US 11 is a US Highway in the US state of Alabama. The road forms a north-south route that runs diagonally across the state, following the route of Interstate 59 in Alabama. The road serves the larger towns of Tuscaloosa, Birmingham and Gadsden. The route is 403 kilometers long. The road bears the administrative number SR-7.
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The US 11 in Cuba.
At the village of Cuba, US 11 enters the state from Mississippi. US 11 in Mississippi comes from the town of Meridian, just across the border. After a few kilometers you cross the US 80, which runs from Interstate 59 towards Demopolis and the capital Montgomery. US 11 has 2×1 lanes and runs through densely wooded, but flat area. The road parallels the double -numbered I-20 and I-59to the northeast. On the first 120 kilometers there are only villages on the route. Here and there you pass through some open areas, but in general there are forests along the road. At Epes one crosses the river Noxubee, and next to the road runs a railway line. US 43 joins in the village of Eutaw, coming from Demopolis and the city of Mobile from the south. Both roads are then provisionally double numbered until Tuscaloosa. At the village of Knoxville, the road crosses I-20/I-59 and continues on the north side of it. Just before Tuscaloosa, the road crosses the Black Warrier River.
You then reach the town of Tuscaloosa, which has 83,000 inhabitants. One then crosses the Black Warrior Parkway, a kind of ring road around the city, after which the road runs through the city and forms a wide boulevard. The road network is built in a grid pattern, and the number of homes per block is low, leaving a lot of space for greenery. The road then crosses the northern end of Interstate 359, a short spike from I-20/I-59. US 11 then turns south, while US 43turns north towards Florence in the northwest part of the state. The road runs past the Amtrak station of Tuscaloosa and the road has 4 lanes without a median strip. Crossing the I-20/I-59, the road turns east again on Skyland Boulevard, a wide 2×2 lane road with many businesses and shops with huge parking spaces. One then crosses US 82, which enters Mississippi from Columbus and runs to the capital Montgomery in the southeast. US 11 then continues through the commercial strip and intersects I-20/I-59 again and then continues through the Cottondale suburb. You then leave the city and the road crosses I-20/I-59 once more before walking south of it again.
The road then heads east, and the landscape is still wooded with small slopes. A large Mercedes-Benz plant is sandwiched between US 11 and the highway near Vance, Alabama is one of the most important states for the auto industry next to Michigan. 174,000 cars are made each year, most of which are transported by train to distribution centers elsewhere. At the village of Rickey, US 11 merges with I-20/I-59 to run double-numbered to the Birmingham suburb of Bessemer.
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Birmingham Metropolitan Area
Near the Birmingham suburb of BessemerUS 11 continues on its own route, forming a main road with 2×2 lanes and traffic lights, along which are work and retail locations. The road here is called the Bessemer Super Highway. Bessemer is an industrial suburb whose population is declining slightly. So there are quite a few places in the housing blocks that have been emptied. One passes through the suburbs of Midfield and Fairfield, which merge seamlessly. The road has 2×2 or 4 lanes with exits from homes and businesses. The road then veers east into Birmingham itself. The area is built in a grid pattern of roads measuring 100 by 150 meters with about 15 to 20 houses per block. The road runs through the somewhat older neighborhoods of Birmingham with a run-down working-class area with terraced houses. You then come across a business and office area where you can find theInterstate 65 crosses. From US 11 there is only a ramp to the south, for the north direction one has to be a few blocks away. The road then runs through the 4-lane city center past Birmingham Amtrak station. Here are some higher office buildings along the road.
One then crosses US 31, the Red Mountain Expressway, a short highway through downtown to I-20/I-59. You then pass through an industrial part of Birmingham and there is a large blast furnace along the road that is considered a historic landmark as it dates from 1882 and was closed in 1971. These are the poorer neighborhoods and run-down areas of the city. A number of disused railway lines also run through it. One then crosses the Interstate 20, which has meanwhile turned off the I-59 and towards Atlantaruns east. US 11 heads northeast, following I-59. The road then forms a commercial strip through residential areas and intersects with I-59. The road is then called the Gadsden Highway and passes through the eastern suburbs of Birmingham. These are clearly more prosperous areas of the conurbation. One then crosses Interstate 459, which forms Birmingham ‘s southern and eastern bypass, terminating nearby at I-59. The road then leaves the conurbation.
US 11 at Reece City, near Gadsden.
The road then continues northeast, parallel to I-59. At Argo one crosses it again to walk north of it. The next larger town, Gadsden, is about 30 miles away. The area is again heavily wooded, but a bit more hilly than before Birmingham. The road parallels steep ridges and crosses US 231 at Ashville, which runs from the town of Huntsville in the north to the state capital Montgomery in the south. The road then runs right past the 37,000 inhabitants town of Gadsden. Here you cross the US 431, the road from Huntsville to Columbus in the south. You don’t get through the city itself, and just past Gadsden you cross the I-59 again. There is then a steep ridge between US 11 and I-59. One then passes through Fort Payne, a small town nestled in a narrow valley. It is the last larger town before the Georgia border. The road then crosses the border into Georgia right next to Interstate 59. US 11 in Georgia then continues towards the city of Chattanooga.
US 11 was one of the original US Highways of 1926 and has always passed through Alabama. US 11 has always been one of the more important US Highways in Alabama because of its passing importance, as well as connecting the largest city of Birmingham to Tuscaloosa and Gadsden, two other regional cities. From the mid-1960s, US 11 gradually became less important as Interstate 59 in Alabama was built parallel to it. By the mid-1970s, US 11’s through-service had been completely eliminated as I-59 was completed.
Because I-59 was built parallel to US 11, US 11 itself has not been developed to a high standard, no parts have been constructed as a freeway. Most of US 11 is also single-lane, only in the Birmingham area US 11 often has 2×2 to 2×3 lanes due to the commercial importance of the road, with a lot of activity along this corridor. US 11 runs through the centers of most towns, with the notable exception of the city of Gadsden, which US 11 passes west of.
Because the road runs parallel to I-59, that highway handles most of the traffic. There are only 2,750 vehicles per day near Cuba, and further north there are barely a thousand. Even when the US 43 merges with the US 11, there is hardly any more traffic. In the city of Tuscaloosa there is of course more traffic, about 23,700 vehicles per day. Outside the city, this drops again to 3,000 to 4,000 vehicles. In the urban area of Birminghamthere is more traffic, between 20,000 and 30,000 vehicles per day, mainly because a lot of activity is located along the road. Due to the center of Birmingham, that is not much higher. Outside the city this drops again to about 2,000 vehicles per day. Only 870 vehicles cross the Georgia border every day.