Interstate 759 Alabama

Interstate 759 Alabama
History
East End
West End

Overview

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 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

The Alabama Department of Transportation (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 U.S. 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The FHWA rescinded the Notice of Intent (NOI) for the I-759 Extension – Federal-aid project HPP-1602(539) in August 2018.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impacts to historic resources identified in environmental studies and opposition, the FHWA determined the project be rescinded.5

The I-759 connector received $65 million in funding from ALDOT on May 4, 2022. Right of way acquisition commences in October 2022, followed by utilities relocation. Construction contracts for the four lane boulevard are anticipated for letting in early 2024.8

History

Interstate 759 was one of three routes submitted for the statewide proposed urban Interstate numerology by the Alabama State Highway Department to the American Association of State Highway Officials (AASHO). Previously numbered in plans as Route C59, as the spur into Tuscaloosa was Route A59 and the loop around Birmingham was Route B59, I-359, I-459 and I-759 were all approved by AASHO on November 10, 1958.

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 connector (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

Route Information

  • East End – Gadsden, AL

  • West End – Attalla, AL

  • Mileage – 4.50

  • Cities – Attalla, Gadsden, Rainbow City

  • JunctionsI-59

Source: December 31, 2021 Interstate Route Log and Finders List

I-759 Annual Average Daily Traffic (AADT)

Location Vehicles per day
I-59 to Exit 2 18,867
Exits 2 to 4 23,484
Exit 4 to SR 291 28,098

Source: 2020 AADT – Alabama Traffic Data

Gadsden, AL - 1980
Interstate 759 under construction – 1980 Alabama Official Highway Map

The route of SR 227 shown on the Gadsden inset is now a part of the 4.6 mile long SR 211.

US 411 south at I-759 - 1999

Former button copy sign for I-759 on U.S. 411 south. 08/06/99

Highway Guides

East End US 411 SR 759 – Gadsden, Alabama

I-759 East at US 411 SR 759

I-759 east at US 411 - Gadsden, AL

Midway across H. Neely Henry Lake, Interstate 759 advances a half mile to the six-ramp parclo interchange (Exits 4 A/B) with U.S. 411 (Rainbow Drive). 07/26/22

I-759 east at US 411 - Gadsden, AL

Exit 4 A departs for U.S. 411 (Rainbow Drive) south to the Clubview Heights community in south Gadsden and Rainbow City. 07/26/22

I-759 east at US 411 - Gadsden, AL

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). 07/26/22

SR 759 West at I-759 US 411

I-759 west at US 411 - Gadsden, AL

SR 759 stems south from an at-grade intersection with SR 291 (George Wallace Drive) initially with two lanes. The roadway quickly expands into a four lane freeway ahead of the Coosa River and Exit 4 to U.S. 411 (Rainbow Drive). 07/26/22

I-759 west at US 411 - Gadsden, AL

Exit 4 B departs for U.S. 411 (Rainbow Drive) north by Gadsden Mall as State Route 759 transitions to Interstate 759. 07/26/22

I-759 west at US 411 - Gadsden, AL

A begin shield for Interstate 759 stands between Exit 4 B and Exit 4 A westbound. 07/26/22

I-759 west at US 411 - Gadsden, AL

U.S. 411 (Rainbow Drive) angles southwest 3.5 miles from I-759 to SR 77 (Grand Avenue) in Rainbow City. 07/26/22

US 411 South at I-759

US 411 south at I-759 - Gadsden, AL

U.S. 411 shifts onto Rainbow Drive through a commercial strip anchored by Gadsden Mall ahead of the westbound entrance ramp to Interstate 759. Photo by Chris Patriarca (06/19/03).

US 411 North at I-759

US 411 north at I-759 - Gadsden, AL

Signs for the eastbound entrance ramp from U.S. 411 (Rainbow Drive) to SR 759 for East Gadsden omit the state route. 07/26/22

US 411 north at I-759 - Gadsden, AL

U.S. 411 (Rainbow Drive) north at the westbound entrance ramp for Interstate 759. 07/26/22

I-759 East End Throwback

I-759 East at US 411 SR 759

I-759 east at US 411 - 2003

Button copy signs posted one half mile out from Exit 4 A to U.S. 411 south. Photo by Chris Patriarca (03/21/03).

