Citywalk BHAM

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Citywalk BHAM is a proposed mile-long, 31-acre public space located beneath the newly-replaced I-59/20 downtown viaduct, between 15th Street North and 25th Street North in Birmingham's Fountain Heights, Druid Hills and Central City neighborhoods.

The use of the area for "public space" was negotiated between the Alabama Department of Transportation, the City of Birmingham, and the U.S. Federal Highway Administration, the primary source of funding for the interstate replacement project. The provision was made to offset the residences in Fountain Heights which were demolished for the new 11th Avenue North entrance ramp. It is planned for the area to be operated as a venue of the Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex, but the responsibility for maintaining the improvements has not been decided.

Biederman Redevelopment Ventures of New York was contracted by ALDOT to consult on programming and budgeting for construction, operations and maintenance of the proposed public space or park. Birmingham's Barge Design Solutions has been commissioned to design the park space.

ALDOT hosted a series of public meetings in July 2018 to generate suggestions for amenities that could be included in the park. Peter Karvonen has been cultivating support for a "world class" skate park. Mary Jean LaMay made suggestions for a velodrome and roller derby park. Another idea with significant public support was tailgating areas for UAB Blazers and the Birmingham Bowl at the nearby BJCC stadium. Planners expect to include a variety of small-scale amenities, including vendor spaces, fountains, and performance areas, as well.

In September 2019 ALDOT engineer DeJarvis Leonard confirmed that their plans included a skate park, along with a dog park, recreational areas, and signage for the city's Civil Rights District. At public meetings on September 24, ALDOT showed two large green spaces usable for recreation and tailgating, along with a skate park, dog park, pavilion, event space, and pop-up market or food hall.

References

  • Chambers, Jesse (July 18, 2018) "City, ALDOT, host open house for CityWalk BHAM linear park." Iron City Ink
  • Pillion, Dennis (July 20, 2018) "Birmingham CityWalk under I-59/20 could bring skate park, bike races, beer garden." The Birmingham News
  • Coker, Angel (September 5, 2019) "ALDOT says skate park will be part of new CityWalk project." Birmingham Business Journal
  • Beahm, Anna (September 24, 2019) "Skate park, tailgating and more planned for park under I-59/20." The Birmingham News
  • Coker, Angel (September 30, 2019) "First Look: Here's what's in store for CityWalk BHAM under the new interstate bridges." Birmingham Business Journal

External links