CityWalk BHAM closer to completion + update on I-59/20 lights [Photos]

The Block A section of CityWalk BHAM. (Nathan Watson / Bham Now)

Earlier this year, Bham Now reported that construction on CityWalk BHAM—the ten-block city park project under the I-59/20 bridge in downtown Birmingham—was well underway, with crews pouring concrete and installing equipment throughout the site. Now we’re excited to see that several portions of CityWalk BHAM are nearing completion—just in time for The World Games 2022.

CityWalk BHAM Recap

An overview of City Walk BHAM, which will span 10 city blocks in downtown Birmingham. (CityWalk BHAM)

Soon to be Birmingham’s newest destination for outdoor activities and community events, CityWalk BHAM is a massive undertaking. Located under the I-59/20 bridge near Uptown, CityWalk BHAM will span ten entire city blocks between 15th Street North and 25th Street North along 9th Avenue North.

Once complete, the park will offer tons for visitors to do and see, including a dedicated dog park, a massive skate park, outdoor classroom space, an amphitheater and much more.

For years—decades, even—skaters have longed for a proper skate park in Birmingham. Now, their wish has been granted. (Nathan Watson / Bham Now)

The 31-acre park will be split up into eight sections: 

  • A: (15th Street to 16th Street) Recreational Sports and Gathering Space — Plans include challenge course, amphitheater, civil rights story zone, recreational sports space with artificial turf, multi-use field, gathering space and a 1/4-mile walking trail.
  • B: (16th Street to 18th Street) Food Trucks, Skate Park — Plans include a roller skating rink, food trucks, activity zone and a skate park.
  • C: (18th Street to 19th Street) Performance Space, Outdoor Classroom — Plans include performance space, outdoor classroom and parking.
  • D: (19th Street to Richard Arrington Jr Blvd) Central Plaza — Plans include an outdoor stage, central gathering space, green ribbon garden path, water feature, restrooms, security station and info desk.
  • E: (Richard Arrington Jr Blvd to 22nd Street) Market Space — Plans for this block include a market space.
  • F: (22nd Street to 23rd Street) Beer and Wine Garden — Plans include a beer and wine garden and a green ribbon garden path.
  • G: (23rd Street to 24th Street) Dog Park — Plans include a dog park, pickleball, restrooms and parking.
  • H: (24th Street to 25th Street) Gateway to City Walk with Pond and Playground — Plans include a gateway pond, greenspace, playground, restroom and pavilion.

CityWalk BHAM Progress Report — March

One section of CityWalk BHAM. (Nathan Watson / Bham Now)

Today, ALDOT released an update on CityWalk BHAM’s progress:

  • Block A – landscaping and plantings have been installed
  • Block B – skate park bowls and pump track completed
  • Block B – concrete flat work in roller rink progressing
  • Block C – concrete flat work and sidewalks being installed, aggregate surfacing underway
  • Block D – tile surfaces being installed on fountain, continuing concrete flat work and sidewalk installation
  • Block D – fountain construction underway, to be followed by turf and landscaping
  • Block D – 9th Ave. decorative concrete paving underway
  • Block E – concrete flat work and sidewalks being installed
  • Block F – concrete flat work and sidewalks being installed
  • Block G – perimeter curbs being completed, asphalt to follow
  • Block G – dog park fence installation, concrete flat work and sidewalks being completed
  • Block G – Southern end small restroom station nearing completion
  • Block H – concrete flat work and excavation for pond ongoing
  • 9th Ave. between 19th and RAJ remains closed for stamped concrete installation and trench drain installation
  • 22nd St. between 9th Ave. and the alleyway closed for water line access and pressure testing
  • Lighting remains in test mode as troubleshooting is being conducted. Access is limited due to the presence of construction equipment.

Below are several images of the progress taken on Tuesday, March 1st.

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Update on the I-59/20 Lights

The I-59/20 bridge lights all synced up on a chilly winter night in 2020. (Matthew Niblett / Bham Now)

When Birmingham was first introduced to the stunning I-59/20 bridge lights in 2020, the system worked flawlessly. However, the lights began having problems a few months in, with some sections of the bridge not syncing with the rest and other sections not lit up at all.

As reported by WVTM13 last month, the problem with the I-59/20 bridge lights is due to small chips in the hundreds of control boxes along the length of the bridge. According to Stone & Sons—the electrical contractor that installed the system—the chips were damaged by electrical surges, possibly due to static or lighting. Currently, Stone & Sons are identifying control boxes in working condition and plan to utilize the same surge protection technology used on Vulcan’s multi-colored lights.

Although supply chain issues are delaying the shipment of replacement parts, ALDOT is hopeful that the lights will be complete by the time The World Games 2022 begins on Thursday, July 7th.

Which part of CityWalk BHAM are you most excited about? Tag us @bhamnow to share your thoughts!

Nathan Watson
Nathan Watson

Senior Content Producer + Photographer

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