Difference between revisions of "Bessemer Super Highway"

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:''This article is about the highway, for the hip hop album, see [[2Lue]].''
 
:''This article is about the highway, for the hip hop album, see [[2Lue]].''
'''Bessemer Super Highway''' (or '''Bessemer Superhighway''', originally the '''Birmingham-Bessemer Boulevard''') is the section of [[U. S. Highway 11]] connecting the cities of [[Bessemer]] and [[Birmingham]].
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'''Bessemer Super Highway''' (or '''Bessemer Superhighway''', originally the '''Birmingham-Bessemer Boulevard''') is the section of [[U. S. Highway 11]] connecting the cities of [[Bessemer]] and [[Birmingham]]. Between [[Border Street]] and [[Western Hills Mall]], it is called '''Bessemer Road'''.
  
The divided four-lane highway, the first in the state, replaced a circuitous route through [[West End]], [[Powderly]] and [[Lipscomb]] which was slowed by numerous railroad grade crossings. It was designed in the 1930s by [[Alabama State Highway Department]] engineers who used the German ''Autobahn'' system as a model. The chosen route followed a nearly straight line between the [[Alabama State Fairgrounds]] at [[Five Points West]] to [[19th Street Bessemer|19th Street]] in the heart of downtown [[Bessemer]].
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The divided four-lane highway, the first in the state, replaced a circuitous route through [[West End]], [[Powderly]] and [[Lipscomb]] which was slowed by numerous railroad grade crossings. It was designed in the 1930s by [[Alabama State Highway Department]] engineers who used the German ''Autobahn'' system as a model. The chosen route followed a nearly straight line from [[3rd Avenue West]] in [[Fairview]], past the [[Alabama State Fairgrounds]] at [[Five Points West]] to [[19th Street North Bessemer|19th Street North]] in the heart of downtown [[Bessemer]]. It continues through Bessemer as [[9th Avenue North Bessemer|9th Avenue North]].
  
 
As the project proceeded, many of the rail lines along the route were elevated on steel and concrete trestles to bridge over the highway. The new highway itself was raised onto a long viaduct, later named the [[Mary Bryant Bridge]], as it crossed over rail yards on the way into Bessemer.
 
As the project proceeded, many of the rail lines along the route were elevated on steel and concrete trestles to bridge over the highway. The new highway itself was raised onto a long viaduct, later named the [[Mary Bryant Bridge]], as it crossed over rail yards on the way into Bessemer.
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==Notable locations==
 
==Notable locations==
===[[Birmingham]]===
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===[[Midfield]]===
* [[Five Points West]]
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* [[Weibel Drive]]/[[Aaron Aronov Drive]] (north) / [[B. Y. Williams Drive]] (south) intersection, road continues east as [[Bessemer Road]]
* [[Central Park]]
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** south side:
* [[Fairview Nursing Home]]
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*** 100: [[Egg Roll Express]], former location of [[Golden Skillet]] fried chicken (1975)
* 161: [[Riviera Fitness]]
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*** 104: [[Wendy's]]
* 616: former location of [[Carnaggio's]] restaurant
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** north side:
* 727: [[SuperThrift Outlet]]
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*** [[Western Hills Plaza]] shopping center (extends into [[Fairfield]])
* [[Midway Plaza]]
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**** 101: [[Walgreen's]] / [[Western Union]]
* 1195: [[YMCA Western Area Branch]]
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**** 103: [[Henderson's]]
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**** 127: [[Riviera Fitness Center]]
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**** 137: [[Check 'N Go]] / [[Top Fashion]]
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**** 141: [[Shoe Show Mega Store]]
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**** 155: [[Hair Show]]
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**** 157: [[Citi Trends]]
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**** 161: [[Save A Lot]]
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**** 165: [[Fred's]]
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*** 199: [[Mutual Savings Credit Union]]
  
===[[Fairfield]]===
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* [[Brookwood Road East]] / [[Brookwood Road West]] intersects (south only)
* [[Western Hills Mall]]
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** south side:
 +
*** 500: [[Midfield Motor Co.]]
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** north side:
 +
*** 401: [[T & M Wholesalers]]
  
