Interstate 565 Alabama
Interstate 565 constitutes a freeway leading east from I-65 and U.S. 72 Alternate at the city of Decatur Madison, Huntsville and U.S. 72 across Chapman Mountain. I-565 directly replaced portions of U.S. 72 Alternate and Alabama 20. Completion of the freeway fueled growth in the Huntsville area in conjunction with research at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center and the Redstone Arsenal.
ALDOT officials planned a three-mile extension of Interstate 565 eastward over Chapman Mountain to a new split-diamond interchange at Moores Mill and Shields Roads. Construction of the $21.5 million project was slated to start in 2007.1 Work was shelved however and subsequently reevaluated.
A public meeting held December 15, 2011 outlined a $30-million interchange design eliminating the intersection at High Mountain Road. This change would have extended the limited access highway portion of U.S. 72 to Shields Road.7 Instead work through February 2016 expanded the existing at-grade alignment of U.S. 72 to six lanes and made improvements at the intersection with Moore Mill Road.8
$9.4-million in construction from December 2013 to April 10, 2015 added two ramps at Interstate 565 and County Line Road.9 These movements complimented the adjacent wye interchange with Madison Boulevard.
A directional T interchange was proposed along Interstate 565 around a half mile west of the Zierdt Road underpass for the Town Madison project. Located on the south side of I-565 at Zierdt Road, Town Madison was envisioned as a big box power center with 1.5 million square feet of retail and commercial space. Approved by the Alabama Department of Transportation (ALDOT) and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) on August 28, 2015, work was scheduled to begin in 2016 and run through June 2017.11 The interchange was previously proposed in 2007, but traffic numbers at the time did not support it.10
High Priority Corridor
Interstate 565 is part of High Priority Corridor 7: U.S. 72 and High Priority Corridor 11: ADHS Corridor V.
19.2 miles of I-565 were added to the Interstate system in 1969 and approved by AASHTO on June 23, 1969.5 Construction would take over two decades, with the freeway fully open by December 1991.6 Further work extended the freeway slightly east with the May 17, 2004 opening of the interchange at U.S. 72 (Lee Highway), Maysville Road and I-565 at Chapman Mountain (Exit 21).2
A westward extension of the limited access highway from I-65/565 to the U.S. 31 bridges over the Tennessee River was previously considered. The Fiscal Year 2005 Federal Transportation Department appropriations bill passed by Congress on November 20, 2004, included $3 million to begin efforts to extend Interstate 565 west to Decatur.3 Further funds were identified in the SAFETEA-LU legislation that was signed by President Bush in August 2005.
East End – Huntsville, AL
West End – Decatur, AL
Mileage – 21.40
Cities – Decatur, Madison, Huntsville
- Junctions –
Source: December 31, 2018 Interstate Route Log and Finders List
I-565 Annual Average Daily Traffic (AADT)
Source: 2017 AADT – Alabama Traffic Data
ALDOT Transportation Planning Bureau
Interstate 565 directly overlaid or replaced U.S. 72 Alternate between Decatur and Huntsville.
The North Huntsville bypass (SR 255) would have provided traffic relief to U.S. 72 across Chapman Mountain. Only the west leg of SR 255, between I-565 and SR 53, was constructed as a full freeway.
East End – Huntsville, Alabama
East End Throwback
West End – Decatur, Alabama
Throwback – North at
- “I-565 could go beyond Shields Road.” Huntsville Times (AL), August 15, 2004.
- Lamb, Daniel. “I-565 Exit 21 Now Open.” Online posting, Yahoo Groups – Southeast Roads and Transport, May 17, 2004.
- “Appropriations bill includes $3 million for I-565 extension: Money to be used to stretch road west toward Decatur”
http://www.al.com/news/huntsvilletimes/index.ssf?/base/news/1101204900271040.xmlin Huntsville Times, November 23, 2004.
- Philip R. “I-269 broken link / I-565 info and question / I-69 MS info.” Personal Email, 1/18/08.
- “Confusing signs to be changed.” Gadsden Times (AL), December 18, 1991.
- “The Interstate System.” Tuscaloosa News (AL), September 21, 1969.
- “Change of plans for U.S. 72 project at Moores Mill, Shields roads.” The Huntsville Times (AL), December 13, 2011.
- “Driving You Crazy: Hwy. 72 & Chapman Mountain.” WHNT (Huntsville, AL), October 21, 2015.
- “County Line Road, I-565 interchange to open Friday.” Decatur Daily (AL), April 9, 2015.
- “New I-565 interchange is big win for Town Madison shopping complex.” The Huntsville Times (AL), September 4, 2015.
- “New I-565 interchange approved for Madison.” WHNT (Huntsville, AL), August 28, 2015.
Page updated February 27, 2019.