State Route 180

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Alabama State Route 180 constitutes one of two east-west highways traveling along the coastal area of south Baldwin County. Beginning at historic Fort Morgan, the route stretches east along Fort Morgan Peninsula from Bon Secour Bay and the Gulf of Mexico to Gulf Shores.

Once within the Gulf Shores street grid, SR 180 turns northward from Fort Morgan Road onto East 2nd Street to make the connection with Canal Drive along the Intracoastal Waterway (Portage Creek). The two lane road continues east to Orange Beach and the south end of the Foley Beach Express. Rapid growth east of the toll bridge increases SR 180 into a busy arterial to SR 161 (Orange Beach Boulevard). The bulk of traffic turns south to the beaches while SR 180 continues to residential areas east of Caswell.

Alabama Route 180 East
The first Alabama 180 shield follows the exit of Dixie Graves Parkway from Fort Morgan State Park. The next Alabama 180 shield appears 20 miles east at Alabama 59 (Gulf Shores Parkway) in Gulf Shores.
The painted median, guard house and associated road widening were removed after 2006. Photo taken 08/02/06.
Alabama 180 (Dixie Graves Parkway) exits the Fort Morgan Unit of Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge. A mix of protected marshlands, condos, marinas and beach homes dot the landscape along Fort Morgan Peninsula on Alabama 180. Photo taken 08/02/06.
Continuing east along Dixie Graves Parkway southeast of St. Andrews Bay after Privateer Court. Photo taken 08/02/06.
Alabama 180 becomes Fort Morgan Road north of Little Lagoon to Alabama 59 (Gulf Shores Parkway). Photo taken 08/02/06.
Mast-arm supported traffic lights replaced a span wire signal assembly by 2006 at Alabama 59 and 180. Alabama 59 ends 1.1 miles to the south at Alabama 182 (Beach Boulevard) by the main public beach of Gulf Shores. Northward the state route meets U.S. 98 at Downtown Foley in ten miles. Photo taken 08/02/06.
Eastbound shield for Alabama 180 posted on the final stretch of Fort Morgan Road between Alabama 59 and Alabama 135. A traffic signal follows at an entrance to Wal-mart. Photo taken 06/13/10.
Alabama 135 begins at the Alabama 180 northward turn onto East 2nd Street at Gulf State Park. The state route winds around Shelby Lakes, connecting Alabama 180 with State Park Road 2 and Alabama 182 (Beach Boulevard). Photo taken 06/13/10.
Alabama 135 travels just 2.1 miles southeast from Alabama 180 through Gulf State Park. Alabama 135 appeared on the state highway map as Alabama 138 by 1948, at the same time Alabama 180 east of Alabama 59 (then Alabama 3) was numbered Alabama 160. Changes to the current numbering system were made by 1957. Photo taken 06/13/10.
Traveling northbound on Alabama 180 (East Second Street) beyond the Alabama 135 northern end. A second Foley Beach Express trailblazer was posted (removed by March 2009) along Alabama 180 eastbound for the Intracoastal waterway toll bridge and four-lane expressway from Orange Beach northward to Alabama 59 near Summerdale. Photo taken 05/16/04.
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2 photos
20th Avenue provides an alternate route to Alabama 59 (Gulf Shores Parkway) from the north-south alignment of Alabama 180 on East 2nd Street. Beyond 20th Avenue, 21st to 24th Avenues either end or pass under Gulf Shores Parkway to the west. Photos taken 05/16/04.
Reassurance shield and trailblazer assembly for Alabama 180 east and the Foley Beach Express posted along East 2nd Street north after 21st Avenue. The 2000-opened Foley Beach Express provides a second route to the Baldwin County mainland. Photo taken 05/16/04.
Alabama 180 takes an abrupt right turn from East Second Street to Canal Drive at the Intracoastal Waterway. An abutment remains at the curve from where a bridge once connected to Baldwin County Road 4 north of the canal. The adjacent Alabama 59 bridge opened in 1972. Photo taken 05/16/04.
Alabama 180 (Canal Drive) straddles the Intracoastal Waterway eastward from Gulf Shores into Orange Beach. Photo taken 05/16/04.
