Interstate 759 Alabama

Routing

Interstate 759 branches east from I-59 across the city of Gadsden to U.S. 411 (Rainbow Drive) south of Downtown. The four lane freeway connects with Black Creek Parkway south to Rainbow City and crosses Lake Black Creek on a causeway linking with U.S. 411 and State Route 759 east. SR 759 extends from the east end of I-759 across the Coosa River to SR 291 (George Wallace Drive).

I-759 Extension

Plans for potential extensions of Interstate 759 date back to 1985. Creating a bypass route for U.S. 431, proposals discussed taking I-759 westward to U.S. 431 in Attalla and northeastward to U.S. 278 & 431 on the east side of Gadsden.

An Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) was submitted for the eastern extension by July 2006, and an article published in The Gadsden Times on November 14, 2010, indicated that the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) suggested a parkway style design eastward to an elevated roadway at Meighan Boulevard (U.S. 431).1 This differed from previous proposals for an elevated viaduct along the entire extension.2

A study addressing traffic needs in Etowah County presented on November 16, 2015 recommended four short-term improvements over a 20-year period. Of those, an updated study for the I-759 extension was included.3

ALDOT agreed to fast track construction of the Alabama State Route 759 extension east from I-759 to the split of U.S. 278 and 431 (Meighan Boulevard) on April 3, 2017. The new road was designed as a controlled access arterial, with an at-grade intersection at George Wallace Drive and right in right out (RIRO) connections elsewhere. Work was anticipated to take two to three years to complete.4

The FHWA rescinded the Notice of Intent (NOI) for the I-759 Extension - Federal-aid project HPP-1602(539) in August 2018. The NOI was published in the Federal Register on October 4, 2004. However due to numerous impacts to historic resources identified in environmental studies and opposition, the FHWA determined the project be rescinded.5

History

Work on a $41-million project to construct the Gadsden Spur commenced in April 1982. Opening of the freeway took place on October 22, 1986. This included the two lane spur (SR 759) northeast from U.S. 411 to SR 291 (George Wallace Drive).6 A second span was built across the Coosa River along I-759/SR 759 between August 2002 and Summer 2004 at a cost of $8.4 million.7

