Last month, Bham Now reported that the City of Homewood had decided to preserve the unearthed trolley tracks and brick down the center of Broadway street in the Edgewood neighborhood. The project is now complete.
Below are photos taken on July 8th of the newly paved road incorporating the tracks in the design of the busy intersection.
The 1920s tracks and bricks were discovered when the road construction company was preparing the street for re-paving. The city halted construction on Broadway Street in April, and tasked Dunn Construction to have an expert examine the city’s options.
The expert came back with an option that would preserve a section of the street that enabled the trolley tracks and bricks to remain visible to the public, while also keeping the roadway safe for vehicles. The cost of preserving the tracks and bricks did fall within the budget to pave Broadway.
According to Bhamwiki, the trolley tracks on Broadway were originally part of the Birmingham and Edgewood Electric Railway’s streetcar route in the 1910s and 1920s. The streetcar stopped running prior to World War II.
Todd Keith, author of Birmingham Then & Now and a resident on Homewood’s Broadway Street described the significance of the effort to preserve the tracks and bricks.
“You can’t value something until you know it exists. Or once existed,” Keith says. “I know that sounds a bit obvious, but Broadway and Edgewood were once connected to one of the more extensive streetcar networks in the South, stretching to downtown Birmingham, Woodlawn, Bessemer, Wenonah, Ensley, East Lake and beyond.”