Interstate 359 is a 2.30-mile spur from Interstates 20 & 59 into Downtown Tuscaloosa near the University of Alabama campus. The highway is cosigned with U.S. 11 and Alabama 69 for the entire length, with transitions to surface streets at each end. The northbound end of Interstate 359 leads to a high level bridge over the Black Warrior River that carries U.S. 43 and Alabama 69 to Northport.

Interstate 359 fully opened to traffic on September 13, 1983 upon completion of the viaduct from the Norfolk Southern Railroad north of 31st Street to 12th Street near downtown Tuscaloosa. The highway cost $41 million to construct.1


Interstate 359 north, U.S. 11 south & Alabama 69 north
U.S. 11 south turns north from Skyland Boulevard and combines with Alabama 69 to form the freeway beginning of Interstate 359. The trio immediately enter a directional-cloverleaf interchange with Interstates 20 & 59. Traffic to the University of Alabama campus is directed northward onto the Tuscaloosa freeway spur. Photo taken 10/21/12.
The ramp for Interstates 20 east & 59 north to Birmingham departs Interstate 359 north. I-20 & 59 travel the south side of Tuscaloosa to Vance and eastward to Bessemer in the greater Birmingham area. Exit numbers at the southern terminus of I-359 are unnumbered. Photo taken 10/21/12.
A loop ramp follows onto Interstates 20 west & 59 south for an exit of Tuscaloosa. The pair venture southwest from the Tuscaloosa Western Bypass to Eutaw and Livingston through rural Greene and Sumter Counties before entering Meridian, Mississippi. Once in Meridian, the routes split for respective paths to Jackson and Laurel, Mississippi. Photo taken 10/21/12.
Exit 1 constitutes the first of two exits north along the 2.79-mile freeway. A folded-diamond interchange joins Interstate 359 with an industrial area along 35th Street, east of parallel Kauloosa Avenue. Photo taken 10/21/12.
The first shield for Interstate 359 north, posted along side markers for U.S. 11 south and Alabama 69 north ahead of Cribbs Mill Creek. Photo taken 11/28/09.
35th Street provides a connection to parallel Greensboro Avenue (Alabama 215) as it runs along side Interstate 359 through to the central business district. Greensboro Avenue was the original alignment for U.S. 11, U.S. 82 and Alabama 69 before the completion of both I-359 and McFarland Boulevard. Photo taken 10/21/12.
Interstate 359 north, U.S. 11 south & Alabama 69 north reach the Exit 1 loop ramp to 35th Street. 35th Street comprises a multi-lane arterial west from Alabama 215 (Greensboro Avenue) at 10th Avenue to Kauloosa Avenue west of I-359. The street continues west to County Road 44 and Shelton State Community College. Photo taken 10/21/12.
Next in line for northbound motorists is the diamond interchange (Exit 2) with 15th Street (U.S. 11 & U.S. 43 south) for Stillman College. Photo taken 10/21/12.
Interstate 359, U.S. 11 and Alabama 69 travel a viaduct over a Norfolk Southern Railroad line and the Tuscaloosa street grid from 21st to 17th Streets. Photo taken 10/21/12.
End Interstate 359 sign bridge posted at the Exit 2 off-ramp to 15th Street. U.S. 11 south departs Interstate 359 and Alabama 69 for an overlap with U.S. 43 to Fosters, Knoxville and Eutaw. U.S. 43 north joins Alabama 69 northbound toward downtown and the city of Northport. Photo taken 10/21/12.
Northbound Interstate 359 transitions onto a surface street (Lurleen B. Wallace Boulevard North) beyond the freeway viaduct over 15th Street. This end is very similar to Interstates 175 and 375 in St. Petersburg, Florida, with ramps connecting onto a one-way street couplet. U.S. 43 & Alabama 69 merge onto Lurleen B. Wallace Boulevard from the right and continue to University Boulevard (to Alabama 215) and the Black Warrior River bridge. Photo taken 10/21/12.
Interstate 359 south, U.S. 11 north & Alabama 69 south
U.S. 43 south leaves Lurleen B. Wallace Boulevard South for 15th Street west to Stillman College at the beginning of Interstate 359. The US highway combines with U.S. 11 south from Tuscaloosa 35 miles west to the Greene County seat of Eutaw. Photo taken 10/21/12.
A lengthy viaduct commences Interstate 359 south from 15th Street through to a Norfolk Southern Railroad line on the one-mile approach to Exit 2 with 35th Street. Photo taken 10/21/12.
A folded-diamond interchange facilitates the movements between Interstate 359, U.S. 11 & Alabama 69 with 35th Street in one half mile. The ramps to Interstates 20 & 59 follow in 1.25 miles for Birmingham and Meridian, Mississippi. Photo taken 10/21/12.
Kauloosa Avenue travels south from 31st Street through the industrial area by 35th Street to Alabama 69 south of Interstates 20 & 59. Photo taken 10/21/12.
31st Street spans Interstate 359 southbound at the ramp departure of Exit 1 for 35th Street. 35th Street heads west to County Road 44 and Shelton State Community College and east to become 10th Avenue north at Alabama 215 (Greensboro Avenue). This overhead assembly was not present in 2012. Photo taken 11/28/09.
Passing under 35th Street, four lanes of Interstate 359 south prepare to split with three lanes continuing U.S. 11 north & Alabama 69 south to Skyland Boulevard and two lanes joining Interstates 20 & 59 at the upcoming directional-cloverleaf interchange. Photo taken 10/21/12.
An end sign accompanies this sign bridge posted ahead of the unnumbered off-ramp to Interstates 20 & 59. I-20 & 59 northbound travel to the city of Birmingham in 49 miles. 85 miles to the southwest lies the southbound control city of Meridian, Mississippi. Photo taken 10/21/12.
Three lanes of Interstate 359 south, U.S. 11 north & Alabama 69 south quickly reduce to two beyond the gore point sign for Interstates 20 & 59. Photo taken 10/21/12.
A two-lane flyover winds eastward onto Interstates 20 & 59 through south Tuscaloosa and Cottondale. Traffic heading west leaves the urban area and quickly enters a swath of wetlands ahead of the Black Warrior River. Photo taken 10/21/12.
Shield assemblies usually accompany ramp splits between freeway to freeway connections in Alabama. This configuration occurs at Interstate 759's west end and at the symmetrical stacks of Interstate 459. Photo taken 10/21/12.
U.S. 11 north and Alabama 69 quickly split at the freeway end of Interstate 359. Photo taken 10/21/12.
U.S. 11 joins Skyland Boulevard, a busy commercial arterial east through southern reaches of Tuscaloosa, while Alabama 69 ventures south through growing suburban areas to Moundville and Greensboro in Hale County. Photo taken 10/21/12.
Interstate 359 scenes
Mill Creek Avenue leads north from 39th Street to end at 35th Street opposite the southbound loop ramp to Interstate 359 at Exit 1. Photo taken 09/28/03.

Sources:

  1. "Interstate link speeding traffic flow." The Tuscaloosa News, October 27, 1983.


Photo Credits:

09/28/03, 11/28/09, 10/21/12 by AARoads

Connect with:
Interstate 59
U.S. Highway 11

Page Updated 10-24-2012.