There’s yet another opportunity for interested residents to learn about the proposed changes that ALDOT wants to make along I-20/59 through downtown Birmingham this week. A Facebook event has been created inviting folks to the Norwood Community Center on the city’s northside tomorrow (Thursday) evening, April 18, from 5:30 – 7:30 p.m.
The current preliminary plans for the I-20/59 bridge replacement project were unveiled during a public hearing held public involvement hearing on March 28 at Boutwell Auditorium. It is said to incorporate comments made during an earlier hearing held last summer. The proposed changes to the section of interstate running through Birmingham’s city center are also available for review via a PDF on ALDOT’s website.
NOTE: If you’re thinking of downloading the file, it’s just under 5 MB in size.
The plan includes removing all the entrance and exit ramps located between 17th and 25th Streets. That area is home to several city center destinations, including the BJCC, the Birmingham Museum of Art, Boutwell Auditorium, and the Jefferson County Jail. The existing roadway in this section would be replaced with one sitting higher off the ground and built using a method known as segmental concrete construction.
There are proposed modifications that make 11th Avenue North the main thoroughfare. Residents living in Norwood would lose access to the portion of 28th St. N. currently running underneath I-20/59 and they would no longer be able to exit eastbound off the interstate at 31st St. N.
The plan shows Fountain Heights would also see reduced access to the portions of the neighborhood closest to where 11th Ave. N. provides access onto I-20/59 and I-65. There would be no access from 15th or 16th Sts. N., forcing most traffic onto 17th St. N.
Motorists would see portions of 24th St. N. ( between 11th and 12th Ave. N.) and 25th St. N. (between Rev. Abraham Woods, Jr., Blvd. – formerly 8th Ave., N. – and 12th Ave., N.) be removed. They would also see vehicular access along 9th Ave. N. disappear.
The front page of the project’s website states the period for public comment has been extended “10 days from 4/10/2013.” Its contact information page provides an email address and a phone number for you to use if you’re so inclined.
Those interested can also review the slides used for the March 28 presentation (or just head out over to Norwood on Thursday).