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Author Topic: Alabama 5  (Read 2015 times)

bugo

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Alabama 5
« on: September 20, 2017, 07:22:16 PM »

Why does AL 5 follow the path it follows between Woodstock and Jasper? It follows US 11 and US 78 and goes through Birmingham. Why was a state highway cutoff between Woodstock and Jasper never built? After all that 'plexing it only goes as far north as Natural Bridge. Does it have something to do with the terrain or is it something else? It just seems strange that it goes so far out of the way.
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rcm195

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Re: Alabama 5
« Reply #1 on: September 20, 2017, 08:58:56 PM »

I canít answer all your questions but Iíll take a stab at some of them. AL 5 used to have its northern most terminus where currently US 43 and AL 13 intersect in Franklin County.

It originally followed the route of AL 195 from Jasper to Double Springs to Haleyville. The current route was only open to traffic after AL 5 was finished from the Winston/Walker county lines north to Haleyville. This was done sometime in the 1950ís according to my father. The Walker county section was done during the depression(1930ís). Thatís why it has no shoulders, is narrow and crooked. It was mostly built by hand, pics and shovels. My Father told me once he remembered seeing it built.

I would love to know the reason ALDOT decided to extend AL 13 along this route and remove AL 5. I can only guess it had to do with AL 13 having a direct connection to I-22 and being a newer road.

I was also wondering if anyone knew if any new work was planned on the four lane segment through Winston County.
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Mapmikey

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Re: Alabama 5
« Reply #2 on: September 21, 2017, 06:44:48 AM »

AL 5 originally ran from the MS state line and used today's AL 18 to Vernon; US 278 to Guin; US 43 to Hamilton, then went to Phil Campbell; AL 13 to Florence; AL 17 into TN.

The only state highway originally north or northwest out of Jasper was AL 43 which went to Double Springs, Haleyville, and Phil Campbell.

The highway at Woodstock, then AL 35, went south via today's AL 5 to end at today's AL 22.  Woodstock to Bessemer was its own corridor and did not meet the route from Tuscaloosa to Birmingham until Bessemer which is where AL 35 ended. 

By 1927, AL 35 was cut back to Woodstock when US 11 was moved from AL 216/CR 36 to its current corridor.

By 1942, AL 5 was in its more familiar position, with its north end using US 43 into TN.  There was still no road from Jasper to Hamilton, so looking at a map the routing doesn't look so out of shape.

Jasper to Hamilton became AL 5 between 1957-61 per Rand McNally.
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Re: Alabama 5
« Reply #3 on: September 21, 2017, 09:04:10 AM »

Regarding why there's no road between Woodstock and Jasper, the terrain in western Jefferson County is VERY hilly.  Those same hills have also added to the cost and complexity of the proposed Birmingham Northern Beltline.
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The Ghostbuster

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Re: Alabama 5
« Reply #4 on: September 21, 2017, 04:32:30 PM »

This may be off-topic, but why are a bunch of US Highways co-designated with State Highway routes throughout the Southeastern States? Were those the pre-existing designations of the highways before the US Highway System debuted in 1926?
« Last Edit: September 27, 2017, 03:56:54 PM by The Ghostbuster »
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Aerobird

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Re: Alabama 5
« Reply #5 on: September 21, 2017, 07:24:52 PM »

This may be off-topic, but why are a bunch of US Highways co-designated with State Highway routes throughout the Southeastern States. Were those the pre-existing designations of the highways before the US Highway System debuted in 1926?
Partially that, partially that, as U.S. routes occasionally change, the DOTs maintain 'underlying', normally 'hidden' route numbers for maintinance purposes.

For instance, US-319 between Tallahassee and Crawfordville used to follow a routing on Woodville and Shadeville highways before, at some point, switching to Crawfordville Highway. The former route 'reverted' to its underlying designations of FL-363 and FL-61 (the latter now mostly CR-61 due to a secondary-route handover), while the latter route has the designation FL-369.

The same applies to Interstate highways - I-10 is FL-8, I-75 is FL-93, etc.
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formulanone

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Re: Alabama 5
« Reply #6 on: September 21, 2017, 08:49:17 PM »

Regarding why there's no road between Woodstock and Jasper, the terrain in western Jefferson County is VERY hilly.

There's also loads of iron ore and some coal mining in the area west of Birmingham, and there's many dead-end roads.

The population is also sparse in the triangle between Bessemer, Tuscaloosa, and Jasper.

Charles2

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Re: Alabama 5
« Reply #7 on: September 22, 2017, 10:59:38 PM »

Given the insignificance of SR-5 north of its junction with US-11 at Woodstock, I don't quite understand why it isn't truncated there, then perhaps giving the route between Jasper and US-278 a different route number (perhaps a northern extension of SR-269).  At the same time, at least in my mind, it would make sense to extended the SR-118 designation along "Old 78" between Jasper and Graysville.  Either that, or return US-78 to its original route...but I don't think that is going to happen.

Or...for a far-fetched, makes no sense idea, extend US-280 northward from I-20/59 along Carraway Boulevard with US-31 to Finley Boulevard (unsigned AL-378), then west to Bankhead Highway where it would share a concurrency with US-78 to Graysville, then route 280 from there to Jasper along the former route of 78, then continue along the what is now SR-5 where it would terminate at US-278.
« Last Edit: September 22, 2017, 11:10:54 PM by Charles2 »
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codyg1985

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Re: Alabama 5
« Reply #8 on: September 26, 2017, 07:54:28 AM »

Given the insignificance of SR-5 north of its junction with US-11 at Woodstock, I don't quite understand why it isn't truncated there, then perhaps giving the route between Jasper and US-278 a different route number (perhaps a northern extension of SR-269).  At the same time, at least in my mind, it would make sense to extended the SR-118 designation along "Old 78" between Jasper and Graysville.  Either that, or return US-78 to its original route...but I don't think that is going to happen.

