According to Iamaccepted, US 82 is a US Highway in the US state of Alabama. The road forms an east-west route through the center of the state, passing through the city of Tuscaloosa and the capital, Montgomery. The route is 386 kilometers long.
US 82 west of Tuscaloosa.
Mississippi – Tuscaloosa
US 82 in Mississippi crosses the state line between Mississippi and Alabama near Columbus. While US 82 on the Mississippi side forms a freeway around the city of Columbus, US 82 on the Alabama side is a 2×2 divided highway with at-grade intersections. The road leads in a southeasterly direction through densely wooded area that is slightly hilly. A route of more than 70 kilometers follows to the regional city of Tuscaloosa. There are only two other villages on the route before reaching Tuscaloosa.
US 82 forms a bypass of Tuscaloosa. The northern part is an urban arterial with 2×3 lanes and many strip malls. The eastern part is semi-grade and has a bridge over the Black Warrior River. On the north side of Tuscaloosa it crosses US 43, on the east side Interstate 20 and on the south side US 11.
Tuscaloosa – Montgomery
US 82 at Centerville, between Tuscaloosa and Montgomery.
After Tuscaloosa, a 150-mile route begins southeast through the sparsely populated central part of Alabama to the capital, Montgomery. From Tuscaloosa, the first 50 kilometers to Centerville have been developed as a 2×2 divided highway, after that US 82 is largely single-lane to the Montgomery region. The road leads through a very densely forested region. There are few other through roads in this area, mainly secondary state routes are crossed. The landscape is slightly undulating, but because of the dense forest, it is hardly noticeable. US 82 has a bypass around Prattville, a small town just before Montgomery. At Prattville you cross the US 31 and US 82 then hitchhike on Interstate 65 into the town of Montgomery.
Montgomery – Georgia
US 82 zips north-south through Montgomery on I-65, crossing the Alabama River at its center. On the south side of Montgomery, US 82 exits from I-65 and then follows South Boulevard, a 2×2 lane urban arterial that also coexists with US 80. The area mainly consists of strip malls. To the southeast of Montgomery, US 82 exits the city ring road and exits the city, merging with US 231.
Further out of Montgomery, US 82 and US 231 split. US 82 then follows a somewhat more secondary route eastwards, with a mostly single-lane stretch for 75 miles to Eufaula, a small town on the Georgia border. The US 82 also leads here mainly through densely wooded area. There is a short 2×2 lane around Union Springs, which also crosses US 29. In Eufaula you cross the US 431. One then crosses the Walter F. George Reservoir, a reservoir in the Chattahoochee River on the border with the state of Georgia. US 82 in Georgia then continues to Albany.
According to acronymmonster.com, US 82 was added to the network of US Highways in 1932, but did not run through Alabama at the time, its eastern terminus was Columbus, Mississippi, just outside the Alabama border. In 1934, the eastern terminus was changed to Tuscaloosa, which was extended to Waycross, Georgia in 1949, creating the entire route of US 82 in Alabama.
US 82 had a somewhat secondary character in Alabama for a long time, although it was the shortest route between Tuscaloosa and Montgomery, which were two of the larger towns in the state. Most adjustments to the route were doublings. The biggest route changes were at Tuscaloosa, where US 82 was routed over the bypass instead of downtown, and between Prattville and Montgomery, where US 82 originally coincided with US 31, but was later routed via I-65.
The first upgrade was the Prattville diversion, which was completed in the 1950s. In the early 1960s, the southeast approach road from Tuscaloosa had already been widened to 2×2 lanes, initially to Duncanville but continuing to the county line by 1970. In the late 1960s, the southeastern approach road from Montgomery was also widened to 2×2 lanes to coincide with US 231. In the 1970s, a small section around Union Springs in southeastern Alabama was also widened to 2×2 lanes.
Mississippi – Tuscaloosa
The stretch from the Mississippi border to Tuscaloosa is relatively late and has been widened in stages to 2×2 lanes far apart. In the early 1970s, part of the western approach road from Tuscaloosa was widened to 2×2 lanes, but not far outside the city. In the period 2005-2008, various sections of this route were widened to 2×2 lanes. It was only in 2016 that the section between Reform and Gordo was widened to 2×2 lanes and in 2017 a start was made on a Gordo diversion.
US 82 on the Tuscaloosa bypass.
US 82 originally ran through downtown Tuscaloosa, via a 1922 lift bridge over the Black Warrior River, which was replaced in 1973 by the current Hugh R. Thomas Bridge, now only part of US 43. Tuscaloosa’s eastern bypass opened in 1961, when the Woolsey Finnell Bridge over the Black Warrior River was completed. This allowed the development of large strip malls along US 82.
Tuscaloosa – Montgomery
After a section from Tuscaloosa to the county line was widened to 2×2 lanes in the 1960s, US 82 began to widen further toward Montgomery to 2×2 lanes. In the first half of the 1980s, the 2×2 section was further extended over a new route. This reached the west side of Centerville about 1985, where the diversion on State Route 5 ended. In the second half of the 1990s, construction began on a Centerville diversion, including a new bridge over the Cahaba River. This bridge was completed before the connecting infrastructure was completed, and traffic was not able to use the diversion until the connection to State Route 25 opened in the early 2000s. Later again, in 2014, the eastern extension of the Centerville diversion opened,
4,500 vehicles drive daily at the Mississippi border, rising to 26,000 on the outskirts of Tuscaloosa. In Tuscaloosa, the busiest point with up to 73,000 vehicles is on the bridge over the Black Warrior. From Tuscaloosa to Centerville, 6,000 to 9,000 vehicles and 2,700 vehicles run between Centerville and Prattville near Montgomery. The section between Prattville and Montgomery has 22,000 vehicles and 21,000 vehicles in eastern Montgomery. Outside of Montgomery, this drops to about 1,200 vehicles to Union Springs and 2,000 vehicles to Eufaula.