18th Street underpass
The 18th Street underpass is a surface connection between 18th Street North and 18th Street South running below the Railroad Reservation in downtown Birmingham.
The underpass, with headwalls designed in an art deco style by architect David O. Whillden, was constructed in 1931 of reinforced concrete. The year is displayed in an engraved panel flanked by gold-painted eagles in raised relief and surmounted by a floral cartouche.
In 2008, Mayor Larry Langford responded to complaints about the poor lighting and dinginess of the 14th Street, 18th Street, 19th Street and 20th Street underpasses and directed city workers to clean, repaint and repair lights for all four of them.
With the completion of Railroad Park and Regions Field, the viaduct became a major pedestrian connection across the Railroad Reservation.
In April 2013 the Community Foundation of Greater Birmingham awarded a $247,000 grant to REV Birmingham to fund a colored light installation in the underpass and to develop a master plan for other downtown lighting projects. San Antonio, Texas-based artist Bill FitzGibbons designed and installed the work, called Light Rails, which was unveiled to the public on June 27.
- Cooper, Lauren B. (June 23, 2008) "Restoration of 20th Street overpass complete" [sic]. Birmingham Business Journal
- "An interview with Light Rails artist Bill FitzGibbons" (June 26, 2013) Community Foundation of Great Birmingham blog