Interstate 65 travels the height of the state between Mobile and the Tennessee state line. The freeway serves the three largest cities and counties of Alabama along a 366.23 mile course. Signs posted periodically along Interstate 65 throughout the state of Alabama refer to it as the "Heroes' Highway". This designation was established in July 2002 in remembrance of Johnny Michael Spann, a CIA officer killed in the Afghanistan war and the victims of the September 11 terrorist attacks of 2001.

Interstate 65 stays west of the built-up areas of Saraland and Satsuma through rural interchanges with Celeste Road and U.S. 43. This view looks north at the four-lane freeway from Mobile County Road 41. 07/17/07
Dead Lake Road meanders east from U.S. 43 at Creola to Dead Lake under the Mobile River Delta bridges of Interstate 65. The only ground-level accessible view of the Interstate 65 Mobile River Delta bridges by car is available from this road. 06/03
A westward view from the Alabama 225 overpass over Interstate 65. In the distance, the beginning of the Tensaw River bridge is visible. Pavement in southern Alabama, northwest Florida, and southern Mississippi is often bleached red. This is due to the native red clay that is used for the bases of roadways in the region. 07/01
A rare Deep South Snow event blanketed up to four inches of snowfall across lower Alabama on this day, transitioning the normally green pine forested frontage of Interstate 65 into a scene more accustomed to northern reaches of the freeway. This view looks northeastward from the Alabama 41 overpass. 02/12/10

Interstate 65 Alabama Guides

A $67.5 million project expands a 3.5 mile section of Interstate 65 in Shelby County from four to six lanes. Started on January 15, 2018, construction widens I-65 between Exit 238 (U.S. 31) at Alabaster and Exit 242 (CR 52) at Pelham. Addressing growing traffic congestion along I-65, the project was announced by Governor Kay Ivey on May 11, 2017. It ran through Fall 2020.9

Alabama's first section of Interstate highway opened to traffic was an eight mile stretch of Interstate 65 north of Birmingham. The freeway replaced U.S. 31 near the community of Warrior when it opened December 10, 1959.1 26 miles of Interstate 65 opened between Clanton and Calera on March 23, 1961.2 Just a week later, a 16-mile drive from a point 5.6 miles north of Warrior to Cullman opened on April 1, 1961.3 The first section of Interstate 65 to open in Mobile was the 6.816-mile segment between U.S. 90 (Government Boulevard) and U.S. 45 (St. Stephens Road) on January 4, 1963. The road cost $12.7 million to build.4

5.8 miles of Interstate 65 between U.S. 31 and Pine Level opened to traffic in 1965.5 Work on completing Interstate 65 in northern Alabama continued with the May 20, 1981 opening of an 11.7-mile section between Alabaster and Hoover.6 Later that year Interstate 65's bridge and elevated section over the Mobile River delta opened at a cost of $136 million on October 2.7 The last stretch in the state was completed December 19, 1985 entailing the 14 miles between Lewisburg and Warrior.8

