Interstate 759 is a short spur linking Interstate 59 and U.S. 411, providing the areas south of downtown Gadsden with high speed access to Interstate 59.
Plans for potential extensions of Interstate 759 date back to 1985 and continue today. These proposals extend Interstate 759 westward to U.S. 431 in Attalla and eastward from U.S. 411 to the U.S. 278 & 431 area east of Gadsden, creating a bypass route for U.S. 431. No timetable was established for any actual road work on either lengthening.
An Environmental Impact Statement was submitted for the eastern extension by July 2006, and an article published in The Gadsden Times on November 14, 2010, indicated that the FHWA suggested a parkway style design eastward to an elevated portion at Meighan Boulevard (U.S. 431).2 This was a shift from the original proposals for an elevated viaduct for the entire extension.3
Work to build Interstate 759 commenced in April 1982 on the $41-million project to construction the Gadsden Spur. Opening of the route occurred on October 22, 1986. This included the two-lane Alabama 759 spurring northeast from U.S. 411 to Alabama 291 (George Wallace Drive).1 A second Coosa River bridge was constructed at the I-759/SR 759 transition between August 2002 and summer 2004 at a cost of $8.4 million.4
Reflectorized guide signs replaced all 1986-based sign panels by June of 2003. This view looks at the one mile approach to the directional-cloverleaf interchange with Interstate 59. Photo taken 06/25/12.
Two lanes of Interstate 759 westbound prepare to partition for Interstate 59 north and south, one-half mile before the terminus. Photo taken 06/25/12.
Traffic shifts to the Interstate 59 ramps at the west end of the bridge over Big Wills Creek on I-759 west. A stub was added in original construction for the potential westward extension to Attalla. Photo taken 06/25/12.
Drivers taking the I-59 southbound ramp join the left-hand side of the freeway for the 45-mile drive to the city limits of Birmingham and junction Interstate 459. Northbound traffic next meets U.S. 278 & 431 at Attalla. Photo taken 06/25/12.
Historical Perspective from Interstate 759 west
Interstate 759 retained a bounty of vintage button copy signage on its short tenure near the city of Gadsden until June of 2003. This photograph looks at an end advisory sign and Interstate 59 guide panel, one mile before the western terminus. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca (01/11/03).
The original button copy End Interstate 759 sign as it was displayed to the left as traffic turned onto the Interstate 59 ramps below newer reflective signage. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca (01/11/03).
1986 button copy signs that directed traffic at the split for Interstate 59. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca (01/11/03).
Perspective from Interstate 59 south
Southbound Interstate 59, two miles out of the Exit 182 interchange for Interstate 759 east. Interstate 59 maintains just four lanes through the Gadsden area. Photo taken 06/18/05.
Interstate 59 enters a split-diamond interchange with U.S. 278 & 431 (5th Avenue NE) on the one mile approach to Interstate 759 east (Exit 182). Photo taken 06/18/05.
Interstate 59 southbound spans Big Wills Creek ahead of the Exit 182 loop ramp onto Interstate 759 east. Alabama 77 follows in one mile as the last Etowah County exit. Photo taken 06/25/12.
This I-759 gore point sign was installed by June 19, 2003 to coincide with sign replacements on the Interstate 759 mainline and at the eastern terminus interchange. Photo taken 06/25/12.
Interstate 759 trailblazers resides ahead of ramp stub for the planned westward extension of I-759 to Attalla. Photo taken 06/25/12.
Historical Perspective from Interstate 59 south
A replaced gore point sign for Interstate 759 east from Interstate 59 south. Did you know that Interstate 759 is the only 700 series Interstate in the entire southeast at present? This may change if Interstate 785 between Greensboro, NC and Danville, VA or Interstate 795 at Jacksonville, Florida are ever signed. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca (02/03).
Next Three Interstate Junctions for Interstate 59 south
Two miles south of Interstate 759 on Interstate 59 northbound. There are three exits that serve the greater Gadsden area: SR 77 (Exit 181), I-759 (Exit 182) and US 278 & 431 (Exit 183). Photo taken 06/25/12.
