Highland Avenue overpass
The Highland Avenue overpass is the section of Highland Avenue which continues over the Elton B. Stephens Expressway (U. S. Highway 31) near 23rd Street South and 11th Avenue South. The expressway was tunneled below grade between the existing Highland Plaza and Highland Towers multistory apartment buildings.
The approximately 287-foot long tunnel consists of cement walls on either side of the six-lane highway with square, cement columns bounded by metal safety railing separating the north- and southbound lanes. Illumination is provided by a series of lights along the tops of the walls and both sides of the central columns.
In October 2010, the phrase "You Are Beautiful" was painted on the south side of the overpass, generating a great deal of reaction, much of it positive. The message was later defaced, clumsily repainted, and finally painted over entirely in April 2011.
The southward facing side of the overpass has also served as the location of a pair of temporary countdown clocks.
- On March 8, 1995, the Olympic soccer countdown clock was unveiled exactly 500 days prior to the opening ceremonies of the 1996 Olympic soccer matches hosted at Legion Field. The clock was removed after the Olympics and subsequently auctioned off.
- On January 24, 2020, the 2022 World Games countdown clock was unveiled at Legion Field and subsequently installed on the overpass.
- "Expressway Work To Close Highland" (May 18, 1966) Birmingham Post-Herald - via Birmingham Public Library Digital Archives
- Fussman, Chet (March 8, 1995) "Olympic countdown time" Birmingham Post-Herald - via Newspapers.com
- Pratt, Ted (September 5, 1996) "Olympic yard sale offers field of mementos". Birmingham News.
- WBRC Staff (January 24, 2020) "Countdown clock to World Games 2021 revealed in Birmingham" - via WBRC.com