.

U.S. 98 was widened to four lanes between the Alabama state line and Hattiesburg in the 1980s. The importance of the U.S. route for trucking is a major factor to this expansion. With that stated, the highway reduces to two lanes upon entering Mobile County, and remains two-laned eastward to milepost 10 at Semmes. Widening and a new Semmes bypass alignment is planned for Moffett Road by 2010 (see U.S. 98 New Alignment section below).

Moffett Road is the name for U.S. 98 from Semmes east to Springhill Avenue at midtown Mobile. The stretch of U.S. 98 from Spring Hill Avenue westward to Mobile County was very notorious for the unusually high frequencies of highway accidents and deaths, hence the tragic nickname "Bloody 98." This was especially true when Moffett Road used to be two-lane road. As a result, Moffett Road became a multi-lane highway since the 1980s. The widening of Moffett Road was also a reflection of Mobile expanding westward.5

From Semmes eastward, U.S. 98 carries five lanes eastward to Springhill Avenue near Interstate 65. From this junction to downtown, U.S. 98 follows Springhill Avenue amid a transition from a strip mall landscape to foliage rich neighborhood areas near the Mobile Infirmary and University of South Alabama Women's and Children's Hospital. Near the southern terminus of U.S. 45, U.S. 98 transitions to older commercial and residential areas before the highway meets U.S. 90 at Broad Street.

After short duplex with U.S. 90 on Broad Street, U.S. 98 turns eastward along Government Street. Government Street cuts through the central business district of Mobile, with a beautiful tree-scaped setting. The highway carries five lanes as it links U.S. 90 with the Bankhead Tunnel downtown. The originally tolled Bankhead Tunnel carries two lanes of travel underneath the Mobile River between the center city and Battleship Parkway. This portion of U.S. 98 was originally cosigned with U.S. 90.

After exiting the city of Mobile, U.S. 98 cosigns with U.S. 90 across the Battleship Parkway. The two highways part ways at the city of Spanish Fort, with U.S. 98 diving south towards Eastern Shore cities of Daphne and Fairhope. An Alternate U.S. 98, dubbed Scenic Baldwin County 98, straddles the coastal area of Mobile Bay through posh neighborhoods. This western alignment was the original U.S. 98.

Alternate U.S. 98 rejoins U.S. 98 to the east of Fairhope, with U.S. 98 reducing to two lanes from four, and retaining a typical southern landscapes mixture of subdivisions, farmland, and forest stands. Asides bridges over Weeks Bay and the Perdido River into Florida, and cutting through downtown Foley, U.S. 98 retains a rural feel throughout Baldwin County east of Fairhope.

U.S. 98 New Alignment

Money is allocated for a four-part project that will see the realignment of U.S. 98 in Mobile County. The roadway will extend from the existing Alabama 158/Industrial Parkway westward to existing U.S. 98 between Wilmer and Semmes. The first stage of construction will result in the widening of Alabama 158 from two to four lanes and the construction of an interchange at the junction with U.S. 45. From there, a new segment of highway will be constructed from U.S. 45 west to an extended Mobile County 31/Schillinger Road. The third and fourth stages of roadwork will continue the four lane divided highway west of Schillinger Road to U.S. 98 in the vicinity of Semmes and Wilmer. Bypasses for the Wilmer and Semmes area are already planned, and the new alignment will tie into one of these. Controversy arises out of this planned project as it will encroach upon the northern reaches of the Mobile area municipal water system (Big Creek Lake). The Mobile Area Water System has argued with ALDOT that the new alignment should be made limited access to prevent potential pollutants from new development along the roadway. ALDOT contends that this is not needed and is already in the process of tree removal in the planned corridor. Upon completion of this project, U.S. 98 will provide a continuous stretch of four lanes between the Mississippi state line and Interstate 65 at Exit 13.


Photos:
East
West

The designated route for trucks on U.S. 98 and all hazardous material based cargo for Interstate 10. Truck U.S. 98 was originally cosigned with Truck U.S. 90, but now only cosigns with the mainline (relocated) U.S. 90. The routing begins at Broad Street and Springhill Avenue and continues northward along Broad and Beauregard Streets to Interstate 165. Although originally duplexed with U.S. 43 on Telegraph Road through the State Docks, Truck U.S. 98 now follows Interstate 165 northward to Exit 2.

Signage has gone up on Interstate 65 southbound at Interstate 165 for the Truck route of U.S. 98. Signage directs travel to Interstate 165 Exit 2 at Bay Bridge Road. It is Bay Bridge Road that crosses the Africatown-Cochrane Bridge over the Mobile River with U.S. 90. The terminus of the route is at the eastern exit of the Bankhead Tunnel, where U.S. 90 and 98 again intermingle.

Additionally, the right-angle routing of U.S. 90 through Spanish Fort retains a pair of Truck U.S. 98 shields. U.S. 98 at that point bypasses Spanish Fort and U.S. 31 to the southwest.


State Highways

Photographs and write-ups of state highways within the southwestern Alabama counties are found on our AARoads Field Guide to Alabama State Highways. Additionally many of our photographs are included in Adam Froehlig's Alabama State Ends page.

County Highways

Coverage of the various county roads for both Mobile and Baldwin Counties are found on the following guides:


Sources:

  1. "I-165 now open Route connecting downtown with I-65 in Prichard saves motorists 9 minutes in travel time,"
  2. Mobile Register. October 29, 1994.
  3. "No street lights yet on Interstate 165," Mobile Register. November 2, 1994.
  4. "I-165 delay said nothing about politics," Mobile Register. October 29, 1994.
  5. C-Ro, email: "About Mobile," May 28, 2004.
  6. Alphonso Mason, email: "Mobile City Guide Section of SouthEastRoads: Contributions." June 27, 2006.

Photo Credits:
2006-06-06, 2007-07-18 by AARoads

Page Updated 12-30-2009.

 
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