Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Interstate 59 is an interstate highway in the southern United States. Its southern terminus is in Alton, Louisiana at an intersection with Interstate 10 and Interstate 12; its northern terminus is at Lookout Mountain, Georgia at an intersection with Interstate 24.
Major cities along the route
- Hattiesburg, Mississippi
- Meridian, Mississippi
- Tuscaloosa, Alabama
- Birmingham, Alabama
- Chattanooga, Tennessee
Intersections with other Interstates
- Interstate 10 at Alton, Louisiana
- Interstate 12 at Alton, Louisiana
- Interstate 20 at Meridian, Mississippi. They stay joined until Birmingham, Alabama.
- Interstate 65 at Birmingham, Alabama
- Interstate 24 at Lookout Mountain, Georgia
The road's major discernible purpose, other than pork for Southern politicians, is to connect Birmingham with the world beyond. Birmingham did not exist until the late 1800s, when the discovery of iron ore and coal set off a boom. It remained a steel town until the crash of the American steel market; you can still see the huge, empty USX works from I-59. I-59 served to connect Birmingham to the foundries (and waterways) of Chattanooga, Tennessee, and the coal of West Virginia and Kentucky. It also connects to New Orleans, Louisiana, which is a much more important port than Mobile, Alabama, which is the other nearby interstate-accessible port. Finally, I-59 served the purpose of moving U.S. freight traffic off rails and onto roads. A major north-south line runs along that path, as does U.S. 11 (which also follows I-75 and I-40 into Knoxville, and then joins I-81 for the rest of its run). It also gave the paper companies of southeast Mississippi a handy outlet for their produce (Georgia-Pacific and International Paper both have large operations in SE Miss. and SW Ala.) Furthermore, a large portion of its run is coincident with I-20 (about 100 miles / 161 km). Since so much was built, it was no feat for the politicians to pick up some extra funds to extend it.
I-59 is also Georgia State Highway 406, though this is only in GDOT records, and there are no signs to indicate this.
- 2005 Rand McNally "The Road Atlas 2005" - newest feature- interstate mileage by state
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