Interstate 165 leads out of northern reaches of Downtown Mobile to Prichard and Chickasaw.
Interstate 165 is an urban spur linking I-65 at Chickasaw and Prichard with Downtown Mobile. The freeway serves the Alabama State Docks along the Mobile River while also providing part of a truck bypass for the George Wallace Tunnel along I-10 with U.S. 90 and the Africatown Bridge across the Mobile River. Spanning a number of arterial streets in Prichard and wetlands along Threemile Creek, the nearly five mile long route is elevated.
Interstate 165 was the result of the canceled proposal for I-210, an urban loop connecting I-65 in Prichard with I-10 at Water Street in Downtown Mobile. With origins dating back to 1958, I-210 represented the missing link in the Mobile Urban Interstate system. Original plans outlined a six lane, elevated roadway extending south along Water Street in Downtown Mobile. The northern extent more closely followed U.S. 43 along Telegraph Road to a point near Diaz Street in Prichard, where the loop turned west to join I-65 north of Turner Road. The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) approved the 6.25 mile route on November 20, 1980 and assigned it Interstate 210. The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) subsequently approved it on June 30, 1981.
The north end of I-210 was revised to parallel Whistler Street southeast by Downtown Prichard. Due to potential negative impacts with a viaduct separating Downtown and the Mobile River waterfront, plans for the southernmost reaches of I-210 were ultimately dropped. Correspondence between the Alabama Highway Department and FHWA no April 19, 1989 revised the route to I-165 due to the court ruling (Civil Action No. 84-1219-C-S) truncating I-210 northward from I-10 to Beauregard Street. AASHTO followed by approving both the elimination of I-210 and establishment of Interstate 165 on June 13, 1989.
Costing $240 million to construct,1 Interstate 165 opened to traffic on October 28, 1994.2
U.S. 90 and U.S. 98 Truck overlap with Interstate 165 between Beauregard Street and Bay Bridge Road at Exit 2. The two routes bypass Downtown Mobile east from I-165 along the Africatown Bridge and Cochrane Causeway south to U.S. 98 (Battleship Parkway) on Blakeley Island. U.S. 90 was realigned from an overlap with U.S. 43 alongside Telegraph Road by 1999. AASHTO formally approved the relocation of U.S. 90 and the truncation of U.S. 43 south of Bay Bridge Road on December 18, 2002. U.S. 98 Truck is the bypass route for the Bankhead Tunnel (U.S. 98) and Wallace Tunnel (I-10) across the Mobile River for trucks carrying hazardous materials (Hazmats).