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.
|Alternate route of US 72|
|Maintained by ALDOT|
|Length||67.526 mi (108.673 km)|
|West end||US 43 / US 72 at Muscle Shoals|
|East end||I-565 / US 72 at Huntsville|
|Counties||Colbert, Lawrence, Morgan, Limestone, Madison|
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.
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.
This section contains a table that is missing mileposts for one or more junctions.
|Colbert||Muscle Shoals||0.000||0.000||US 43 / US 72 (Lee Highway)||Western terminus|
|||2.067||3.327||SR 133 north (Wilson Dam Road)|
|||4.386||7.059||SR 157 south (University of North Alabama Highway)|
|Lawrence||Town Creek||15.300||24.623||SR 101 (Wheeler Dam Highway) – Wheeler Dam|
|Courtland||22.806||36.703||SR 33 south (Wilderness Parkway)|
|Morgan||Decatur||37.497||60.346||State Docks Road (SR 67)|
|37.977||61.118||SR 67 (Beltline Road)|
|41.344||66.537||US 31 south (6th Avenue)||Western end of US 31 overlap|
|Tennessee River||41.681||67.079||Captain William J. Hudson "Steamboat Bill" Memorial Bridges|
|Limestone||43.327||69.728||US 31 north|
|52.175||83.968||1||I-65 / I-565 begins / SR 20 ends – Birmingham, Nashville||Western end of I-565 overlap; signed as exits 1A (south) and 1B (north) eastbound; I-65 exit 340 northbound & 340A-B southbound|
|7||Madison Boulevard, County Line Road||Former SR-20 east|
|Madison||8||Huntsville International Airport|
|Madison||9||Wall-Triana Highway, Madison Boulevard|
|Huntsville||65.234||104.984||13||Madison Boulevard||Westbound exit and eastbound entrance; former SR-20 west|
|14.365||23.118||14||SR 255 north (Research Park Boulevard) – Redstone Arsenal Gate 9||Signed as exits 14A (Gate 9) and 14B (SR-255) westbound|
|15||Madison Pike, Sparkman Drive, Bob Wallace Avenue||Entrance to U.S. Space and Rocket Center|
|69.190||111.351||17A||SR 53 north (Jordan Lane) to US 72||Signed as exit 17 westbound|
|69.556||111.940||17B||SR 53 south (Governors Drive)||Eastbound exit and westbound entrance|
|71.232||114.637||19||US 231 / US 431 (Memorial Parkway, SR-1) / Pratt Avenue west, Washington Street north||Signed as exits 19A (south) and 19B (north)|
|19C||Washington Street, Jefferson Street – Downtown||Signed as exit 19A westbound|
|20||Oakwood Avenue, Andrew Jackson Way|
|73.863||118.871||21||I-565 ends (SR-2) / US 72||Eastern end of I-565 overlap|
|1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi|
- Alabama Department of Transportation, County Milepost Maps Archived 2008-06-25 at the Wayback Machine, accessed September 2007
- 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.
- Clines, Keith (September 18, 2011). "Speed limit sign mix-up on Chapman Mountain to be corrected". The Huntsville Times. Retrieved September 18, 2011.