Alabama’s transportation and development play a big role in Alabama’s history. From rivers and streams to the aerospace industry, Alabama’s transportation is constantly growing and evolving. In the first periods of time, water transport was the most important means of transportation.
Water transport in Alabama began with steamboats, the first of which was the steamship Alabama, which was launched in 1818 on the Alabama River. A couple of years after the launch of the first steamship, Alabama began the development of rail transport. Railways have solved many transport problems and opened up opportunities for entrepreneurs. Alabama’s first railroad, the Tuscumbia Railway, opened in 1832 in Franklin County.
Railroads began connecting Alabama with the rest of the country. In addition, railroads played an important role in Alabama’s agriculture, politics, and business. Following the development of railways, at the beginning of the twentieth century, the Movement of good roads was organized in order to promote modern roads and convince the government to further finance the construction and maintenance of roads. In the early 1900s, the Good Roads movement made changes to Alabama law that allowed the construction of state highways.
This continued even in the 1920s, when the first of many long-distance highways were laid in Alabama. Although the construction of modern roads seemed to increase the efficiency of transport, the construction of these roads had some disadvantages. A big disadvantage for road construction was the high level of maintenance they needed, such as cutting down trees, cutting down stumps, leveling and cleaning up eroded mud. In 1898, John H. Bankhead and John Asa Rowntree founded the North Alabama Good Roads Association.
This organization focused on improving transportation due to the fact that state highways were paid for by the state government and were administered by the State Highway Commission. This was just the beginning of transportation in Alabama. In 1910, aviation in Alabama came into play. Wilbur and Orville Wright formed the very first landing pad in Alabama, which is now known as Maxwell Air Force Base. During World War I, aviation in Alabama became very popular; there were many Alabamians who joined the war and received flight training. Additionally, Alabama airports played a significant role in World War II, coordinating troop movements and providing training facilities for troops as well as support personnel. In addition to water transport, modern roads and railways, and aviation, the aerospace industry is Alabama’s largest industrial industry.
The Alabama aerospace industry consists of four main sectors: the Marshall Space Flight Center and the Redstone Arsenal, located in Hunstville, Alabama, and consists of four sectors: space, defense, aviation, maintenance, repair and overhaul. Transportation in Alabama has come a long way from steamships to rocket ships, and transportation continues to evolve over the years.