===[[Midfield]]===
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* [[Woodward Road]] intersects
* 5323: [[Lavada's Flowers]]
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** south side:
* [[Bessemer veterans memorial]]
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*** 506: [[Adamson West]], former location of [[Bill Byrd Kia]]
* [[Woodfield Square]]
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*** 512: former location of [[Angry Revolt]] head shop
* [[Valhalla Cemetery]]
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*** 544: former location of [[Sound of Birmingham]] recording studio
* [[Angry Revolt]]
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*** 560: [[King Boyz Towing]] / [[U-Haul]] neighborhood dealer
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** north side:
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*** 549: [[DriveTime Inspection Center]], former location of [[Midfield Dodge]]
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*** 555: [[Auto Professional Car Sales]]
  
===[[Brighton]]===
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* [[High Ore Line Trail]] crosses (formerly [[High Ore Line]] railroad)
4400: [[Holiday Mobile Home Park]]
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** south side:
* [[Valley Creek]]
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*** 580: [[Midfield Paint, Body & Mechanic Shop]]
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*** 588: [[Coram Wholesale Used Tires]], former location of [[Ingels Evinrude]] (1978)
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*** 630: former location of [[WVOK-AM]] studios (1947-1980s)
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** north side:
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*** 575: [[Public Storage]]
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*** 587: [[Rockett's Car Audio Window]]
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*** 589: [[JCCEO Energy Assistance Office]] / [[Midfield Senior Nutrition Center]]
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*** 591-623: [[Woodfield Square]] shopping center, former location of [[Auto Movies #1]] (built 1948)
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**** 591: [[The Game Room]]. former [[Winn-Dixie]] location
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**** 601: [[Onyx House of Style]]
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**** 605: [[Octapharma Plasma]]
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**** 613: [[Fresenius Kidney Care Midfield]]
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**** 616: former location of [[Carnaggio's]] restaurant (1960)
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**** 623: [[Acceptance Auto Insurance]]
  
===[[Lipscomb]]===
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* [[Etheridge Drive]] intersects (north only)
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** south side:
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*** 650: [[International Auto Wholesalers]]
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*** 652: [[Phil's Tint & Alarm]]
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*** 654: [[TitleBucks]]
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*** 656: [[AutoZone]]
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** north side:
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*** 631: [[Western Health Center]] (2015-), former location of [[The Vending Center]] (demolished 2012)
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* [[Wilkes Road]] (north) / [[Cairo Avenue]] (south) intersects, numbering from Birmingham ends
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** south side:
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*** 5323: [[Lavada's Flowers]]
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*** 5317: [[Valhalla Funeral Home]]
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*** 5301: [[Pop-In 'N'-Out]] / [[Citgo]] gas station
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*** 5275: [[Lloyd's Auto Sales]]
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** north side:
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*** 5410: [[Church's Chicken]]
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*** 5400: former location of [[Paulson's Restaurant]] and [[Ma Reatha's]]
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*** 5320: [[O'Reilly Auto Parts]]
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*** 5300: [[Chevron]] gas station / [[Fedcorp]]
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===[[Brighton]]===
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* [[Wilkes Boulevard]] (north) [[Sugar Ray Drive]] (south) intersects
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** south side:
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*** 5228 [sic]: [[Car Circus]] / [[Circus Pawn Shop]]
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*** 5227: [[Hatcher Law Office]]
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*** 5205: [[Astro Auto Dismantlers]]
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*** 5203: [[Blue Bird Tires]]
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*** 5201: [[Blue Bird Sunoco]], formerly [[Blue Bird BP]]
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*** 5131: former location of [[Westwood Auto Parts]]
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*** 5137-5163: [[Smart Bidz]] electronics
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** north side:
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*** 5233 [sic]: [[Church of God In Christ]] Alabama State Headquarters
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*** 5204: [[Bre's Restaurant & Catering]], former location of [[Angela's Southern Style]]
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*** 5200: [[Great Start Child Development Center]]
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* [[Bessemer Avenue]] (north) / [[Martin Luther Avenue]] (south) intersects
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** north side:
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*** [[Rose Avenue]], access to [[Bon-Aire Community]]
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*** 5170: former location of [[Anthony Underwood Automotive]] (2011-2014)
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*** 5000: former location of [[Piggly-Wiggly]], [[Sav U Foods]] (-2012)
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** south side (Birmingham's [[Roosevelt]] neighborhood):
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*** 4901: [[Intensive Care Beauty Salon]]
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*** 4601: [[Birmingham Fire Station No. 11 (2005)]]
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*** 4545: [[Fantasyland Restaurant]], former location of [[Whitson's Famous Foods]], [[Fantasyland]] bingo parlor, originally [[Roosevelt]] City Hall
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*** 4541: [[El Molcajete]]
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*** 4539: [[Ace Motel]]
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* end of Birmingham's [[Roosevelt]] neighborhood
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** 4510: [[Diamond Club]] (2014-), former location of [[Bama Drive-In]] (built 1966), [[Club Grasshopper]], [[Palace Bingo]]
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** 4500: [[My Store]] / [[Exxon]] gas station
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** 4517: [[George's Auto Parts]] / [[RCP Auto Parts]], former location of [[Wigwam Village|Wigwam Village #5]] motor court
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** 4513: [[Super Highway Auto Sales]]
  
 
===[[Bessemer]]===
 
===[[Bessemer]]===
* 4201: [[Terrace Oaks Care and Rehabilitation Center]]
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* [[Valley Creek]] passes below
* 4301: [[Hiway Host Motel]] (originally the first [[Holiday Inn]] in Alabama and the first location of [[Michael's]] steak house)
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** 4422: [[Sublett Portable Buildings]]
* [[Auto Movies #1]] (Alabama's first drive-in cinema and the 17th in the US)
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* [[Brewer Drive]] intersects (south only)
* [[Sound of Birmingham]] recording studio
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** south side:
* [[Whitson's Famous Foods]]
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*** 4341: [[Family Dollar]]
* [[Wigwam Village]]
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*** 4325: [[Boost Mobile]]
* 4321: [[Holiday Bowl Fun Center]]
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*** 4321: [[Holiday Bowl]] (built 1959 at 4315 Bessemer Super Highway)
* 4510 [[Club Grasshopper]]
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*** 4319: [[Metro by T-Mobile]]
* 4601: [[Birmingham Fire Station No. 11 (2005)]]
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*** 4301: [[Hiway Host Motel]] (originally the first [[Holiday Inn]] in Alabama and the first location of [[Michael's]] steak house)
* 5000: [[Piggly-Wiggly]] supermarket
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*** 4201: [[Terrace Oaks Care & Rehabilitation Center]]
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*** 4105: [[Auto West Bumpers & Grills]]
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*** 4101: [[Middlebrooks Truck & Equipment]]
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*** 4005: [[Taqueria Los Diaz]] / [[Los Diaz Tienda Mexicana]], former location of [[Cuernos Chuecos]], [[Carniceria y Taqueria La Vaquita]]
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*** 3829: [[Brothers Fireworks]]
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*** 3825: [[World Famous High Roller]] event center
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*** 3801: [[Austin Auto Parts]]
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*** 3800: former location of [[Marineland]] boat sales (1976)
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*** entrance to [[Woodward Estates Mobile Home Park]]
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*** 3829: [[Life Storage]]
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*** 3345: [[Discount Auto Salvage]]
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*** 3321: [[Dollar Tree]]
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*** 3333: possible former location of [[Bessemer Lodge No. 509]] of the [[Loyal Order of Moose]] / [[Moose Park]]
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** north side:
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*** 4412: former location of [[La Plasita]] tienda (2011-2015)
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*** 4400: [[Brighton Christian Memorial]] (2015-), former location of [[Brighton Funeral Home Services]] (-2015)
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*** 4330: [[Holiday Mobile Home Park]]
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*** 4200: [[Long Lewis Western Star]], originally [[Long-Lewis Ford]]
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*** 4006: [[Anthony Underwood Automotive]] (2015-)
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*** 4000: [[EJ's Sports Bar & Grill]]
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*** 3824: former location of [[Lester Mulligan Automotive]]
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*** 3551: [[Life Storage]]
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*** 3420: [[N & N Uniforms]]
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*** 3410: [[Aligment Tire]]
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*** 3404: [[P. A. Tire Shop & Towing]]
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*** 3200: [[Holiday Food Store]], former location of [[Holiday Drug Store]]
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* [[Birmingham Southern Railroad]] crosses (road continues as [[9th Avenue North Bessemer]])
  
