U.S. Route 278 in Alabama

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U.S. Route 278

State Route 74
US 278 highlighted in red
Route information
Auxiliary route of US 78
Maintained by ALDOT
Length199.182 mi[1] (320.552 km)
Major junctions
West end US 278 towards Amory, Mississippi and Tupelo, Mississippi
Major intersections
East end US 278 / SR 6 towards Cedartown, Georgia and Atlanta, Georgia
CountryUnited States
CountiesLamar, Marion, Winston, Cullman, Blount, Etowah, Calhoun, Cherokee, Cleburne
Highway system
  • Alabama State Highway System
SR 277US 278 SR 279
SR 73SR 74 SR 75

U.S. Route 278 (US 278), mostly internally designated by the Alabama Department of Transportation as State Route 74 (SR 74), is a major east–west U.S. highway across the northern part of the U.S. state of Alabama. West of Hamilton, SR 74 continues west to end at US 78 (unsigned SR 4), while US 278 turns south along US 43/SR 17/SR 171 to Guin, where it turns west along SR 118 to the Mississippi state line.

Route description

US 278 enters Alabama near Sulligent. After passing through the city, the route continues on a winding path until it reaches Guin, where it turns north and gains US 43. It then junctions with I-22/US 78. It eventually reaches Hamilton, where it junctions with SR 17 and turns off of US 43's right of way.

It continues on a curvy path until it reaches Natural Bridge, where it junctions with SR 5 and SR 13. It continues onward and enters the William B. Bankhead National Forest, where Double Springs lies. It junctions with SR 33 and SR 195. It continues onward, passing through Houston (AL). It then exits the National Forest and enters Addison, which is home to its junction with CR 41, which is a corridor connecting Jasper, Arley, Danville, and Decatur. It passes through much less hilly terrain and crosses the county line into Cullman County.

The route passes through slightly curvy terrain until its junction with I-65. It enters the city of Cullman and junctions with US 31 and SR 69. It continues east for about one mile from its second junction with SR 69 and junctions with SR 157. It continues east and eventually enters Holly Pond, which is home to its junction with SR 91. It continues onto Blount County.

It eventually junctions with US 231, which leads to SR 67 to the north and SR 79 south to the south in Cleveland. The main junction here is in Blountsville. The route continues through hilly terrain to SR 79 itself. It passes through hilly terrain to Snead, which is home to its junction with SR 75. It continues onward through hilly terrain to the county line to Etowah County.

The route is mostly hilly with three-lane stretches at points due to the steep uphills along the route, specifically eastbound. It reaches Altoona, where it junctions with SR 132. It continues to Ivalee, which is home to its junction with SR 179 and is also home to the Mountain Top Flea Market, among the biggest flea markets in the state. It almost immediately descends down a hill into Ridgeville, which is home to its junction with SR 77. It passes through a slight ridge cut and crosses a railroad line, where it junctions with Gallant Road at a fork and then junctions with US 431, which is a four-lane divided highway. The route joins US 431 into Attalla, which is home to its notable concurrency with US 11. US 278 and US 431 leave US 11, cross below a railroad track, and enter into Gadsden. It immediately junctions with I-59 and heads into town, where it junctions with SR 211, US 411, and George Wallace Drive, which leads to I-759. It leaves the city and finally splits off from US 431.

The route passes through Hokes Bluff on its way to Piedmont. In Piedmont, the route junctions SR 21. It then turns off of its right of way, the right-of-way becoming Nances Creek Indian Boulevard.

The route has no more major junctions at this point as it crosses through Cherokee County. It passes through highly hilly terrain and crosses into Cleburne County. It then crosses into Georgia at Esom Hill, Georgia, continuing on its way to Cedartown.


From its creation in 1955 to 1965, US-278 followed a very different route from Whitehouse to Double Springs. It followed SR-129 from Whitehouse to Haleyville; In Haleyville, the route followed SR-13 to SR-195. It would then follow SR-195 to Double Springs, where it would turn onto its present-day routing. Oddly, State Route 74 followed the present day routing between the two cities via Natural Bridge from 1956 onward.[2][3]

The routing of U.S. Route 278 in between Double Springs and Cullman has witnessed several minor changes from 1955 to the present day. From its creation until at least 1985, the route followed present-day Winston County Roads 3800 and 3700, crossing Brushy Creek at a now-abandoned bridge before climbing up to join its present-day route into Addison. On the east side of Addison, the route followed Main Street, descending down and crossing Blevens Creek at another abandoned bridge before rejoining the modern-day route.[4] Both of these routings have been replaced with straighter routings. On the west side of Cullman, the route previously descended down into a hollow where it proceeded to cross Vest Creek before climbing up the hollow and rejoining the modern-day routing; this routing was replaced in 2012 with a much straighter bridge across the same creek.[5] Until at least 1997, the route followed 4th Street into Cullman, where it engaged in a short concurrency with U.S. Route 31 before rejoining the modern-day route; this was replaced with the modern-day routing along 3rd Street.[5]

During the 1960s–1980s, there were some different variations of the routing of US 278 through the cities of Gadsden and Attalla, however construction of four-lane segments on the western side of Gadsden and in Attalla allowed the highway to be placed on its current route which has been in place since the mid-1980s.

