Birmingham City Council passes measure to fix interstate lights throughout The Magic City

Birmingham City Hall
Birmingham City Hall. (Pat Byington/ Bham Now)

The Birmingham City Council passed a measure today to fix interstate lights at key exits and a major section between Downtown and the airport.

The $3 million initiative is a joint project between the city and the Alabama Department of Transportation. The costs will be split approximately evenly.

Where Are the New Lights Going?

Where are they fixing and installing the new lights? Here are the places according to James Folwer, the city’s director and traffic engineer:
  • Arkadelphia Exit on I-20/59
  • Ensley-5 Point West Exit on I-20/59
  • University Boulevard Exit on 1-65
  • Greensprings Exit on I-65
  • Downtown to Airport (stretch of lights) near airport on I-20-59

If we are blessed with good weather, the projects should be completed before the World Games.

Downtown to the Airport

One of the biggest projects on the list is the Downtown to the Airport repairs.

“We’re excited to restore this lighting,” Fowler said about that particular segment of interstate. “We actually restored it a few years ago. It’s been repeatedly affected by vandalism. We’re hoping that with some new strategies, the system will be more resistant to vandalism.”

One of the changes is replacing the copper wiring that thieves would steal by stripping it away. The new lighting will have aluminum, which is much cheaper and not worth the effort.

Promise to Try to Do More

While the vote passed unanimously, City Councilor Hunter Williams did encourage the Mayor Randall Woodfin and his administration to repair the interstate lights beyond the airport toward Eastern end of town—the Parkway and Irondale.

Woodfin agreed to meet with ALDOT and encourage them to work on those areas too.

Tell us what you think about interstate lighting in Birmingham. Is this project long overdue? Tag us on social media @bhamnow with your comments.

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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