Or...for a far-fetched, makes no sense idea, extend US-280 northward from I-20/59 along Carraway Boulevard with US-31 to Finley Boulevard (unsigned AL-378), then west to Bankhead Highway where it would share a concurrency with US-78 to Graysville, then route 280 from there to Jasper along the former route of 78, then continue along the what is now SR-5 where it would terminate at US-278.

I like your idea of truncating AL 5 at Woodstock. To do some more renumbering, I would have AL 33 replace AL 195 south to Jasper, then have AL 129 replace AL 195 between Double Springs and AL 243, then extend AL 243 south to US 278 in Double Springs. Then reroute AL 69 around Jasper along I-22 then to Industrial Parkway

Briefly AL 118 was posted through Jasper to where at the time US 78 came back to its original alignment at Industrial Pkwy, but it was later truncated to its current eastern terminus. I wished that either ALT US 78 was signed or that US 78 was returned to its original alignment.
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bugo

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Re: Alabama 5
« Reply #9 on: September 26, 2017, 01:26:19 PM »

Does Alt US 78 exist along old US 78? Different maps that I have seen show different things. Does US 78 really exit I-22 at Graysville and head along the old highway into Birmingham? If so, that doesn't make a whole lot of sense unless they moved US 78 back to the old road.
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bugo

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Re: Alabama 5
« Reply #10 on: September 26, 2017, 01:34:20 PM »

Speaking of I-22, wasn't it supposed to end at US 31? I see on some satellite imagery that the roadways and even a couple of bridges have been built but the roadway abruptly ends just east of I-65.
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Charles2

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Re: Alabama 5
« Reply #11 on: September 26, 2017, 08:05:43 PM »

Does Alt US 78 exist along old US 78? Different maps that I have seen show different things. Does US 78 really exit I-22 at Graysville and head along the old highway into Birmingham? If so, that doesn't make a whole lot of sense unless they moved US 78 back to the old road.

It exists on paper, but the route is signed only as AL-5.
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Charles2

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Re: Alabama 5
« Reply #12 on: September 26, 2017, 08:13:51 PM »

Does Alt US 78 exist along old US 78? Different maps that I have seen show different things. Does US 78 really exit I-22 at Graysville and head along the old highway into Birmingham? If so, that doesn't make a whole lot of sense unless they moved US 78 back to the old road.

That's the long-term plan, but in reality it's not needed at this time.  South of its junction with I-65, US-31 is essentially a local route, so there is no real need for I-22 to connect with it.
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bugo

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Re: Alabama 5
« Reply #13 on: September 26, 2017, 08:36:42 PM »

Does Alt US 78 exist along old US 78? Different maps that I have seen show different things. Does US 78 really exit I-22 at Graysville and head along the old highway into Birmingham? If so, that doesn't make a whole lot of sense unless they moved US 78 back to the old road.

That's the long-term plan, but in reality it's not needed at this time.  South of its junction with I-65, US-31 is essentially a local route, so there is no real need for I-22 to connect with it.


Why did they build bridges for an alignment that they didn't have immediate plans of extension? Those bridges will be old and obsolete by the time the highway opens.
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Voyager75

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Re: Alabama 5
« Reply #14 on: September 27, 2017, 09:19:28 AM »

Does Alt US 78 exist along old US 78? Different maps that I have seen show different things. Does US 78 really exit I-22 at Graysville and head along the old highway into Birmingham? If so, that doesn't make a whole lot of sense unless they moved US 78 back to the old road.

I don't think anybody knows where 78 officially exists southeast of Jasper, ALDOT included. It's still signed as exiting I-22 in Graysville and still signed all the way into Birmingham along the original route. But there are new US 78 signs posted beside I-22 signs on the newer section before the terminus with I-65. US 78N and US 78S anyone?

And AL 5 should terminate at US 11 in Woodstock. It's just a pointless concurrency past that point except for the section between Graysville and Jasper but that's just thanks to the 22/78 situation.
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rcm195

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Re: Alabama 5
« Reply #15 on: September 28, 2017, 05:18:37 PM »

Politics my friends. Walker County politicians will never allow the state to give up a road such as AL 5 north between Graysville and Jasper. Same in Winston County. On the other hand, Walker County has for years wanted to extend AL 18 from Oakman on to Dora. Having a state highway cutting through the southern part of the county. The state will not do it because of the bridge at Cordova over the Warrior River. They extend 18? Means they take over maintenance of that bridge. Just simple politics.

I actually like the idea of extending US 280 on through Birmingham into northwest Alabama.
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codyg1985

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Re: Alabama 5
« Reply #16 on: November 21, 2017, 09:47:00 AM »

Politics my friends. Walker County politicians will never allow the state to give up a road such as AL 5 north between Graysville and Jasper. Same in Winston County. On the other hand, Walker County has for years wanted to extend AL 18 from Oakman on to Dora. Having a state highway cutting through the southern part of the county. The state will not do it because of the bridge at Cordova over the Warrior River. They extend 18? Means they take over maintenance of that bridge. Just simple politics.

I actually like the idea of extending US 280 on through Birmingham into northwest Alabama.

I remember hearing about the proposal of extending AL 18 across south Walker County (I don't remember from where), but I didn't know the reason for why it never happened.  Maybe now that I-22 is finished it could at least be extended to there?

One thing that I wonder about is if or when AL 102 will be extended on a new alignment from AL 124 to I-22? The overpass sign at that interchange (Exit 53) says AL 102, and I remember discussions of extending AL 102, but nothing has ever come of it.
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