Starting in January 2019 and lasting for about 14 months, the elevated portion of I-20/I-59 through downtown Birmingham will be closed for demolition and replacement. While this will certainly disrupt many downtown activities, if we all plan ahead we should be able to work around it with minimal inconvenience. It seems that access will be most affected for those coming from points East and West. Follow these indications to navigate to the Cathedral during this time:
Coming from Trussville/Irondale/Leeds/East Birmingham/Other Points East:
- The old 22nd Street left-lane exit off I-20/I-59 Westbound will no longer be accessible. Exit at the previous exit, instead — Carraway Blvd (right lane) — and then navigate through downtown.
- An alternate route is to take 1st Ave N all the way in to downtown from the East Lake/Woodlawn area. This may be a better way to avoid the inevitable congestion on I-20/I-59 approaching downtown.
- Another possibility, if coming from further East/Northeast (such as Trussville/Leeds/Moody), such that it is possible to get on I-459, is to take I-459 South to Highway 280, then take it into downtown Birmingham.
Coming from Bessemer/Fairfield/Adamsville/Ensley/Other Points West:
- As you approach “malfunction junction” on I-20/I-59 Eastbound, stay in the second lane from the left on I-20/I-59, so that you can take the new Exit 124-D, 17th Street exit. This ramp will bring you into downtown, near the Alabama Power building, and from there it is easy to navigate to the Cathedral.
- Those coming from locations within the highway loop around Birmingham may find it easier to take local roads, such as the Bessemer Super Highway, instead — thus avoiding I-20/I-59 completely.
Coming from Gardendale/Fultondale/Warrior/Other Points North:
- Stay in the left-most lane on I-65 Southbound and exit at the new 17th Street/Downtown exit, just before “malfunction junction”. This ramp will bring you into downtown, near the Alabama Power Building, and from there it is easy to navigate to the Cathedral.
- For some, it may also be easier to come into downtown Birmingham via US-31.
Coming from Hoover/Pelham/Alabaster/Other Points South:
- Coming into Birmingham on I-65 Northbound, take either the 3rd Ave N exit (as you approach “malfunction junction”), which will take you directly to the Cathedral, or the new 17th Street/Downtown exit, which will bring you into downtown, near the Alabama Power Building, and from there it is easy to navigate to the Cathedral.
- Those coming from places “over the mountain” may wish also to take US-31 and other local routes.
- Another possibility, if coming from Shelby County or Bessemer areas, such that it is possible to get on I-459, is to take I-459 North to Highway 280, then take it into downtown Birmingham.
More information, including present road status, is available at the 59/20 Bridge Project web site, maintained by ALDOT. It may also be helpful to use a realtime GPS app, like Waze.
Please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions! (205) 251-1279.