Birmingham’s Historic Highland Avenue slated for sidewalk repairs

Highland Park
Highland Park sidewalk next to the 280 bridge on Highland Avenue. Photo via Pat Byington for Bham Now

Highland Avenue joggers, walkers and dog lovers who stumble and trip on the crumbling sidewalks along the neighborhood’s three historic parks – help is on the way.

This week, at the Birmingham City Council Tuesday meeting, a measure was passed to begin repairing Highland Avenue sidewalks.

The initiative is paid for by the Highland Park Neighborhood Association which allocated $13,090 to do sidewalk repairs along Highland Avenue and some side streets.

First Phase

Caldwell Park
Birmingham’s Caldwell Park. Photo by Jon Eastwood for Bham Now

According to Elizabeth Sanfelippo, president of the Highland Park Neighborhood Association, the funding targets the first phase of the project, which begins at Freddy’s and the 280 bridge and moves eastward to Niazuma and 2600 Highland. To complete the entire stretch of Highland Avenue, along with some side streets, she expects the project to continue moving to the east and that it will take three to four additional phases.  

“The plan is to start along Highland Avenue and then begin tackling those side streets that are not Highland Avenue. When we first took office a couple of years ago we did a survey. The top priorities for people were planting more trees and fixing sidewalks.” 

Elizabeth Sanfelippo

 Sanfelippo praised City Councilor Valerie Abbott for supporting the effort.

A Little History

Lakeview Park, Lake and hotel in the 1890s
Newspaper clipping of Lakeview Lake, Park and hotel in Birmingham. Source; Birmingham Public Library Southern History Department

Known for its three parks, Caldwell, Rhodes and Rushton and Highland Park Golf Course, Highland Avenue at the turn of the 1900s featured a trolley system. The historic boulevard was at the time the largest and widest street in the South, according to Richard Dabney, author of the book, Birmingham’s Highland Park.

A Busy Year

2021 is going to be a busy year in the Highland Park Neighborhood. Along with sidewalk work, Sanfelippo informed us that according to Councilor Abbott’s office, Hanover Circle will be repaved by the city once the weather warms up. She expects that project to be completed over the summer.

Stay Tuned

If you are taking a run or walking your dog, lookout for the new and improved sidewalks in the coming months. Meanwhile, if we hear any additional news about Highland Park or Birmingham’s 98 other neighborhoods we will gladly provide an update.

Pat Byington
Pat Byington

Longtime conservationist. Former Executive Director at the Alabama Environmental Council and Wild South. Publisher of the Bama Environmental News for more than 18 years. Career highlights include playing an active role in the creation of Alabama's Forever Wild program, Little River Canyon National Preserve, Dugger Mountain Wilderness, preservation of special places throughout the East through the Wilderness Society and the strengthening (making more stringent) the state of Alabama's cancer risk and mercury standards.

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