Interstate 10 and 65 trailblazers posted at the onset of the Foley Beach Express southern terminus along Alabama 180 eastbound. The two-lane span across the Intracoastal Waterway (Portage Creek) includes a toll charged for all passenger vehicles. The connection with Alabama 59 north from Foley guides motorists to Interstates 10 and 65.
Construction commenced in 2009 on the Baldwin Beach Express extension of the four-lane corridor along Baldwin County 28 and 83. Photo taken 08/24/03.
The upcoming traffic light represents the south end of the Express. The toll plaza for the bridge over Portage Creek lies north of waterway. From that point onward, the Foley Beach Express expands to four lanes with a wide grassy median. There are no interchanges along the highway and some businesses and residences have appeared adjacent to the route since its opening in 2000. Photo taken 08/24/03.
Alabama 180 (Canal Road) eastbound at the Foley Beach Express. The north-south road travels 17.5 miles between Canal Road and Alabama 59 near Summerdale. Vehicles carrying hazardous materials are prohibited from using the two-lane span. Photo taken 05/16/04.
Nearing the northern terminus of Alabama 161 (Orange Beach Boulevard) along Alabama 180 (Canal Road) eastbound in Orange Beach. Orange Beach Boulevard travels 1.7 miles southward to Alabama 182 (Perdido Beach Boulevard) east of Gulf State Park. Alabama 161 is the third and final state route connecting Alabama 180 and 182. Photo taken 08/24/03.
Alabama 180 eastbound at Alabama 161 (Orange Beach Boulevard) south. Alabama 161 constitutes a five-lane arterial south to a condo-heavy stretch of Alabama 182 between Romar Beach and Perdido Pass. During summer months, the intersection becomes quite congested with turning traffic.
Future plans center on a new bridge extending Orange Beach Boulevard northward across Wolf Bay to the peninsula west of Bay La Launch. If built, the likely toll road would connect with a new north-south corridor to U.S. 98 and perhaps Interstate 10. Photo taken 05/16/04.
Alabama 180 continues another 3.8 miles along Canal Road beyond Alabama 161 (Orange Beach Boulevard) to Caswell on a peninsula surrounded by Arnica Bay, Perdido Bay, and Bayou St. John. The residential route concludes with a series of ends signs beginning at Pompano Avenue. Photo taken 08/02/06.
End sign for Alabama 180 posted 500 feet from the terminus at Florida Avenue on Canal Road. Photo taken 08/02/06.
The end sign for Alabama 180 stands at the Canal Road intersection with Mississippi Avenue and Perdido Gate Drive. Photo taken 08/02/06.
Alabama Route 180 West
The westbound beginning of Alabama 180 on Canal Road at the intersection with Mississippi Avenue east of the Caswell community. Photo taken 08/02/06.
3.8 miles west of its beginning, Alabama 180 (Canal Road) intersects the northern terminus of Alabama 161 (Orange Beach Boulevard). Orange Beach Boulevard consists of a five-lane arterial 1.7 miles between Alabama 180 and Alabama 182 (Perdido Beach Boulevard). Photo taken 08/02/06.
Entering the intersection with Alabama 161 (Orange Beach Boulevard) on Alabama 180 westbound. Alabama 161 carries traffic to Alabama 182 at the condo-heavy stretch of Perdido Beach Boulevard midway between Romar Beach and Perdido Pass. Photo taken 08/02/06.
Alabama 180 (Canal Road) expands into a busy three-lane arterial between Alabama 161 and the Foley Beach Express. Photo taken 08/02/06.
Canal Road gains a north side frontage road (Commercial Way) between Oak Street and Spinnaker Way. Strip mall type development lines the service road before and after the signalized intersection with Gulf Bay Road north. Photo taken 08/02/06.
Guide signs direct motorists to the Foley Beach Express along Alabama 161 north from Alabama 182 west onto Alabama 180 to the Intracoastal Waterway toll bridge. The Baldwin Beach Express provides a direct route from the Foley Beach Express to Interstate 10. Photo taken 08/02/06.
The Wharf is a mixed-used community built north of Alabama 180 (Canal Road) at the Foley Beach Express. The mid-2000s development added three traffic lights to Alabama 180, the first with Wharf Parkway East. Photo taken 08/02/06.
Alabama 180 (Canal Road) widens to four lanes on the south side of The Wharf. A signalized intersection joins Main Street, the main entry point into the adjacent development, with Canal Road in this scene. Photo taken 08/02/06.
