Birmingham I-59/20 road closures: a guide to rejecting reality

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Self assemble and fly in the air. What could go wrong?! Paul Grieshaber via Mosquito Helicopter

The I-59/20 road closures are about to rock our collective worlds. Starting Monday, and progressively getting worse until it gets better, nary a soul in Birmingham will be left without a touch of road rage trying to navigate in and around Birmingham.

Think Happy Thoughts

The next 425 days are going to be ROUGH – logistically, economically and EMOTIONALLY dealing with Birmingham traffic, especially if you lack patience or concept of time. In an effort to cope while ALDOT replaces the aging bridges, I’ve compiled some super sensible suggestions on how to deal with the I-59/20 road closures in Birmingham over the next 14 months.  

May the traffic odds be ever in your favor.

Option No. 1: Build Your Own Helicopter

For the fearless commuter, there’s one clear option: DIY Mosquito Helicopter.

Yes. That’s right. I said do-it-yourself helicopter. As in a box of helicopter parts and instruction booklet, delivered to your door. All for $30k. I can’t decide if the satisfaction of flying over the highway gridlock would surpass the low chance of defeating death trying to be Inspector Gadget.

Of course most of us don’t know how to build a helicopter or how to fly one. Much less how to fund this operation. These are all things we can figure out as we go, right? #teamtinychopperBHM

If you’re needing some inspiration, there is this guy:

Video published by John Saves Energy on YouTube

Inspector gadget reporting for duty. GIF via Giphy

How about helicopter helmets? Efficient commuter strategy? Yes. Illegal death trap? Also yes.

Commuting to work: Great for the environment AND your waistline . Photo via

Option No. 2:  Tour De Hwy. 280?

For a long-distance biker, the 1-25 miles you’d ride to work would be nothing. Strap on that helmet and let those handlebar streamers wave as you zoom past your fellow car-riding commuters each morning. Reduce your carbon footprint and get places on time — even if you do look like a tired wet noodle rolling into work.

Zoom! Handling these I-59/20 road closures in the HUM-X Rider like a champ. GIF via Giphy

Option No. 3: This Optimus Prime Looking Thing

It’s called the HUM-X Rider. It hasn’t made it to production yet, nor is it street legal in Birmingham. You’d also be the most hated commuter in the city. But hey, at least you’d be on time! #punctualpollyftw

The Red Mountain Expressway is no match for your scooter. Photo via Pixabay

Option No. 4: Scooters Are Cool

Grab your backpack and Scooty McScoot Scoot Scoot yourself to work. There’s already Bird, an on-demand personal electric vehicle sharing network operating in Birmingham. Weather permitting (which it rarely has lately in Birmingham…sigh) this could actually work! Weaving through standstill traffic might get you there faster. And look how cool this guy looks:

We should all aspire to be this aggressive in the bike lane. Giphy
Downtown Birmingham hyperloop. Just kidding this is the hyperloop test track in California. Photo via The Boring Company

Option No. 5: Dig a Tunnel

No, a SUPER tunnel. Hypothetically speaking, if we start a GoFundMe and channel our inner Elon Musk, we could build something comparable to the hyperloop, a pet project by SpaceX’s sister company the Boring Company.

Hopefully, road construction in Birmingham will be completed on time and it won’t come to catapulting vehicles at 125 mph down vacuum sealed tubes just yet. That sounds terrifying and full of motion sickness.

Regardless of what alternate route or universe you choose to travel, know that we’re all in this together. We’ll get through the next 14 months!

Serious Suggestions and Strategies

If you need “real” help, the Alabama Department of Transportation has set up several ways to communicate updates and alternate routes.  

You can visit the 59/20 ALDOT website here for updates and alternate routes, or call the I-59/20 call center at 205.346.5080—it will be manned 24/7 for the first few weeks to answer your questions if you get in a pinch.

Safe travels, Birmingham!

Will your route change tomorrow? Do you anticipate any delays? We’d love to hear from you!

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Christine Hull
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