Highway Guides

Western Terminus - Interstate 59 - Attalla, Alabama
Perspective from Interstate 759 west
Red Mountain appears on the horizon one mile ahead of the modified trumpet interchange joining Interstate 759 with I-59. Photo taken 06/25/12.
Interstate 759 crosses a pair of flood relief bridges at Big Wills Creek one half mile east of I-59. Photo taken 06/25/12.
Traffic shifts onto the ramps for Interstate 59 at the west end of the viaduct over Big Wills Creek and Brooke Avenue. A roadway stub appears for the unbuilt western extension of I-759 below the end sign. Photo taken 06/25/12.
Traffic partitions for a left side entrance ramp to Interstate 59 south to Birmingham and an auxiliary lane along I-59 northbound ahead of U.S. 278/431 (5th Avenue) at Attalla. Photo taken 06/25/12.
Historic Perspective from Interstate 759 west
All button copy guide signs along Interstate 759 westbound were replaced in June 2003. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca (03/21/03).
Westbound Interstate 759 at the ramps for I-59 and the roadway stub. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca (03/21/03).
1986 button copy signs at the ramp split for Interstate 59. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca (03/21/03).
Perspective from Interstate 59 south
Interstate 59 straddles the southwestern slope of Lookout Mountain and proceeds across the city of Attalla to I-759. Photo taken 06/18/05.
Interstate 59 enters a split-diamond interchange (Exit 183) with U.S. 278 & 431 (5th Avenue) on the one mile approach to Interstate 759 east. Photo taken 06/18/05.
I-59 southbound spans Big Wills Creek ahead of the loop ramp (Exit 182) to Interstate 759 east. Alabama 77 follows in one mile as the last Etowah County exit. Photo taken 06/25/12.
Perspective from Interstate 59 north
Interstate 59 travels seven miles northeast uninterrupted through Canoe Creek Valley. Succeeding interchanges connect the freeway with SR 77 to Attala and Rainbow City and I-759 (Gadsden Spur) east. Photo taken 06/25/12.
The folded diamond interchange (Exit 181) with SR 77 is the first of three exits along I-59 north for Gadsden. SR 77 begins at U.S. 431 on the north side of Attalla and leads south to Rainbow City and Talladega. Photo taken 06/25/12.
Entering the trumpet style interchange (Exit 182) with Interstate 759 east to Gadsden on I-59 north. ALDOT recorded 30,060 vehicles per day along this stretch of I-59 in 2010. Photo taken 06/25/12.
Eastern Terminus - U.S. 411 and Alabama 759 - Gadsden, Alabama
Perspective from 759 east
Midway across H. Neely Henry Lake along Interstate 759, one half mile from the six-ramp parclo interchange (Exits 4A/B) with U.S. 411 (Rainbow Drive). Photo taken 06/25/12.
Exit 4A departs for U.S. 411 (Rainbow Drive) south to the Clubview Heights community in south Gadsden and Rainbow City. Photo taken 06/25/12.
U.S. 411 parallels the Coosa River north from I-759 along Albert Rains Boulevard to U.S. 278 & 431 (Meighan Boulevard) at Downtown Gadsden. SR 759 continues the roadway east 0.87 miles to SR 291 (George Wallace Drive). Photo taken 06/25/12.
Historic Perspective from Interstate 759 east
Button copy signs posted one half mile out from Exit 4A to U.S. 411 south. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca (03/21/03).
Road work signs were in place for the construction of the second Coosa River bridge along SR 759 east of U.S. 411. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca (03/21/03).
State Route 759 was previously unmarked at the east end of Interstate 759. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca (03/21/03).
Button copy signs along Interstate 759 east at Exit 4B were carbon copied in Spring 2003. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca (06/19/03).
Perspective from Alabama 759 west
Alabama 759 stems south from an at-grade intersection with Alabama 291 (George Wallace Drive). The two lane roadway quickly expands into a four-lane freeway ahead of the Coosa River and ramps to U.S. 411 (Rainbow Drive). Photo taken 06/25/12.
Exit 4B departs for U.S. 411 (Rainbow Drive) north by Gadsden Mall as Alabama 759 transitions to Interstate 759. Photo taken 06/25/12.
Historic Perspective from Alabama 759 west
An Interstate 759 shield was posted at the beginning of Alabama 759 west. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca (01/11/03).
Alabama 759 expanded to four lanes at the parclo interchange joining I-759 with U.S. 411. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca (01/11/03).
Former button copy overheads at Exit 4B (U.S. 411 south). U.S. 411 parallels Interstate 59 southwest to Leeds. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca (01/11/03).
Historic perspective from U.S. 411 north
Button copy signs preceding the exchange joining U.S. 411 north with I-759 (Gadsden Spur) west and Alabama 759 east. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca (03/21/03).
U.S. 411 (Rainbow Drive) north at the westbound entrance ramp for Interstate 759. Photo taken by Ed Wilson (02/02).
Perspective from U.S. 411 south
U.S. 411 shifts onto Rainbow Drive through a commercial strip anchored by Gadsden Mall ahead of the westbound on-ramp for Interstate 759. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca (06/19/03).
This button copy sign for I-759 south on U.S. 411 was replaced by June 2003. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca (03/21/03).

Sources:

  1. "I-759 extension may have changes." The Gadsden Times (AL), November 14, 2010.
  2. "I-759 back on drawing board." The Gadsden Times (AL), June 12, 1993.
  3. "ALDOT official: I-759 extension needed." The Gadsden Times (AL), November 16, 2015.
  4. "Interstate 759 extension through East Gadsden on ALDOT's fast track." The Gadsden Times (AL), April 3, 2017.
  5. "Rescinding the Notice of Intent for an Environmental Impact Statement; Gadsden, Etowah County, Alabama." Federal Register, August 29, 2018.
  6. "I-759 opens Wednesday." The Gadsden Times (AL), October 20, 1986.
  7. "I-759 bridge closer to completion." The Gadsden Times (AL), January 25, 2004.

Page updated February 26, 2019.