Alabama 22 and its companion Alabama 63 travel from U.S. 280 into downtown Alexander City (pop. 15,008). South of the city, Alabama 22 turns westward along U.S. 280 for a two-mile overlap. The east-west route links U.S. 280 with the Coosa County seat of Rockford (pop. 428) 17 miles to the west. Photo taken 09/29/03.
U.S. 280 is a four-lane divided highway between Alexander City northwest to the southeast Birmingham suburbs. There are two interchanges along this highway, one of which serves the north-south Alabama 9. Photo taken 09/29/03.
Alabama 9 is a split route with two segments. The southern segment is the hidden counterpart for U.S. 331 from Montgomery southward. The northern segment begins at U.S. 231 & Alabama 21 near Wetumpka (pop. 5,726) 34 miles to the south. The state route meets U.S. 280 six miles south of the town of Goodwater (pop. 1,633). Photo taken 09/29/03.
Alabama 21 is a lengthy state highway traveling from the Florida state line near Atmore northward through the capital city of Montgomery to Sylacauga in southern Talladega County. U.S. 280 sees an interchange with the route as it nears the city of Sylacauga (pop. 12,616) to the north. Photo taken 09/29/03.
U.S. 280 is quite scenic between Alexander City and Childersburg (pop. 4,927) with sweeping views of the Appalachian Piedmont. Pictured in this photograph is the off-ramp for Alabama 21. One mile to the north lies downtown Sylacauga. Beyond there Alabama 21 travels 22 miles to the County Seat of Talladega (pop. 15,143) and 45 miles to the city of Anniston (pop. 24,276). Photo taken 09/29/03.
Westbound U.S. 280, at the Lane Park exit. The guide signage displays "Birmingham Zoo-Gardens". Lane Park is home to the Birmingham Zoo and Botanical and Japanese Gardens. Photo taken 08/10/02.
An interchange exists with U.S. 280 and that of Park Lane Road for Lane Park. The return ramp has merged in this westbound photograph, as U.S. 280 prepares to turn northward along the Elton B. Stephens Expressway/U.S. 31. Photo taken 08/10/02.
Albeit dark, a wide view of the U.S. 31/280 stack interchange. This fully reflective signage includes Montgomery as a southbound control city of U.S. 31. The highway is designated the Montgomery Highway, and intersects Interstate 65 six miles to the south at Exit 252. Photo taken 08/10/02.
Approaching the stack interchange with U.S. 31 from the U.S. 280 expressway westbound. This button copy signage dates from the initial completion of the freeway. Note that the Homewood sign bracket may have supported a U.S. 280 westbound sign-panel at one time, but now only facilitates traffic to the local Rosedale Drive. Photo taken 02/11/01.
U.S. 31 north & 280 west
Button copy signage abounds on the U.S. 31/280 freeway. This sign bridge is located on the freeway northbound as it approaches the Highland and Arlington Avenue exit. As the limited access highway continues northward, it approaches the valley in which the central business district of Birmingham rests. Photo taken 02/11/01.
A second look at the 2009-replaced button copy signage for Highland Avenue. This sign bridge is posted just after U.S. 280 westbound merges onto U.S. 31 north. Photo taken 08/10/02.
One-half mile guide signage for the Arlington/Highland Avenue exit on U.S. 31 north/U.S. 280 westbound. Traffic merging from the right enters the freeway from 21st Avenue. Photo taken 08/10/02.
U.S. 31/280 maintain six lanes through the Highland Avenue interchange. The departing ramp connects with a frontage-type road that links Arlington and Highland Avenues. Photo taken 08/10/02.
U.S. 31 south/U.S. 280 east approaching 21st Avenue and Vulcan Park. The Elton B. Stephens Expressway sees a dramatic rock cut (the Red Mountain Geological Cut) as it ascends out of the central business district valley towards Homewood. The city of Birmingham is home to 242,820 residents, with 662,047 residents living in Jefferson County. First photo taken 02/11/01. Second photo taken 08/10/02.
Button copy signage on U.S. 31 north/U.S. 280 west for 8th Avenue near the Highland Avenue overpass. The 8th Avenue exit serves the University of Alabama at Birmingham and Saint Vincent's Hospital. Photo taken 08/10/02.
University Boulevard is added to the guide signage for the 8th Avenue exit on northbound. That is because 8th Avenue changes its name to University to the west of the interchange. The Five Points and Avondale neighborhoods of the city are accessible from this cloverleaf ramp. Photo taken 08/10/02.
A new reflectorized overhead is in place on northbound for the U.S. 78/3rd and 4th Avenue exit. Interesting enough, the lighting assembly was left in place with the sign replacement. Standard policy is to remove the lighting fixtures when replacing out of date signage. Photo taken 08/10/02.
U.S. 31 north/U.S. 280 west at the U.S. 78/3rd and 4th Avenue South exit for downtown Birmingham. Note the imprint of a shield next to the U.S. 78 shield on the right-hand panel. This is a remnant from the former downtown U.S. 280 routing. The next interchange is for U.S. 11, the last exit before the freeway ends at Interstate 20 and 59. Photo taken 02/11/01.
Another view of the button copy sign bridge on U.S. 31 north/U.S. 280 west at the U.S. 78 exit. Both 3rd and 4th Avenue are shown on the guide signage, because the exit ramp connects with 27th Street midway between the two avenues. Photo taken 08/10/02.
Button copy signage on U.S. 31 north/U.S. 280 west, announcing the upcoming junction of Interstates 20/59. The northern end of the Elton B. Stephens Expressway transitions directly onto Carraway Boulevard. Photo taken 08/10/02.
The last exits for the expressway of U.S. 31/280 north/west are for U.S. 11/1st Avenue North and 2nd Avenue North. U.S. 11 cuts through the heart of the business district, overlapping with nearby U.S. 78 two blocks to the west. Photo taken 08/10/02.
A cloverleaf ramp connects U.S. 31 north/U.S. 280 west with 2nd Avenue North. The Amtrak/Norfolk-Southern railroad lines two blocks to the south separate the geographical street designations of north and south. Photo taken 08/10/02.
U.S. 280 comes to an end one-half mile before the Interstate 20/59 and U.S. 31 stack interchange. The flyover ramps for Interstate 20/59 west/south give a sweeping view of the downtown area, with the city street grid far below. Photo taken 08/10/02.
U.S. 280 was relocated from a downtown terminus to the north end of the Red Mountain Expressway at the Interstate 20/59 interchange. This end shield is posted on at the split with Interstate 20/59 ramps on U.S. 31 northbound. The eastern terminus of U.S. 280 occurs in contrast at the small town of Blitchton, Georgia, west of Savannah. Photo taken 02/11/01.
Northbound ramps from U.S. 31 to Interstate 20/59. The signs are non-reflectorized with button copy lettering. This interchange is stacked high above the city street grid, offering a stellar view of the downtown skyline to the south and west. U.S. 31 descends back to street level as 28th Street en route to northern suburbs of Fultondale and Gardendale. Photo taken 02/11/01.
Proof of the fantastic view of the Birmingham skyline from the U.S. 31/Interstate 20-59 stack interchange. This photograph is taken from the northbound U.S. 31 to westbound Interstate 20/southbound Interstate 59 flyover. The Interstate pair intersect nearby Interstate 65 at "Malfunction Junction" two miles to the west. Photo taken 02/11/01.
2001-02-11 by AARoads. 2002-08-10 by AARoads. 2003-09-29 by AARoads.