About City Walk BHAM

The recent completion of Birmingham’s I-59/20 Central Business District (CBD) Interstate bridges brings about a renewed focus on the space underneath the bridges known as City Walk BHAM. The goal of City Walk BHAM is to provide a space to assist in reconnecting Birmingham and create a destination and common area open to all citizens.

Conceptual planning began on City Walk BHAM in 2014 via a study conducted with REV Birmingham to analyze not only what could be done under the bridge to make this a great space for people, but also to create a fresh and vibrant space. The 2014 study only homed in on 8 blocks from 18th to 24th streets. In 2015, the lighting scheme of the I-59/20 Bridge replacement job was incorporated into the construction plans. The lighting scheme included LED ribbon lighting along the outer edges of the bridge along with the provision of ambient and functional lighting under the bridge.

At every phase of the project ALDOT has worked to engage the public and generate widespread participation in the project to change public perception of the area. In July of 2018, several public involvement meetings at Boutwell Auditorium were held where people could review the plans for City Walk BHAM. This public involvement process led to an evolution of the design for the space.

Bidding for the design of the public City Walk BHAM spaces is scheduled for April 2021 with a designated completion date of Summer 2022 in time for the Birmingham World Games.

Fast Facts

City Walk concept art

City Walk BHAM will span 10 city blocks, from 15th Street North to 25th Street North – almost a mile in length.

The entire area encompasses 31 acres, which will provide a space to assist in connecting Birmingham.

A community voice is being used to create a destination and common area for all citizens of Birmingham.

Local size comparisons: Railroad Park, 19 acres; Rotary Trail, 1/2 mile.

Community Engagement

The approach to creating City Walk BHAM has been a community-driven process. It began with public involvement meetings to learn what the community wanted the public space to look like and what kinds of activities people would want to do there. Everyone’s input has been carefully recorded and considered. Design was the last phase of this process; it only happened after the programming and budgeting phases were completed.

A variety of amenities will be available to the public for use when the space is open. Daily amenities and core programs will include fitness classes and a wide range of other activities. Those programs will be supplemented with weekly and monthly activities, along with events, like concerts, holiday celebrations, and festivals.

September 24, 2019

Public Meeting – Boutwell Auditorium

September 11, 2018

Pop-Up – The Pizitz Food Hall

September 6, 2018

Pop-Up – UAB Recreation Center

September 1, 2018

Pop-Up – Pepper Place

July 17, 2018

Boutwell Auditorium

July 24, 2018

CrossPlex Meeting Hall

View the Current Masterplan

Project Timeline

Archived Plans

2014 Plan

Click plan images to enlarge

The 2014 study only homed in on 8 blocks from 18th to 24th streets. Some of the ideas that came from this study were to create recreational and art spaces, green spaces, and classroom space, among others.

2016 Plan

In 2016, the space was looked at again, except this time the footprint was larger and included approximately 10 blocks spanning from 15th Street North on the West, to 25th Street North on the East. The space is approximately 5,000 linear feet in length. The study now would focus on the space and how it would be transformed due to the new bridge construction overhead. The study involved a small public outreach component, which did provide the design team with criteria and program for the space, but not enough input was received. It was decided the sampling of participation needed to be larger.

2018 Plan

In 2018, ALDOT teamed with the City of Birmingham to develop a process that was driven by the citizens of Birmingham and the surrounding community. A robust public engagement process was developed and executed. Several opportunities developed for public engagement, which included public input meetings, a project-dedicated webpage, social media outlet via Facebook, and additional outreach to neighborhood community meetings. The design of this unique space under the bridge will be based on the desires and the input from the community. Branded as City Walk BHAM, this project will create a unique, vibrant public space full of programmatic elements and activities which will enliven and strengthen the space.

2019 Plan

Through community engagement that has included public input meetings and active social media, the vision of this project continues to come into sharper focus based on the ideas and desires of those who will use the space. And very soon, City Walk BHAM will be a unique and vibrant destination that will enliven and strengthen the entire Birmingham community.

Aesthetic Lighting

In 2015, the lighting scheme of the I-59/20 Bridge replacement job was incorporated into the construction plans. The lighting scheme included LED ribbon lighting along the outer edges of the bridge along with the provision of ambient and functional lighting under the bridge.

About the 59/20 Bridge

Designed in the 1960s, downtown Birmingham’s interstate bridges were originally intended to accommodate up to 80,000 vehicles per day over a 30-year lifespan. Now, nearly 60 years later, daily traffic exceeds 165,000 vehicles, and is expected to increase to 225,000 by 2035. In 2019, the Alabama Department of Transportation completed the demolition and replacement of the elevated portions of Interstate 59/20 through downtown Birmingham to address these issues and improve traffic flow for all motorists. The space beneath the new bridges will be home to the new City Walk BHAM.

Click here to visit 5920bridge.com