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
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.