One mile south of Interstate 759 along I-59 north within the folded-diamond interchange with Alabama 77. 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.
The eastbound beginning of Interstate 759 departs from Interstate 59 as Exit 182. 30,060 vehicles per day traveled through this interchange as recorded by 2010 ALDOT traffic counts. Photo taken 06/25/12.
Historical Perspective from Interstate 59 north
1986 button copy signs along Interstate 59 north were replaced by at least January 11, 2003. One change made between the original and replacement signs is the swap of U.S. 431 and U.S. 278. Vidcap taken 09/02/98.
Like the southern terminus of Interstate 359, this replaced gore sign included an Interstate shield. Downtown Gadsden is just six miles to the east via Interstate 759 and U.S. 411. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca (01/11/03).
Next Three Interstate Junctions for Interstate 59 north
A causeway carries Interstate 759 motorists across H. Neely Henry Lake to a six-ramp partial-cloverleaf interchange (Exits 4A/B) with U.S. 411 (Rainbow Drive). Photo taken 06/25/12.
Exit 4A takes one onto U.S. 411 southbound to the nearby city of Rainbow City and Alabama 77. Photo taken 06/25/12.
U.S. 411 (Rainbow Drive) north leads to downtown Gadsden and junction U.S. 278 & 431 (Meighan Boulevard). Alabama 759 commences and continues the roadway 0.87 miles to SR 291 (George Wallace Drove) near Gadsden State Community College. Photo taken 06/25/12.
Historical Perspective from Interstate 759 east
Button copy signs posted one half mile out from Exit 4A to U.S. 411 south. Road work signs were in place for the twinning of the Coosa River bridge of SR 759 east of I-759'apos;s end. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca (01/11/03).
More original signage had faced Interstate 759 eastbound motorists. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca (01/11/03).
1986 button copy signs posted at the ramp departure of Exit 4B from Interstate 759 east. Construction involving the expansion of Alabama 759 to two bridges across the Coosa River was underway. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca (01/11/03).
Signs along Interstate 759 east at Exit 4B were carbon copied from their original design. 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 bridges. The spans lead directly into Exits 4B/A for U.S. 411 (Rainbow Drive). Photo taken 06/25/12.
Exit 4B departs Alabama 759 west as Interstate 759 begins. Photo taken 06/25/12.
Historical 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).
Two lanes of Alabama 759 expanded into four at the three-quarter cloverleaf interchange with U.S. 411. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca (01/11/03).
A look at the button copy overheads that were posted at Exit 4B (U.S. 411 south). U.S. 411 parallels Interstate 59 southward to its terminus at Leeds east of Birmingham. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca (02/03).
Perspective from U.S. 411 north
U.S. 411, like I-759, spans H. Neely Henry Lake along a causeway leading into their junction. Traffic departs Rainbow Drive north for SR 759 east in this scene to East Gadsden. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca (06/19/03).
A left-hand turn takes motorists from U.S. 411 (Rainbow Drive) north onto Interstate 759 west. The Gadsden Spur uses the control cities of Interstate 59. Photo taken by Ed Wilson (02/02).
Historical Perspective from U.S. 411 north
Button copy signs that were posted along U.S. 411 (Rainbow Drive) north at the eastbound off-ramp to Alabama 759. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca (02/03).
Perspective from U.S. 411 south
U.S. 411 southbound leaves a commercial strip anchored by Gadsden Mall and splits with the westbound off-ramp to Interstate 759. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca (06/19/03).
Historical Perspective from U.S. 411 south
The 1986 button copy guide sign posted as U.S. 411 south for I-759 west. A left-hand turn follows for SR 759 east. Vidcap taken 08/06/99.
A replacement of the gore point sign for U.S. 411 south, before it too was replaced by summer 2003. U.S. 411 reaches Rainbow City in three miles. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca (02/03).
"I-759 opens Wednesday." The Gadsden Times, October 20, 1986.
"I-759 extension may have changes." The Gadsden Times November 14, 2010.
"I-759 back on drawing board." The Gadsden Times June 12, 1993.
"I-759 bridge closer to completion." The Gadsden Times January 25, 2004.