Opened to traffic on October 28, 19941, Interstate 165 provides access from Downtown Mobile to Prichard and Interstate 65 near Chickasaw. Costing $240 million to build,2 the freeway serves the Alabama State Docks along the Mobile River at its south end while also linking with the Henry Aaron Loop in Mobile. Overall carrying six lanes, the highway is elevated for approximately four miles. Overhead lighting assemblies line the 4.90-mile freeway for its entire length.
Interstate 165 travels near Downtown Prichard into the northern reaches of Downtown Mobile.
Interstate 165 was created in place of the canceled Interstate 210 proposal. Interstate 210, with origins dating back to 1958, was the missing link in the Mobile Urban Interstate system between Interstate 65 and Interstate 10. Due to the impact on the Downtown Mobile area and access to the Mobile River waterfront, it was decided to curtail the southernmost reaches of Interstate 210 in favor of a spur routing of the freeway between Interstate 65 and Beauregard Street. Since I-210 no longer connected two Interstates or connected to I-10, the planned freeway was renumbered as the spur designation I-165. AASHTO approved the elimination of Interstate 210 and the designation of Interstate 165 from an application by the state of Alabama on June 7, 1989. More history of I-210 is available at the Interstate 210 Alabama guide.
Interstate 165 between the south end and Exit 2 (Bay Bridge Road) overlaps with U.S. 90 and Truck U.S. 98. U.S. 90 used to travel through Downtown Mobile in conjunction with U.S. 98, but was rerouted onto Truck U.S. 90-98 over the Cochrane-Africatown Bridge and Bay Bridge Road in 1999. Interstate 165 and Truck U.S. 98 provide a mandatory bypass of the Bankhead (U.S. 98) and Wallace Tunnels (Interstate 10) under the Mobile River for hazardous material based cargo. The Cochrane Bridge also provides an alternate route for traffic between Interstates 10 and 65 away from Downtown Mobile.
Southern Terminus - U.S. 90 & Truck U.S. 98 at Beauregard and Water Streets - Mobile, Alabama
Perspective from Interstate 165 south
An end sign precedes the conclusion of Interstate 165 south by one mile as the freeway viaduct elevates over the State Docks Railroad line. Photo taken 11/25/14.
Interstate 165 ends at the intersection of Beauregard and Waters Street next to the GM&O Transportation Center. The left-hand lane connects with Beauregard Street east to Delchamps Drive and the Alabama State Docks. Photo taken 11/25/14.
The viaduct separates and the speed limit reduces as Interstate 165 lowers toward Water Street. An on-ramp enters from the left that once carried U.S. 43 from Telegraph Road onto Beauregard Street west. Photo taken 11/25/14.
Conception Street Road ties in from the right, bringing the south end of Interstate 165 to six lanes. Water Street begins ahead and comprises a six-lane boulevard to the central business district and Interstate 10. U.S. 90 west follows Beauregard Street to Broad Street south, where it meets U.S. 98 at Spring Hill Avenue. Photo taken 11/25/14.
Water Street northbound approaches the signalized intersection with Beauregard Street and northbound beginning of Interstate 165. U.S. 90 follows Beauregard Street west onto Broad Street south as part of the Henry Aaron Loop encircling Downtown Mobile. Photo taken 11/23/14.
Three lanes advance northward beyond Beauregard Street onto both Interstate 165 north & U.S. 90 east. Beauregard Street west carries the Truck route for U.S. 98 west toward Spring Hill Avenue while tieing into the Alabama State Docks just to the east. Photo taken 11/23/14.
An off-ramp quickly departs from the beginning of Interstate 165 for a Conception Street Road. This ramp was formerly a part of the U.S. 43 mainline, before the bridge over the adjacent state docks railroad tracks was demolished. U.S. 43 ends just east of I-165 along U.S. 90 (Bay Bridge Road). Photo taken 11/23/14.
See the Water Street section of the Mobile City Guide for more photos from this perspective.
Perspective from Beauregard Street (U.S. 90/Truck U.S. 98 east) east
U.S. 90 (Beauregard Street) eastbound at Water Street south and Interstate 165 north. U.S. 90 joins the northbound freeway through to Bay Bridge Road (Exit 2) to make the journey east into Baldwin County. Photo taken 11/25/14.
Beauregard Street west leaves the Alabama State Docks and Dekle Street to meet Interstate 165 north & U.S. 90 east at Water Street and the GM&O Transportation Center. U.S. 90 west follows Beauregard Street onto Broad Street south to Government Street. with Photo taken 07/17/07.
Nearing the Wilson Avenue on-ramp, northbound Interstate 165 sees a diagrammatic sign for Interstate 65 (Exits 1A/B). Photo taken 11/23/14.
Leaving the central Prichard area and the Whistler Street on-ramp, Interstate 165 expands to four lanes in anticipation of the ramp split to Interstate 65 (Exits 1A/B). Three lanes carry motorists onto Interstate 65 south ahead of its interchange with U.S. 45 (St. Stephens Road). Photo taken 11/23/14.
Drivers partition to Interstate 65 north (Exit 1B) and south (Exit 1A) as Interstate 165 ends. Motorists continuing northbound next enter the communities of Chickasaw, Saraland and Satsuma on the 160-mile drive to Montgomery. Photo taken 11/23/14.
The first guide sign for Interstate 165 (Exit 9) resides ahead of the six-ramp parclo interchange (Exit 8) with U.S. 45 (St. Stephens Road). Photo taken 11/22/08.
The on-ramp from U.S. 45 north adds an auxiliary lane to Interstate 65 north for Interstate 165 south at Exit 9. I-165 provides part of a commuter route to Downtown Mobile from west Mobile. Photo taken 11/21/08.
Interstate 65 northbound enters the directional T interchange (Exit 9) with Interstate 165 south. Two lanes depart for Interstate 165, with the far right-hand lane quickly departing for Exit 1B / Whistler Street into Prichard. Photo taken 10/10/11.
The first sign posted for Interstate 165 appears just south of Alabama 158 & 213. Interstate 65 widens to six lanes from Exit 13 southward through to the southern terminus at I-10. The freeway passes through Chickasabogue Park ahead of Chickasaw and the split with Interstate 165. Photo taken 11/20/15.
Traveling through the diamond interchange (Exit 10) with West Lee Street in Chickasaw, motorists along I-65 south are now 0.75 miles from the split with I-165 (Exit 9). Photo taken 11/20/15.
The on-ramp from West Lee Street adds a fourth southbound lane to Interstate 65 through to the two-lane off-ramp (Exit 9) for Interstate 165. Photo taken 11/20/15.
Interstate 165 branches southeast from I-65 through Prichard to Downtown Mobile. The freeway provides part of a preferred through route for U.S. 98 between Semmes and the Baldwin County beaches per trailblazer signage posted along I-165 and Bay Bridge Road (U.S. 90). Photo taken 11/20/15.