The recent completion of Birmingham’s I-59/20 Central Business District (CBD) Interstate bridges brings about 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.