Business plate.svg

U.S. Route 278 Business


Until the mid-1980s, a US 278 Business (US 278 Bus.) existed in the city of Piedmont. US 278 is carried on a four-lane segment that bypasses the center of Piedmont. US 278 Bus. began where the four-lane segment began on the northeast side of Piedmont, then traveled southwest into the center of the city and intersected SR 9 and then traveled to the north, concurrent with SR 9 until it intersected the four-lane US 278 on the northern edge of the city.


A four-laning project is ongoing east of Gadsden near the town of Hokes Bluff.

Major intersections

US 278 west – Tupelo

SR 118 begins
Continuation into Mississippi; western end of SR 118 concurrency
Sulligent5.7419.239 SR 17 – Vernon, Hamilton
SR 142 east
Western terminus of SR 142
SR 107 south – Fayette
Northern terminus of SR 107

US 43 south / SR 118 west / SR 171 south (11th Avenue East) / SR 142 west (11th Avenue West) – Winfield
Southern end of US 43 and SR 171 concurrencies; eastern end of SR 118 concurrency
Hamilton28.05445.149 I-22 / US 78 (SR 4) – Tupelo, BirminghamI-22/US 78 exit 16

SR 17 south / SR 171 ends – Vernon
Southern end of SR 17 concurrency; northern end of SR 171 concurrency

US 43 north / SR 17 north (Military Street North) / SR 74 west (Bexar Avenue West) – Hackleburg
Northern end of US 43 and SR 17 concurrencies; western end of SR 74 concurrency
43.48669.984 SR 253 – Hackleburg, Winfield

SR 241 north to SR 129 – Phil Campbell
Southern terminus of SR 241
48.34277.799 SR 129 – Haleyville, Brilliant, Fayette
WinstonNatural Bridge56.40290.770
SR 13 south – Tuscaloosa
Western end of SR 13 concurrency

SR 5 south / SR 13 north – Russellville, Jasper
Eastern end of SR 13 concurrency; northern terminus of SR 5
Double Springs69.277111.491
SR 195 north – Haleyville
Western end of SR 195 concurrency

SR 33 north / SR 195 south – Double Springs, Moulton
Eastern end of SR 195 concurrency; southern terminus of SR 33
CullmanCullman105.738170.169 I-65 – Birmingham, HuntsvilleI-65 exit 308
107.674173.285 US 31 (SR 3 / 2nd Avenue SW) / SR 69Western end of SR 69 concurrency
SR 69 north – Arab, Guntersville
Eastern end of SR 69 concurrency

SR 157 north / CR 719 south – Moulton, Muscle Shoals, Florence
Southern terminus of SR 157
Holly Pond120.978194.695
SR 91 south – Hanceville, Garden City
Northern terminus of SR 91
Blount126.822204.100 US 231 (SR 53) – Arab, Birmingham
Brooksville129.322208.124 SR 79 – Guntersville, Birmingham
Snead134.880217.068 SR 75 – Albertville, Oneonta
SR 132 west – Altoona, Oneonta
Eastern terminus of SR 132
SR 179 north
Southern terminus of SR 179
Attalla152.840245.972 SR 77 – Albertville, Lincoln
US 431 north (SR 1) – Albertville, Guntersville, Huntsville
Western end of US 431 concurrency
US 11 south (SR 7 / 3rd Street SW)
Western end of US 11 concurrency
US 11 north (SR 7 / 3rd Street NW)
Eastern end of US 11 concurrency
156.428251.746 I-59 – Birmingham, ChattanoogaI-59 exit 183
SR 211 north (Noccalula Road)
Southern terminus of SR 211
161.182259.397 US 411 (SR 25 / Albert Rains Boulevard) – Centre, Rainbow City, AshvilleInterchange

SR 291 south (Hood Avenue) to I-759
Northern terminus of SR 291
US 431 south (SR 1 / East Meighan Boulevard) – Anniston
Eastern end of US 431 concurrency
SR 21 south (Tom Bible Memorial Highway) – Jacksonville, Anniston, Atmore, Pensacola
Northern terminus of SR 21
SR 9 south (N. Main Street)
Western end of SR 9 concurrency
SR 9 north – Centre
Eastern end of SR 9 concurrency
CherokeeNo major intersections

US 278 east / SR 6 east – Atlanta
Continuation into Georgia
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi


  1. ^ a b "Milepost Maps". Alabama Department of Transportation. Archived from the original on April 2, 2015. Retrieved March 21, 2015.
  2. ^ http://cartweb.geography.ua.edu/lizardtech/iserv/calcrgn?cat=North%20America%20and%20United%20States&item=States/Alabama/State%20Roads//Alabama1955a.sid&wid=1000&hei=900&props=item(Name,Description),cat(Name,Description)&style=simple/view-dhtml.xsl
  3. ^ http://cartweb.geography.ua.edu/lizardtech/iserv/calcrgn?cat=North%20America%20and%20United%20States&item=States/Alabama/State%20Roads//Alabama1964a.sid&wid=1000&hei=900&props=item(Name,Description),cat(Name,Description)&style=simple/view-dhtml.xsl
  4. ^ https://ngmdb.usgs.gov/img4/ht_icons/overlay/AL/AL_Addison_303079_1969_24000_geo.jpg
  5. ^ a b "Historic Aerials: Viewer".

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