Interstate 759 - Gadsden Spur

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Known as the Joe Ford Freeway, Interstate 759 comprises a 4.71-mile spur from I-59 to Gadsden in northeastern Alabama. The four-lane freeway serves southern reaches of Gadsden with interchanges at Black Creek Parkway and U.S. 411. Interstate 759 opened to traffic in conjunction with its state spur, Alabama 759, on October 22, 1986. Work began in 1982 on the $41 million project.1

A second bridge over the Coosa River for Alabama 759 opened in Summer 2004. Stub ramps at the west end of I-759 alluded to a cancelled extension to U.S. 278 & 431 west of Gadsden. Plans also originating in 1988 at the east end outlined extending the freeway to U.S. 431 (Meighan Boulevard) southeast of Gadsden.

A plan dating to at least 2009 called for extending Alabama 759 to U.S. 278/431 as a controlled access arterial. This route includes a grade separation with a Norfolk Southern Railroad line. By 2018, the Alabama Department of Transportation spent $250,000 on surveying work for the project, but right of way acquisition had yet moved forward.2

Interstate 759 East
A loop ramp forms the eastbound beginning of Interstate 759 from I-59 south. Traffic merges onto a roadway just east of a stub onto a bridge slated for two lanes, but striped for one. Photo taken 06/25/12.
Traffic from I-59 north joins I-759 east ahead of this reassurance marker. Photo taken 06/18/05.
The freeway passes over Brooke Avenue and Big Wills Creek east from the exchange with Interstate 59. Photo taken 06/25/12.
Continuing east, I-759 advances one mile to Exit 2 with Black Creek Parkway). Black Creek Parkway comprises a four-lane divided highway between 11th Street to the north and Sutton Bridge Road to the south. Photo taken 06/25/12.
One half mile west of the diamond interchange (Exit 2) with Black Creek Parkway. Black Creek Parkway ended just south of Interstate 759 at Wills Creek Road originally. An extension of the roadway southward to Sutton Bridge Road opened on August 2, 2011. Construction on the $9.4-million project commenced in March 2010.3,4 Photo taken 06/25/12.
Exit 2 departs I-759 east for Black Creek Parkway. Sutton Bridge Road extends south from Black Creek parkway to Rainbow City. Steele Station Road stems southwest from the road to SR 77 (Grand Avenue). 11th Street connects I-759 with the South Gadsden community. Photo taken 06/25/12.
Interstate 759 eastbound shield posted ahead of the Eastside Drive overpass. Photo taken 06/25/12.
Interstate 759 crosses H. Neely Henry Lake along a causeway between Eastside Drive and U.S. 411 (Rainbow Drive). U.S. 411 enters Gadsden from Ashville and Rainbow City to the southwest and meets I-759 on the north shore of the lake by Gadsden Mall. Photo taken 06/25/12.
Exit 4A takes drivers onto U.S. 411 (Rainbow Drive) southbound into Rainbow City. Like Interstate 759, Rainbow Drive travels a causeway across H. Neely Henry Lake. Downtown Rainbow City lies 3.3 miles to the southwest. Photo taken 06/25/12.
A loop ramp connects with U.S. 411 (Rainbow Drive) northbound as Interstate 759 transitions to SR 759 east. U.S. 411 follows Albert Rains Boulevard along the Coosa River into Downtown Gadsden to the north. Photo taken 06/25/12.
Alabama 759 east
Alabama 759 extends 0.866 miles east from I-759 along a four lane expressway. Photo taken 06/25/12.
Alabama 759 connects the freeway with Alabama 291 (George Wallace Drive) 0.9 miles south of U.S. 278 & 431 (Meighan Boulevard) at Hood Avenue in east Gadsden. Photo taken 06/18/05.
A truck shield for SR 291 precedes the intersection with SR 291 (George Wallace Drive). Photo taken 06/25/12.
A 0.890-mile route, SR 291 (George Wallace Drive) links SR 759 with Broad Street and U.S. 278/431 (Meighan Boulevard) via Hood Avenue. Photo taken 06/25/12.
George Wallace Drive continues south from the end of Alabama 759 as a local road to Gadsden Community College and Padenreich Avenue. Photo taken 06/25/12.
Interstate 759 West
SR 759 stems west from SR 291 (George Wallace Drive) along a four lane expressway to Interstate 759 at U.S. 411 (Rainbow Drive). SR 759 arcs southwest by a retail plaza and an arm of H. Neely Henry Lake on this stretch. Photo taken 06/25/12.
One half mile from the six-ramp parclo interchange (Exit 4) with U.S. 411 (Rainbow Drive) on SR 759 west. U.S. 411 follows Albert Rains Boulevard south froms Downtown Gadsden along the Coosa River to Rainbow Drive and H. Neely Henry Lake. Photo taken 06/25/12.
Alabama 759 spans the Coosa River ahead of the northbound off-ramp (Exit 4B) for U.S. 411. Photo taken 06/25/12.
Exit 4B leaves Interstate 759 west for U.S. 411 (Rainbow Drive) north to Downtown Gadsden. I-759 carries traffic from Gadsden and Rainbow City to Interstate 59 and the nearby city of Attalla. Photo taken 06/25/12.
A begin shield for Interstate 759 stands within the exchange at U.S. 411. Photo taken 06/25/12.
Exit 4A loops onto U.S. 411 (Rainbow Drive) southbound. Rainbow Drive straddles H. Neely Henry Lake on a narrow causeway between Gadsden and Rainbow City. The US highway meets Alabama 77 (Grand Avenue) 3.7 miles to the south. Photo taken 06/25/12.
The first westbound reassurance shield for Interstate 759 appears along the causeway across Black Creek Lake. Photo taken 06/18/05.
One mile east of the diamond interchange (Exit 2) with Black Creek Parkway. Photo taken 06/25/12.
Eastside Drive passes over the freeway at half mile ahead of Black Creek Parkway (Exit 2). Black Creek Parkway leads north to 11th Street in south Gadsden and south to Sutton Bridge Road for Rainbow City. Photo taken 06/25/12.
Westbound I-759 at Exit 2 to Black Creek Parkway. An extension of Black Creek Road opened on August 2, 2011 between Wills Creek Road, just south of I-759, and Steele Station Road at Sutton Bridge Road.3,4 Photo taken 06/25/12.
Interstate 759 continues west two miles from Black Creek Parkway to I-59. Photo taken 06/18/05.
A directional cloverleaf interchange joins Interstates 59 and 759 west of Gadsden. With the extension west to Attalla unbuilt, motorists must navigate along I-59 north to Exit 183 (U.S. 278 & 431) westbound to reach the city. Photo taken 06/25/12.
Spanning a relief channel east of Wills Creek, Interstate 759 advances to within one half mile of I-59. Photo taken 06/25/12.
Traffic shifts from the Interstate 759 mainline onto the ramps for I-59 at the bridge over Brooke Avenue and Big Wills Creek. Photo taken 06/25/12.
An Interstate 59 gore point sign stands next to the stub end of I-759 west. Photo taken 06/25/12.
Traffic separates for Interstate 59 north to Fort Payne and Chattanooga, Tennessee and I-59 south for Trussville and Birmingham. Photo taken 06/25/12.
Interstate 59 ends 79 miles to the north at I-24. Southward the freeway meets Interstate 459 in 45 miles. Photo taken 06/25/12.
Interstate 759 scenes
Freeway style guide sign posted along SR 291 (George Wallace Drive) northbound beyond SR 759 west. SR 291 arcs northeast to U.S. 278 & 431 by their crossing of the Coosa River into Downtown Gadsden. Photo taken 06/18/05.
SR 291 (George Wallace Drive) concludes at SR 759 west (signed here as SR 759 Truck). George Wallace Drive continues south to Padenreich Avenue and a grid of residential streets. SR 759 winds west across the Coosa River to become Interstate 759 at U.S. 411. Photo taken 06/18/05.
Approaching the beginning of SR 291 north and SR 759 west on George Wallace Drive northbound. Photo taken 06/25/12.
SR 759 connects George Wallace Drive with Interstate 759 at U.S. 411. SR 291 links the expressway end with U.S. 278 & 431 across from Downtown Gadsden. Photo taken 06/25/12.

  1. "I-759 opens Wednesday." Gadsden Times, October 20, 1986.
  2. "Gadsden City Council focuses on Black Creek Parkway extension." The Gadsden Times, July 5, 2011.
  3. "Mayors cut ribbon on Black Creek Parkway extension." FOX6 WBRC, July 26, 2011.
  4. "Ford: I-759 extension still happening." The Gadsden Times (AL), March 6, 2018.

Photo Credits:

06/18/05, 06/25/12 by AARoads

Connect with:
Interstate 59

Page Updated 01-08-2019.