Any problem that ensues on the interstate system in Birmingham today has a pretty good chance of rapidly deteriorating into major traffic jams. Because we don’t yet have the Northern Beltline, east-west travelers passing through Birmingham have little option but to use the I-20/59 corridor through downtown, vastly magnifying any traffic issues that occur.
John Cooper writes, in an Op-Ed for AL.COM:
Look at what happened when I-20 East was recently closed for rebuilding. During peak travel periods, traffic from downtown Birmingham to the interchange between I-20/59 and I-459 was gridlocked. I know this because I was stuck there with you. And, as we inched along together, I noticed the line in front of me was dominated by large trucks. Knowing how information travels quickly among truckers, I couldn’t help but wonder why they were in this situation. Why did they not go another route?
Again, the answer is simple: there is no other route.