Westbound Alabama 180 (Canal Road) at the northbound beginning of the Foley Beach Express. The toll road initially carries just two lanes northward across the Intracoastal Waterway. Drivers turning north here may also access Wharf Lane east before committing to the toll bridge. Photo taken 08/02/06.
One final access point to The Wharf follows the Foley Beach Express on Alabama 180 west at Wharf Parkway north. Photo taken 08/02/06.
Alabama 180 (Canal Road) lines the Intracoastal Waterway after Beaver Creek Lane to Gulf State Park and the city limits of Gulf Shores. Photo taken 08/02/06.
Canal Drive carries Alabama 180 west to East 2nd Street. A stop sign is posted for the left turn onto East 2nd Street south. A bridge once connected with the East 2nd Street alignment north of the Intracoastal. Photo taken 08/02/06.
Five blocks south on East 2nd Street is the signalized intersection with East 20th and Dolphin Avenues. Motorists bound for Alabama 59 (Gulf Shores Parkway) north to Foley should use 20th Avenue to make the connection. Photo taken 08/02/06.
Continuing south on East 2nd Street and Alabama 180 between East 20th and 16th Avenues. Photo taken 08/02/06.
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2 photos
Alabama 135 loops from East Second Street southeast through Gulf State Park to Alabama 182 (Beach Boulevard). The 2.1-mile state route encircles western reaches of Shelby Lakes between Alabama 180 and the Gulf State Park Pier. Photos taken 05/16/04.
Following Fort Morgan Road away from Alabama 135 toward Alabama 59. A traffic light operates at a Wal-mart entrance midway between the two state route junctions. Photo taken 08/02/06.
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2 photos
One quarter mile west of Alabama 135 at Alabama 59 (Gulf Shores Parkway) on Alabama 180 (Fort Morgan Road). Alabama 59 constitutes a five-lane arterial between Alabama 182 (Beach Boulevard) and Foley. The state route provides the only free crossing of the Intracoastal Waterway to the Baldwin County mainland. Photo taken 05/16/04. Second photo taken 08/02/06.
The final westbound Alabama 180 shield appears 20 miles out from Fort Morgan as the state route leaves Alabama 59 in Gulf Shores. The combination of Fort Morgan Road and Dixie Graves Parkway is also designated Fort Morgan Parkway. Photo taken 08/02/06.
A scene along Alabama 180 (Dixie Graves Parkway) westbound between Gulf Shores and Fort Morgan. For the most part the highway offers a 55 MPH speed limit as it travels through forest, marshland, and a hodgepodge of beach home communities. Photo taken 08/02/06.
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2 photos
Alabama 180 straddles or passes through three units of the Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge between sections of Gulf Shores city limit and the end at Fort Morgan State Park. Photo taken 05/16/04. Second photo taken 08/02/06.
Alabama 180 officially ends at the entrance to Fort Morgan State Park. Dixie Graves Parkway continues to the Mobile Bay Ferry and Fort Morgan within the park. Since this photo was taken, the guard house was removed and the widened stretch of roadway was reconfigured into a two-lane highway. A pay station for the park now follows the ferry launch entrance. Photo taken 05/16/04.
Three quarters of a mile west of the park entrance, Dixie Graves Parkway reaches the Mobile Bay Ferry launch area on Mobile Bay. The ferry connects Fort Morgan with the east end of Dauphin Island in Mobile County. Ferries shuttle vehicles back and forth approximately every 1.5 hours and service runs between 8 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. The trip takes about 45 minutes.
Fort Morgan follows in one half mile. Constructed between 1819 and 1834, the large brick fort at Mobile Point played a vital role during the Battle of Mobile Bay during the Civil War in 1964. The fortress later served in the Spanish-American War and both world wars. Photo taken 08/02/06.

Photo Credits:

  • 08/24/03 by AARoads and Justin Cozart.
  • 05/16/04 by AARoads.
  • 08/02/06 by AARoads.
  • 06/13/10 by AARoads.

Connect with:
State Route 59
State Route 161
Foley Beach Express / Baldwin Beach Express

Page Updated 02-19-2011.