Alabama 255 is a seven mile freeway within the city of Huntsville in northern Alabama. The highway is known as Research Park Boulevard as it bisects Cummings Research Park. Freeway interchanges include Interstate 565, Madison Pike, Bradford Drive, U.S. 72, Oakwood Road, and Plummer Road. Frontage roads connect the four-lane freeway with east-west highways north of U.S. 72.

The state route follows the frontage road system northeast from the stub end, near Plummer Road, to Alabama 53 (Ardmore County) where the designation ends. The frontage roads continue as Martin Luther King, Jr. Highway to Bob Wade Lane west of U.S. 231 & 431 (Memorial Parkway). A wide right of way within the frontage roads will eventually accommodate an extended Alabama 255 freeway. Ultimate plans see the freeway meet Memorial Parkway along Bob Wade Lane.


Alabama 255 north
Alabama 255 leaves Interstate 565, passes over a Norfolk-Southern Railroad line and quickly meets Madison Pike at a folded-cloverleaf interchange. The surface arterial serves the nearby Thornton Research Park and the mixed-use development Bridge Street Town Centre. Photo taken 12/28/09.
Next in line for Alabama 255 northbound is the six-ramp parclo interchange with Bradford Boulevard. Photo taken 12/28/09.
Bradford Boulevard joins Alabama 255 with Cummings Research Park to the west and the University of Alabama in Huntsville to the east. Photo taken 12/28/09.
Trailblazers posted along Alabama 255 north indicating the connections with U.S. 72 and U.S. 231 north. Presently there is no direct connection to U.S. 231 & 431, but an extension of the Alabama 255 freeway is planned to connect directly with the US highway near Meridianville. Photo taken 09/25/03.
Alabama 255 northbound at the eastbound ramp to Bradford Drive. Bradford Drive leads directly to Holmes Avenue (original U.S. 72) at Sparkman Drive and the University campus. Photo taken 12/28/09.
Bradford Drive ends just west at Cummings Research Park and Explorer Boulevard. Explorer Boulevard encircles the park between Alabama 255 and Slaughter Road. Photo taken 12/28/09.
U.S. 72 (University Drive) crosses paths with Alabama 255 (Research Park Boulevard) by Madison Square Mall in one half mile. Photo taken 12/28/09.
Traffic interests to U.S. 231 & 431 (Memorial Parkway) are directed onto U.S. 72 (University Boulevard) east. U.S. 72 merges with Memorial Parkway north in 4.0 miles. Photo taken 12/28/09.
Entering the six-ramp parclo interchange with U.S. 72 (University Boulevard) on Alabama 255 north. University Boulevard constitutes a busy commercial arterial from west Huntsville to Memorial Parkway north of downtown. Photo taken 12/28/09.
A loop ramp departs Research Park Boulevard north for U.S. 72 (University Drive) west to northern reaches of Madison. U.S. 72 travels 17 miles with four lanes between Alabama 255 and Interstate 65 near Athens. Photo taken 12/28/09.
Alabama 255 (Research Park Boulevard) shifts westward around the periphery of Oakwood Mountain and transitions into a Texas-style freeway with frontage roads lining both roadways. Oakwood Road is the next. Photo taken 12/28/09.
The northbound frontage road begins and leads to Oakwood Road. Oakwood Road travels west to Old Monrovia Road and Old Monrovia and east to Oakwood University and Sparkman Drive as Adventist Boulevard. Photo taken 12/28/09.
One half mile south of the diamond interchange with Plummer Road on Alabama 255 (Research Park Boulevard) north. Photo taken 12/28/09.
Slip ramps join the adjacent frontage roads to provide access to Plummer Road an east-west road between Indian Creek Road and Alabama 53 (Ardmore Highway). Photo taken 12/28/09.
Plummer Road travels by Oakwood Mountain to become Mastin Lake Road east of Alabama 53 to Davis Hills and U.S. 231 & 431 (Memorial Parkway) near Lakewood. Motorists bound for Alabama 53 north should remain on Alabama 255 north to directly access Ardmore Highway. Photo taken 12/28/09.
Alabama 255 ends as a freeway north of Plummer Road. The highway continues along its frontage road system from the 1992-freeway end to Bob Wade Lane. Extensions of the frontage roads opened north to Alabama 53 in 1996 and Bob Wade Lane in 2005.1 Photo taken 12/28/09.
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Dan Tibbs Road intersected the Alabama 255 frontage roads just north of the freeway stub end. Photos taken 12/28/09.
Dan Tibbs Road ventures west to Indian Creek Road and a handful of subdivisions and east to Alabama 53 (Ardmore Highway) at Stringfield Road.
Construction for the extension of Alabama 255 as a freeway severed the connection between west and east Dan Tibbs Road across the state route in 2011. Photo taken 12/28/09.
Traveling the eventual frontage road of Alabama 255 northward to Blake Bottom Road from Dan Tibbs Road. Photo taken 05/27/11.
Construction for the Alabama 255 overpass above Alabama 53 (Ardmore Highway) comes into view at the Research Park Boulevard frontage road intersection with Nick Fitchard Road south. Photo taken 05/27/11.
