In defense of Alabama’s I-20


One of my colleagues recently blogged about a Southeast road trip he took over the interstates of Tennessee, North and South Carolina, Georgia and Alabama, commenting on the best stretches for scenery, speeding and listening to Leonard Cohen.

Among those highlights of his drive, he also criticized a stretch of I-20 westbound in Alabama, just after crossing the state line from Georgia. He called it the “roughest segment” of his drive due to “serious construction” that “has closed the left lane and shifted the right lane onto the shoulder, which has the perpendicular ‘wake up!’ sets of grooves cut into it.”

Last weekend, my family used that same stretch of highway during a little road trip to Senoia, Ga., which “Walking Dead” fans will recognize as the site for the show’s on-location filming (for folks unfamiliar with the program, zombies are wandering around in Georgia). My son was real jazzed about seeing a few familiar sites, and it didn’t cost anything but a tank of gas and a few spare hours to drive from Birmingham and check it out. No “Daryl” sightings, but we found his favorite coffee shop (actor Norman Reedus’, not his character’s), and the stop in nearby Sharpsburg was a real hoot – you can visit a “pharmacy” and a “bar” from the second season, and there’s some nice locals who’ll tell you all about the days the film crews were in town. Not much in the way of truck parking, though.

Anyway, back to I-20, which, in my opinion, really wasn’t that rough considering the ongoing construction project that’s turning a narrow, outdated four-lane into a top-flight extra-wide roadway for truckers and four-wheelers alike. Sure, those rumble strips are a tad annoying, but try cranking up a little Five Finger Death Punch (another of my son’s favorites) instead of Leonard Cohen, and you’ll have no problem drowning it out – trust me.