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U.S. Route 72 Alternate

Alternate U.S. Route 72 (Alt. US 72) exists in Alabama on the mostly south side of the Tennessee River between Muscle Shoals and Decatur, while US 72 follows on the north side of the river between Florence and Athens. Alternate 72 crosses the Tennessee River at Decatur, Alabama along with U.S. Highway 31 and follows the entire route of Interstate 565. SR-20 was co-signed with Alt US 72 from Muscle Shoals to Huntsville. SR-20 has since been truncated to the junction of I-65 just east of Decatur.

U.S. Route 72 marker

U.S. Route 72 Alternate
Route information
Alternate route of US 72
Maintained by ALDOT
Length67.526 mi[1] (108.673 km)
Major junctions
West end US 43 / US 72 at Muscle Shoals
East end I-565 / US 72 at Huntsville
CountiesColbert, Lawrence, Morgan, Limestone, Madison
Highway system
  • Alabama Highways
SR 19SR 20SR 21

Originally, Alt US 72 turned off SR-20 on to SR-53 / Jordan Lane in Huntsville and followed it north 1-mile (1.6 km) to rejoin with US 72. With the completion of I-565 in the early 1990s, Alt US 72 was routed along with I-565 to the termination of I-565 at US 72.

Route descriptionEdit

US 72 Alt. begins at an intersection with US 43/US 72. Here, this road continues west as part of US 72. East of there, it intersects SR 157 at an at-grade intersection. Here, a concurrency begins.

A few miles east of there, the roads split. SR 157 heads straight towards Moulton. US 72 Alt. turns diagonal at the interchange, heading towards Town Creek and Decatur. US 72 Alt. heads west in Muscle Shoals on SR 157's right-of-way.

US 72 Alt. enters Decatur after leaving Trinity, carrying SR 20, and serves as the northern terminus for The Beltline(SR 67) and continues eastward towards the town center. After traveling by the Old State Bank, and the Dancy Polk House in the downtown area, US 72 Alt. has an intersection with US 31 and continues over the "Steamboat Bill" Hudson Memorial Bridge as it and SR 20 continue east towards the interchange with I-65 and I-565, while US 31 continues north towards Athens and Calhoun Community College.

Major intersectionsEdit

ColbertMuscle Shoals0.0000.000   US 43 / US 72 (Lee Highway)Western terminus
2.0673.327  SR 133 north (Wilson Dam Road)
4.3867.059  SR 157 south (University of North Alabama Highway)
LawrenceTown Creek15.30024.623  SR 101 (Wheeler Dam Highway) – Wheeler Dam
Courtland22.80636.703  SR 33 south (Wilderness Parkway)
MorganDecatur37.49760.346State Docks Road (SR 67)
37.97761.118  SR 67 (Beltline Road)
41.34466.537  US 31 south (6th Avenue)Western end of US 31 overlap
Tennessee River41.68167.079Captain William J. Hudson "Steamboat Bill" Memorial Bridges
Limestone43.32769.728  US 31 north
city line
52.17583.9681    I-65 / I-565 begins / SR 20 ends – Birmingham, NashvilleWestern end of I-565 overlap; signed as exits 1A (south) and 1B (north) eastbound; I-65 exit 340 northbound & 340A-B southbound
Huntsville2Mooresville Road
55.65289.5633Greenbrier Road
7[2]Madison Boulevard, County Line RoadFormer SR-20 east
Madison8[2]Huntsville International Airport
Madison9[2][3]Wall-Triana Highway, Madison Boulevard
Zierdt Road
Huntsville65.234104.98413Madison BoulevardWestbound exit and eastbound entrance; former SR-20 west
14.36523.11814  SR 255 north (Research Park Boulevard) – Redstone Arsenal Gate 9Signed as exits 14A (Gate 9) and 14B (SR-255) westbound
15Madison Pike, Sparkman Drive, Bob Wallace AvenueEntrance to U.S. Space and Rocket Center
69.190111.35117A   SR 53 north (Jordan Lane) to US 72Signed as exit 17 westbound
69.556111.94017B  SR 53 south (Governors Drive)Eastbound exit and westbound entrance
71.232114.63719   US 231 / US 431 (Memorial Parkway, SR-1) / Pratt Avenue west, Washington Street northSigned as exits 19A (south) and 19B (north)
19CWashington Street, Jefferson Street – DowntownSigned as exit 19A westbound
20Oakwood Avenue, Andrew Jackson Way
73.863118.87121   I-565 ends (SR-2) / US 72Eastern end of I-565 overlap
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

See alsoEdit


Route map:

KML is from Wikidata
  1. ^ Alabama Department of Transportation, County Milepost Maps Archived 2008-06-25 at the Wayback Machine, accessed September 2007
  2. ^ a b c Clines, Keith (April 27, 2012). "I-565 exit numbers changed for County Line Road, airport, Wall Triana Highway". The Huntsville Times. Retrieved April 27, 2012.
  3. ^ Clines, Keith (September 18, 2011). "Speed limit sign mix-up on Chapman Mountain to be corrected". The Huntsville Times. Retrieved September 18, 2011.