Alabama 53 crosses paths with Alabama 255 at the transition from Research Park Boulevard to Martin Luther King, Jr. Highway. The state route angles northwest along Ardmore Highway from Jordan Lane in Huntsville. Photo taken 05/27/11.
Approaching the turn lanes for Alabama 53 on Alabama 255 (Research Park Boulevard) north. Alabama 53 continues from Huntsville to Ardmore along the Tennessee state line. The state route travels the length of the state on a 366.23-mile course from Interstate 65 & U.S. 31 near Ardmore to the Florida state line near Cottonwood. Much of the highway acts as a hidden counterpart to U.S. routes. Photo taken 05/27/11.
Alabama 255 South
Alabama 255 shifts from the Research Park Boulevard frontage road system onto the freeway mainline just south of Dan Tibbs Road. The frontage roads continue to intersect Plummer Road. Photo taken 12/28/09.
Reassurance shield for Alabama 255 south posted ahead of the Plummer Road under crossing. Plummer Road travels east-west between Indian Creek Road and Alabama 53 at Ardmore Highway. Photo taken 12/28/09.
A diamond interchange joins Alabama 255 (Research Park Boulevard) with Oakwood Road west to Old Monrovia Road via the frontage road system. Photo taken 12/28/09.
Drivers bound for Oakwood Avenue depart Alabama 255 southbound at this slip ramp. Oakwood Road connects Research Park Boulevard with Oakwood University and Sparkman Drive via the transition with Adventist Boulevard. Photo taken 12/28/09.
Oakwood Road continues west from Oakwood Mountain and Alabama 255 to become Old Monrovia Road west to suburban areas of west Huntsville. Photo taken 12/28/09.
Old Monrovia Road turns south from Oakwood Road to pass under Alabama 255 at the frontage road ends, just north of U.S. 72 (University Drive). Old Monrovia Road meets University Drive by Madison Square Mall just east of the freeway. Photo taken 12/28/09.
A six-ramp parclo interchange follows between Alabama 255 (Research Park Boulevard) and U.S. 72 (University Drive). Photo taken 12/28/09.
Motorists bound for U.S. 72 (University Drive) west leave Alabama 255 south at this ramp. University Drive continues as a commercial arterial to northern reaches of Madison. Photo taken 12/28/09.
A loop ramp lowers from Alabama 255 south onto U.S. 72 (University Drive) east to Madison Square Mall and central Huntsville. Photo taken 12/28/09.
U.S. 72 continues four miles east from Research Park Boulevard to U.S. 231 & 431 (Memorial Parkway). Photo taken 12/28/09.
Alabama 255 next enters a six-ramp parclo interchange with Bradford Drive. Bradford Drive connects the freeway with Cummings Research Park to the west. Photo taken 12/28/09.
Bradford Drive continues east from Research Park Boulevard to the University of Alabama in Huntsville campus at Sparkman Drive. Photo taken 12/28/09.
Madison Pike meets Alabama 255 by the mixed-use Bridge Street Town Centre development at a folded-cloverleaf interchange. Photo taken 12/28/09.
Alabama 255 immediately meets Interstate 565 beyond Madison Pike and a Norfolk-Southern Railroad line. Interstate 565 leads west to Huntsville International Airport (HSV) and Interstate 65 outside Decatur. Photo taken 12/28/09.
Although missing a guide sign, a loop ramp joins Research Park Boulevard with Madison Pike. Madison Pike travels east to Interstate 565 and the U.S. Space and Rocket Center and west as the original alignment of Alabama 20 into the city of Madison. Photo taken 12/28/09.
Junction Interstate 565 shield assembly posted ahead of the NS Railroad under pass and directional cloverleaf interchange with the east-west freeway. Photo taken 12/28/09.
Departing next is the Interstate 565 & U.S. 72 Alternate westbound off-ramp. The tandem meet Interstate 65 and Alabama 20 west in 14 miles. Alabama 20, which used to cosign with the freeway here, begins west of I-65 and continues the drive into Decatur. Photo taken 12/28/09.
A second reminder of the westbound ramp posted on Alabama 255 (Research Park Boulevard) ahead of the loop ramp to Interstate 565 east. Research Park Boulevard becomes Rideout Road and enters Red Stone Arsenal. Photo taken 12/28/09.
Interstate 565 continues east with U.S. 72 Alternate to downtown Huntsville before merging with U.S. 72 at Chapman Mountain. Rideout Road leaves the freeway and approaches Red Stone Arsenal Gate 9. Photo taken 09/25/03.
Alabama 255 scenes
Dan Tibbs Road west at Alabama 255 (Research Park Boulevard). Alabama 255 curves northeast to Alabama 53 (Ardmore Highway), becoming Martin Luther King, Jr. Highway en route to Bob Wade Lane. Southward, the state route upgrades to a freeway to Interstate 565. Photo taken 12/28/09.

Sources:

  1. Alabama State Route 255 @ Wikipedia.org.


Photo Credits:

09/25/03, 12/28/09, 05/27/11 by AARoads

Connect with:
Interstate 565
U.S. 72

Page Updated 11-26-2011.