By Ryan Michaels
The Birmingham Times
City Walk BHAM, an Alabama Department of Transportation (ALDOT) construction project underneath the new I-59/20 Central Business District bridges, is underway, according to ALDOT.
City Walk BHAM is a 31-acre project, which will span ten city blocks, from 15th Street North to 25th Street North, and will include recreational, art, performance, sports and green spaces; a skate park facility; market areas; a dog park and more. In addition, the location of the project puts people in proximity to the Birmingham Museum of Art, Protective Stadium, Uptown and the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute.
As the official Construction Partner of the World Games 2022, Brasfield and Gorrie, LLC, the company responsible for building City Walk BHAM, has committed to finishing a portion of the project before the World Games begins next July. To meet the deadline, Brasfield and Gorrie will deploy three crews. The total project is scheduled for completion in 425 days.
After the construction is complete, daily operation of the project will be taken over by the Birmingham Jefferson Convention Complex (BJCC).
“The BJCC is proud to partner with ALDOT to assume ongoing operations and maintenance of City Walk BHAM upon its completion,” said Tad Snider, executive director and CEO of the BJCC Authority. “It’s a natural fit for the BJCC, not just because of proximity, but because our team has key experience managing this sort of multi-attraction destination. We’re excited to see it taking shape all around us, and we look forward to welcoming visitors to City Walk BHAM later next year,” Snider said.
Dennis Lathem, chairman for the BJCC board of directors, said City Walk BHAM is a perfect addition to the numerous entertainment sites around the city.
“It’s a remarkable time for our city, with the upcoming completion of Protective Stadium and the modernization of Legacy Arena. City Walk BHAM will be the third major attraction to come online on or around our complex in a twelve-month period,” Lathem said. “City Walk BHAM is a perfect complement to the BJCC’s family of facilities, particularly the Uptown entertainment district.”
Conceptual planning began on City Walk BHAM in 2014 via a study conducted with REV Birmingham to analyze not only what could be done under the bridge to create a fresh and vibrant space. The 2014 study only homed in on 8 blocks from 18th to 24th streets. In 2015, the lighting scheme of the I-59/20 Bridge replacement job was incorporated into the construction plans. The lighting scheme included LED ribbon lighting along the outer edges of the bridge along with the provision of ambient and functional lighting under the bridge.
ALDOT said people should avoid driving through the area, if possible, while construction is happening. If not taking an alternate route, motorists should use extreme caution, ALDOT said.
To view the masterplan for City Walk BHAM or find more information about the project, visit https://citywalkbham.com.