Birmingham Intermodal Facility
- This article is about the passenger facility in downtown Birmingham. For the cargo hub in McCalla, see Birmingham Regional Intermodal Facility.
The Birmingham Intermodal Facility is a $30 million transit hub located between Morris Avenue and the Railroad Reservation in downtown Birmingham. The facility, originally envisioned as an expansion of Birmingham Central Station, serves Amtrak passenger rail as well as Greyhound and Megabus intercity buses, the BJCTA's MAX buses, and a dedicated shuttle to Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport.
In 2008 the City of Birmingham approved $9 million in matching funds to release $23 million in federal allocations for the project. Approval of a contract with Goodwyn Mills & Cawood to design the expanded facility was delayed after questions arose about the relationship of Jeff Pitts, who was Larry Langford's campaign manager for the 2007 Birmingham mayoral election, with the company.
Giattina Aycock Architecture Studio and Hoskins Architecture formed a joint venture to design the facility when work resumed under William Bell's administration. Their design called for a retail and restaurant arcade, a 274-space parking deck, and a recreation of the Magic City sign which was famously displayed outside the former Birmingham Terminal Station. Design renderings approved by the Birmingham Design Review Committee in April 2013 showed a lofty "glass box" waiting area shaded by a broad, flat roof. A 60-foot message board would announce departures and arrivals as well as publicize community events. Some retail spaces are also planned.
The design team recommended that the existing Central Station be demolished as part of the project, rather than adapted and incorporated into the expanded facility. The city was obligated to reimburse the Federal Transportation Administration for part of the federal funds used to build the older station in 1999. An agreement approved in May 2013 called for the city to transfer ownership of the Birmingham Amtrak Station (appraised at $800,000) and make a penalty payment of $101,000 to the FTA, clearing the way for demolition.
The contract for construction of the new facility began was awarded to Rabren General Contractors of Auburn in April 2015. BJCTA buses began using the station on June 19, 2017 with concessions opening later that summer and Amtrak service beginning on February 1, 2018.
In 2019 the Birmingham City Council voted to provide $50,000 in matching funds toward a grant from the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs to establish a "Birmingham Central Market" farmers market in the Birmingham Intermodal Facility.
- Diel, Stan (April 10, 2013) "Birmingham's intermodal terminal to include "glass box" waiting room, 60-foot message board." The Birmingham News
- Bryant, Joseph D. (May 21, 2013) "The bulldozers are coming: Birmingham City Council pays feds penalty to level MAX building." The Birmingham News
- Tomberlin, Michael (January 21, 2014) "Birmingham's $30 million intermodal station set to start construction." The Birmingham News
- Smith, Mike D. (April 30, 2015) "Intermodal construction to begin, late 2016 completion scheduled." The Birmingham News
- Edgemon, Erin (March 3, 2017) "Birmingham's downtown MAX bus, Amtrak, Greyhound station likely opening this summer." The Birmingham News
- Edgemon, Erin (June 19, 2017) "Birmingham's downtown MAX central station now open." The Birmingham News
- Edgemon, Erin (February 1, 2018) "Amtrak station now open at Birmingham Intermodal Facility." The Birmingham News
- Martinson, Coleman (June 5, 2019) "Farmers market coming to BJCTA terminal." Birmingham Business Journal