 
==References==
 
==References==
* Holley, Joe (n. d.) "[http://blog.al.com/archiblog/2007/11/besshighway.pdf Bessemer Super Highway]"
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* Holley, Joe (n. d.) "Bessemer Super Highway" Archiblog/AL.com
* Norris, Toraine (April 27, 2010) "Plans in works to revitalize Bessemer Superhighway area." ''Birmingham News''
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* Norris, Toraine (April 27, 2010) "Plans in works to revitalize Bessemer Superhighway area." {{BN}}
* Norris, Toraine (April 27, 2010) "History of Bessemer Superhighway." ''Birmingham News''
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* Norris, Toraine (April 27, 2010) "History of Bessemer Superhighway." {{BN}}
  
 
[[Category:Bessemer Super Highway|*]]
 
[[Category:Bessemer Super Highway|*]]
 
[[Category:Highways]]
 
[[Category:Highways]]
 
[[Category:1930s works]]
 
[[Category:1930s works]]

Latest revision as of 07:38, 2 January 2021

This article is about the highway, for the hip hop album, see 2Lue.

Bessemer Super Highway (or Bessemer Superhighway, originally the Birmingham-Bessemer Boulevard) is the section of U. S. Highway 11 connecting the cities of Bessemer and Birmingham. Between Border Street and Western Hills Mall, it is called Bessemer Road.

The divided four-lane highway, the first in the state, replaced a circuitous route through West End, Powderly and Lipscomb which was slowed by numerous railroad grade crossings. It was designed in the 1930s by Alabama State Highway Department engineers who used the German Autobahn system as a model. The chosen route followed a nearly straight line from 3rd Avenue West in Fairview, past the Alabama State Fairgrounds at Five Points West to 19th Street North in the heart of downtown Bessemer. It continues through Bessemer as 9th Avenue North.

As the project proceeded, many of the rail lines along the route were elevated on steel and concrete trestles to bridge over the highway. The new highway itself was raised onto a long viaduct, later named the Mary Bryant Bridge, as it crossed over rail yards on the way into Bessemer.

Due to the shortage of funds prevailing during the Great Depression, the State set aside plans to build large interchanges that would allow for limited freeway access. Had it been built according to the initial designs, the Bessemer Super Highway would have been distinguished, ahead of the Merritt Parkway in Connecticut and the Pennsylvania Turnpike, as the first freeway in the United States. In 1940 the highway department did install lighting along the entire route, thus creating what was, at the time, the longest "white way" east of the Rocky Mountains.

The Super Highway, as it quickly came to be known, spurred the development of new businesses catering to the driving public in the post-World War II boom. The corridor's economic growth continued nearly unabated until the completion of I-59/20.

In 2010 the Regional Planning Commission of Greater Birmingham proposed a revitalization plan for the Super Highway anchored by improved mass transit. The transit corridor would include primary stops at Five Points West, Aaron Aronov Drive/B. Y. Williams Drive, downtown Bessemer, Academy Drive, and Eastern Valley Road. Commercial revitalization would be encouraged at those intersections.

Notable locations

Midfield

Brighton

Bessemer

References

  • Holley, Joe (n. d.) "Bessemer Super Highway" Archiblog/AL.com
  • Norris, Toraine (April 27, 2010) "Plans in works to revitalize Bessemer Superhighway area." The Birmingham News
  • Norris, Toraine (April 27, 2010) "History of Bessemer Superhighway." The Birmingham News