U.S. Route 72 Alternate

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U.S. Route 72 Alternate

Route information
Alternate route of US 72
Maintained by ALDOT
Length67.526 mi[1] (108.673 km)
Major junctions
West end US 43 / US 72 at Muscle Shoals
Major intersections
East end I-565 / US 72 at Huntsville
CountryUnited States
CountiesColbert, Lawrence, Morgan, Limestone, Madison
Highway system
  • Alabama State Highway System
SR 19SR 20 SR 21

Alternate U.S. Route 72 (US 72 Alt.) exists in Alabama on the south side of the Tennessee River between Muscle Shoals and Decatur, while US 72 follows on the north side of the river between Florence and Athens. US 72A crosses the Tennessee River at Decatur, along with U.S. Highway 31, and follows the entire route of Interstate 565. SR-20 was co-signed with US 72A from Muscle Shoals to Huntsville but has since been truncated to the junction of I-65 just east of Decatur.

Originally, US 72A turned off SR-20 on to SR-53 / Jordan Lane in Huntsville and followed it north one mile (1.6 km) to rejoin with US 72. With the completion of I-565 in the early 1990s, US 72A was routed along with I-565 to the termination of I-565 at US 72 at Chapman Mountain.

Route description

US 72 Alt. begins at an intersection with US 43/US 72 in Muscle Shoals. Here, this road continues west as part of US 72. East of there, it intersects SR 157 at an at-grade intersection, where a concurrency begins.

A couple miles east of there, the roads split. SR 157 heads straight towards Moulton. US 72 Alt. turns due east at the interchange, heading towards Town Creek and Decatur.

US 72 Alt. enters Decatur after passing through Trinity, carrying SR 20. It serves as the northern terminus for The Beltline (SR 67) and continues eastward towards the town center. After traveling by the Old State Bank and the Dancy Polk House in the downtown area, US 72 Alt. intersects US 31. It continues over the "Steamboat Bill" Hudson Memorial Bridge, after which it and SR 20 continue east towards I-65 and I-565, while US 31 continues north towards Athens and Calhoun Community College.

After the interchange at I-65, US 72A becomes concurrent with I-565. The two routes run together for the entire length of I-565, passing through Mooresville, Madison, and Huntsville passing through intersections such as the University Drive and the elevated stretch. East of Downtown Huntsville, the routes ascend Chapman Mountain, where they intersect US 72, which serves as the eastern terminus for both I-565 and US 72A.

Major intersections

ColbertMuscle Shoals0.0000.000 US 43 / US 72 (Lee Highway) / SR 20Western terminus; western end of SR 20 overlap
SR 133 north (Wilson Dam Road) / SR 157
Western end of SR 157 overlap
SR 157 south (University of North Alabama Highway)
Eastern end of SR 157 overlap
LawrenceTown Creek15.30024.623 SR 101 (Wheeler Dam Highway) – Wheeler Dam
SR 33 south (Wilderness Parkway)
MorganDecatur37.49760.346State Docks Road (SR 67)
37.97761.118 SR 67 (Beltline Road)
US 31 south (6th Avenue)
Western end of US 31 overlap
Tennessee River41.68167.079Captain William J. Hudson "Steamboat Bill" Memorial Bridges
US 31 north
Eastern end of US 31 overlap
city line

I-65 / I-565 begins / SR 20 ends – Birmingham, Nashville
Western end of I-565 overlap; signed as exits 1A (south) and 1B (north) eastbound; I-65 exit 340 northbound & 340A-B southbound
Huntsville2Mooresville Road
55.65289.5633Greenbrier Road
county line
7[2]Madison Boulevard, County Line RoadFormer SR-20 east
Madison8[2]Huntsville International Airport
Madison9[2][3]Wall-Triana Highway, Sullivan Street, Madison Boulevard
10Town Madison Boulevard, Toyota FieldEastbound exit and entrance; westbound ramps unbuilt
Zierdt Road
Huntsville65.234104.98413Madison BoulevardWestbound exit and eastbound entrance; former SR-20 west
SR 255 north (Research Park Boulevard) – Redstone Arsenal Gate 9
Signed as exits 14A (Gate 9) and 14B (SR-255) westbound
15Madison Pike, Sparkman Drive, Bob Wallace AvenueEntrance to U.S. Space and Rocket Center

SR 53 north (Jordan Lane) to US 72
Signed as exit 17 westbound
SR 53 south (Governors Drive)
Eastbound exit and westbound entrance
71.232114.63719 US 231 / US 431 (Memorial Parkway, SR-1) / Pratt Avenue west, Washington Street northSigned as exits 19A (south) and 19B (north)
19CWashington Street, Jefferson Street – DowntownSigned as exit 19A westbound
20Oakwood Avenue, Andrew Jackson Way
I-565 ends (SR-2) / US 72
Eastern end of I-565 overlap; eastern terminus
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi


  1. ^ Alabama Department of Transportation, County Milepost Maps Archived 2008-06-25 at the Wayback Machine, accessed September 2007
  2. ^ a b c Clines, Keith (April 27, 2012). "I-565 exit numbers changed for County Line Road, airport, Wall Triana Highway". The Huntsville Times. Retrieved April 27, 2012.
  3. ^ Clines, Keith (September 18, 2011). "Speed limit sign mix-up on Chapman Mountain to be corrected". The Huntsville Times. Retrieved September 18, 2011.