A snowy view of Interstate 65 leading southwest from the Alabama 41 overpass in rural Conecuh County. Snow is extremely rare in lower Alabama and on this afternoon, many area residents used hillsides within interchanges of the freeway with make shift sleds. 02/12/20.
Sunset over the Interstate 65 crossing of the Alabama River from Riverfront Park in Downtown Montgomery. 10/06/12
Morning traffic slows due to road construction north of the diamond interchange (Exit 238) with U.S. 31 near Alabaster. 11/04/09
The $168.6-million project to complete the easternmost 2.5 miles of Interstate 22 included expansion of I-65 with collector distributor roadways north from Daniel Payne Drive (Exit 264) to U.S. 31 (Exit 265B). The interchange with I-22 opened to traffic on June 20, 2016. 10/08/16
Interstate 65 scenes
Northbound along the East I-65 Service Road at the on-ramp to Interstate 65 north of U.S. 98 (Moffett Road) in Mobile. 11/21/08
Interstate 65 northbound shield posted along the I-65 Service Road north at Exit 22 in Creola. The service road parallels the freeway from Lister Dairy Road to the Jim Bell Branch. 10/25/03
A companion shield directs traffic from the I-65 Service Road in Creola onto Interstate 65 north in Creola. The Sailor Road bridge over Interstate 65 opened in 1976. Interstate 65 otherwise ended here between 1970 and 1981. 10/25/03
Escambia County Road 1 southbound at the Interstate 65 southbound on-ramp at Exit 54. CR 1 joins the freeway with the Poarch Creek Indian Reservation and Atmore. 06/01/02
Reassurance marker for County Road 6 posted after Interstate 65. The freeway through Conecuh County is very rural and only a handful of traveler services options are available. 06/02/11
Lowndes County Road 6 stems east from County Road 26 near Tyson to meet Interstate 65 at Exit 158. A short distance ahead is the Montgomery County line and transition to CR 24 (Cloverfield Road). 12/31/08
Conecuh County Road 6 crosses paths with Interstate 65 at a diamond interchange (Exit 83) near Sand Cut. Construction of the freeway within Conecuh County was completed by 1960. 06/02/11
Prior to June 2016, Interstate 22 ended just shy of Interstate 65 near Coalburg in north Birmingham. The connection then between Corridor X and I-65 was achieved by taking Jefferson County Road 77 (Coalburg Road) south to Daniel Payne Drive east and Exit 264. Daniel Payne Drive changes names to 41st Avenue North at the Sayreton community. Pictured here is a traffic light with 20th Street North ahead of the southbound on-ramp to Downtown Birmingham. 06/02/11
Widening of Interstate 65 through the 41st Avenue North interchange resulted in the replacement of the northbound loop ramp with a new ramp to the south. This work was completed in anticipation of Interstate 22 (Corridor X). 06/02/11
County Road 5 pentagon posted west of Interstate 65 at Sulphur Springs. The rural highway leads southwest toward Red Hill, Empire and Summiton. 12/28/09
Approaching the diamond interchange with Interstate 65 (Exit 289) along Blount County Road 5 northbound. 12/28/09
Interstate 65 travels south 29 miles to Birmingham from County Road 5 at Sulphur Springs. Huntsville is a 61-mile drive to the north via Interstates 65 and 565. 12/28/09
This shield assembly directed motorists onto Interstate 65 from County Road 5 north at Exit 289. The first stretch of Interstate 65 in Alabama opened on December 10, 1959 between here and Warrior (Exit 282). 12/28/09
Morgan County Road 55 (Pike Road) links the town of Falkville with Interstate 65 at Exit 322. Guide signage for the diamond interchange references Nashville, the original northbound control city of Interstate 65. References to Nashville were mostly greened out with Huntsville in the 1990s to coincide with the 1991-completion of Interstate 565. 12/28/09
Motorists bound for Interstate 65 south to Birmingham depart County Road 55 east. I-20/59 are a 61-mile drive to the south. Northward, I-65 meets Interstate 565 in 18 miles. 12/28/09

  1. "First Link Of State's New Interstate System To Be Opened." Times Daily (Florence, AL), December 3, 1959.
  2. "Another Section Of Interstate Highway Opened." Times Daily (Florence, AL), March 23, 1961.
  3. "Another Section Of Highway Opens." Times Daily (Florence, AL), March 31, 1961.
  4. "Patterson Helps Dedicate Road." The Tuscaloosa News, January 6, 1963.
  5. "61 Miles of Interstate Will Open During 1965." Times Daily (Florence, AL), May 11, 1965.
  6. "Interstate section opening up." The Tuscaloosa News (AL), May 20, 1981.
  7. "James Dedicates Bridge; Links Montgomery, Mobile." Times Daily (Florence, AL), October 3, 1981.
  8. "Highway official says I-65 delays may have benefited Birmingham." Gadsden Times (AL), December 19, 1985.
  9. "Widening of I-65 in north Shelby County to begin this week." The Birmingham News (AL), January 14, 2018.

Photo Credits:

06/01/02, 10/25/03, 11/21/08, 12/31/08, 12/28/09, 06/02/11 by AARoads

Connect with:
Interstate 10
Interstate 20
Interstate 59
Interstate 165
Interstate 459
Interstate 565
U.S. 31
U.S. 80
U.S. 82

Page Updated 11-22-2020.

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