I-759 east at US 411 - 2003

Road work signs were in place for the construction of the second Coosa River bridge along SR 759 east of U.S. 411. Photo by Chris Patriarca (03/21/03).

I-759 east at US 411 - 2003

State Route 759 was previously unmarked at the east end of Interstate 759. Photo by Chris Patriarca (03/21/03).

I-759 east at US 411 - 2003

Button copy signs along Interstate 759 east at Exit 4 B were carbon copied in Spring 2003. Photo by Chris Patriarca (06/19/03).

I-759 east at US 411 - 2012

Clearview font based sign replacements made after 2019 omitted the exit tab for U.S. 411 north. 06/25/12

SR 759 West at I-759 US 411

SR 759 west at I-759/US 411 - 2003

An Interstate 759 trailblazer was posted at the beginning of SR 759 west. Photo by Chris Patriarca (01/11/03).

SR 759 west at I-759/US 411 - 2003

SR 759 expanded to four lanes at the parclo interchange joining I-759 with U.S. 411. Photo by Chris Patriarca (01/11/03).

I-759 west at US 411 - 2003

Former button copy overheads at Exit 4 B / U.S. 411 south. U.S. 411 parallels Interstate 59 southwest to Leeds. Photo by Chris Patriarca (01/11/03).

I-759 west at US 411 - 2012

Sign replacements made where SR 759 west transitions to Interstate 759 omitted exit tabs for both ramps to U.S. 411 (Rainbow Drive). 06/25/12

US 411 South at I-759

US 411 south at I-759 - 2003

This button copy sign for I-759 south on U.S. 411 was replaced by June 2003. Photo by Chris Patriarca (03/21/03).

US 411 North at I-759

US 411 north at I-759 - 2003

Button copy signs preceding the exchange joining U.S. 411 north with I-759 (Gadsden Spur) west and SR 759 east. Photo by Chris Patriarca (03/21/03).

US 411 north at I-759 - 2002

U.S. 411 (Rainbow Drive) north at the westbound entrance ramp for Interstate 759. Photo by Ed Wilson (02/02).

West End I-59 – Attalla, Alabama

I-759 West at I-59

I-759 west at I-59 - Gadsden, AL

Red Mountain appears on the horizon one mile ahead of the modified trumpet interchange joining Interstate 759 with I-59. 07/26/22

I-759 west at I-59 - Gadsden, AL

Interstate 759 crosses a pair of flood relief bridges at Big Wills Creek one half mile east of I-59. 07/26/22

I-759 west at I-59 - Gadsden, AL

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. 07/26/22

I-759 west at I-59 - Gadsden, AL

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. 07/26/22

I-59 North at I-759

I-59 north at I-759 - Gadsden, AL

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. 11/03/11

I-59 north at I-759 - Gadsden, AL

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. 11/03/11

I-59 north at I-759 - Gadsden, AL

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 and 32,563 in 2020. 07/26/22

I-59 South at I-759

I-59 south at I-759 - Gadsden, AL

Interstate 59 straddles the southwestern slope of Lookout Mountain and proceeds across the city of Attalla to I-759. 07/26/22

I-59 south at I-759 - Gadsden, AL

Interstate 59 enters a split diamond interchange (Exit 183) with U.S. 278/431 (5th Avenue) one mile ahead of Interstate 759 east. 07/26/22

I-59 south at I-759 - Gadsden, AL

I-59 southbound spans Big Wills Creek ahead of the loop ramp (Exit 182) to Interstate 759 east. SR 77 follows in one mile at the last exit in Etowah County. 07/26/22

I-759 West End Throwback

I-759 west at I-59 - 2003

All button copy guide signs along Interstate 759 westbound were replaced in June 2003. Photo by Chris Patriarca (03/21/03).

I-759 west at I-59 - 2003

1986 button copy signs at the ramp split for Interstate 59. Photo by Chris Patriarca (03/21/03).

I-759 west at I-59 - 2003

Westbound Interstate 759 at the ramps for I-59 and the roadway stub. Photo 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.
  8. “Etowah County getting $120 million in highway projects, including I-759 connector.” AL.com, May 4, 2022.

Page updated July 29, 2022.