U.S. Highway 78

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Highway 78 shield.png

U.S. Highway 78 (also known as U.S. Route 78 or Bankhead Highway) currently runs for 715 miles from I-240 in Memphis, Tennessee to US 17 in Charleston, South Carolina.

In Alabama the route is paired with unsigned Alabama State Highway 4. Much of the route east of Birmingham to Augusta, Georgia is paralleled by I-20. The section west of Birmingham, toward Memphis, Tennessee, has more recently been paralleled by I-22.


Bankhead Hwy sign.jpg

The Bankhead Highway was established in the early 20th century as part of the National Auto Trails system. It connected Washington D.C. to San Diego, California, following the route later designated as U.S. 78 between Athens, Georgia and Memphis, Tennessee. Mileage was measured from the "Zero Milestone", located near the South Lawn of the White House. The highway was named for Alabama Senator John H. Bankhead, chief sponsor of the Federal Aid Road Act of 1916 (the "Bankhead Bill"). The Bankhead Highway Association, a group of private investors, held extended meetings to plan the route and construction.

Former Jefferson County Sheriff E. L. Higdon won the contract to erect signposts (pictured at left) on the route between the Shelby County line and Leeds.

Alternate names

Through Leeds, Highway 78 is named Parkway Drive. Then, from Irondale until it joins 5th Avenue South in Birmingham, it is also Crestwood Boulevard. It briefly follows 5th and 4th Avenues South before running along 3rd Avenue South to 36th Street South. At this point, 3rd Avenue becomes one-way westbound, so Highway 78 West is 3rd while Highway 78 East is 4th. The highway then goes up 24th Street South to 1st Avenue North where it also joins U.S. Highway 11. 1st Avenue leads the two highways west to 9th Street North where they jog up to 3rd Avenue North. The two continue out 3rd Avenue West until 78 heads north on 8th Street West while 11 continues on 3rd Avenue. 8th Street West becomes Arkadelphia Road, crossing I-20/I-59 and running to Finley Boulevard.

In the Pratt City area and on through Forestdale, it takes the name Forestdale Boulevard. In Adamsville it is Adamsville Parkway, and in Graysville it is referred to as Bankhead Highway.

Child routes

U.S. 78 is the parent route of Highway 178 running between North and South Carolina; Highway 278 from South Carolina to Arkansas, which runs north of Birmingham in Alabama through Cullman; and Highway 378 running between South Carolina and Georgia.

Cities along the route

Bolded cities contain 50,000 or more people.

U.S. Highway 78 passes through the following cities: