Interstate 459

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Interstate 459 or I-459 is the 32.8 mile southern by-pass route of Birmingham. During its 33 mile journey, it serves the southern and eastern suburbs including Bessemer, McCalla, Helena, Hoover, Mountain Brook, Vestavia Hills, Irondale, and Trussville. A proposed "Northern Beltline", dubbed Interstate 422, will continue the loop around Birmingham in northern and western Jefferson County.

History

First envisioned in the late 1960s as I-59A, construction began in the late 1970s and was completed in 1985. I-459 is one of only three spur/loop routes with I-59 serving as its parent. Additionally, this is the only interstate by-pass to be constructed within the state of Alabama.

Of note is Exit 15 at the I-65 interchange. This stack interchange holds the record for the costliest interchange ever constructed within the state of Alabama. It will retain this title until the I-22 I-65 interchange is completed in Birmingham during the mid-2010s.

Expansion

Aside from the continued development of Interstate 422, and the occasional repaving projects carried out through the years, there have been some improvements and expansions to the highway since its completion to alleviate congestion.

  • Exit 19

To alleviate congestion at the Highway 280 interchange, a flyover ramp was constructed from the southbound lanes to eastbound 280 in the direction of Childersburg during the early 1990s.

In 2004 additional lanes were added to eastbound Highway 280 over I-459 to alleviate heavy congestion at the interchange due to a bottleneck created from a faulty configuration.

  • Exit 13A

To alleviate congestion at the Highway 31 interchange in Hoover, a flyover ramp was constructed from the southbound lanes to provide for a direct connection to the Riverchase Galleria and Alabama 150. Completed in 2002, the Galleria Boulevard exit became necessary as a result of traffic consistently backing up to the I-65 interchange with both local and mall traffic. Additional lanes between the I-65 interchange and Galleria Boulevard were also constructed as part of the project.

Development

Since its completion, I-459 has served as a catalyst for the rapid growth and expansion into eastern and southern Jefferson County. Significant development, both commercial and residential, has occurred at all of its exits from Trussville to Bessemer. Some of the more notable developments include:

Control cities

Along the northbound lanes, both Atlanta and Gadsden are used as control cities between Exits 1 & 29. Between Exits 29 & 33 only Gadsden is used. Along the southbound lanes, both Montgomery and Tuscaloosa are used between Exits 33 & 15. Between Exits 15 & 0 only Tuscaloosa is used.

Exit listing

Exit Number Route Served Municipality Direction Number of Lanes Miles to the Next Exit Moving Northbound
0 I-20/I-59 Bessemer S 2 1.87
1 Jefferson County 18 Bessemer N & S 2 4.56
6 Jefferson County 52 Bessemer N & S 2 4.32
10 Alabama State Route 150 Hoover N & S 3 3.21
13A Galleria Boulevard Hoover S 3
13B Highway 31 Hoover N & S 3 1.41
15 I-65 Hoover N & S 3 2.01
17 Acton Road Hoover/Vestavia Hills N & S 3 2.64
19 Highway 280 Mountain Brook N & S 3 3.96
23 Liberty Parkway Mountain Brook N & S 3 3.36
27 Grants Mill Road Irondale N & S 3 1.95
29 I-20 Irondale N & S 3 1.60
31 Derby Parkway Birmingham N & S 3 1.96
32 Highway 11 Trussville N & S 3 0.49
33 I-59 Trussville N 3 End

External Links

  • AARoads, Interstate 459 Highway Guide. [1].

References

  • State of Alabama Official 2005-2006 Highway Map
  • AARoads, Interstate 459 Guide. 11 Aug 2006 [2].