Thu 17/03/11

Burying the Interstate


Space Constraints
The greatest issue to overcome is space. While there is sufficient width between existing buildings for the road itself, the space is insufficient to accommodate full shoulders, or to actually dig the trench – working slopes would be required, causing the “dig” to get underneath numerous adjoining buildings, weakening their foundational support. Additionally, once completed, it would be impossible to expand the roadway at a future date to accommodate the capacity requirements associated with the projected 20-year traffic growth.

Utility Relocation
There are a total of 72 major artery utility lines running beneath the 6,600-foot span of the interstate, comprised of […]

Burying the Interstate2018-11-21T15:40:09+00:00
Mon 17/01/11

Re-decking the Existing Bridges


In 2011, after consultation with the City of Birmingham and Jefferson County, it became clear that a simple re-deck would be insufficient to address the design deficiencies that currently subject motorists to persistent congestion and unsafe road conditions along I-59/20 through the Central Business District.

Reasons a simple re-deck is insufficient include:

No Shoulders
There are no shoulders on the current roadway, meaning emergency responders cannot remove disabled vehicles or address emergencies without causing traffic to stop.

There are multiple areas in the relatively short 6,600-foot section of the elevated structure where motorists are forced to “weave,” or make unsafe lane crossings, in a short […]

Re-decking the Existing Bridges2018-11-21T13:59:34+00:00
Thu 16/12/10

Finley Boulevard Relocation


The “Long Route” involved re-routing I-59/20 near Tallapoosa Street west across I-65 and US-78, before rejoining with the existing I-59/20 corridor west of Arkadelphia Road. It shared the same disadvantages and costs associated with traversing the Village Creek floodplain as the short plan.

However, due to the width required for this interstate “corridor,” and that it must have avoided the Burlington Northern Railroad Yard, ALDOT’s study shows the long route would have require the demolition of nearly all the businesses along the existing Finley Boulevard Corridor.

If planning were to start today, the long re-route would take at least 28 years to complete, […]

Finley Boulevard Relocation2018-11-21T13:59:34+00:00
Thu 16/09/10

Short Finley Route


The “Short Route” runs slightly south of the existing Finley Corridor thus avoiding the need to demolish businesses along it. This plan would re-route I-59/20 from Tallapoosa Street northwest along the Finley Corridor, connecting to I-65 with redesigned interchange, then continuing along I-65 to the existing I-59/20 and I-65 interchange – a total distance of 2.5 miles. While the distance may seem short on paper, it has numerous problems.

One challenge was the requirement that ALDOT widen a 1.3 mile stretch of I-65 from the new interchange to the existing route interchange between I-59/20 and I-65 in order to accommodate all interstate […]

Short Finley Route2018-11-21T13:59:34+00:00
Mon 19/07/10

Re-routing the Interstate


ALDOT explored the feasibility of other options when considering whether rerouting I-59/20 along the Finley Boulevard Corridor would be feasible.

The re-route alternatives included the completion of a new interstate adjoining Finley Boulevard Corridor, which the City of Birmingham has pursued unsuccessfully for more than 30 years due to challenges involving hazardous material sites, floodplains and federal regulations. Another option involved relocating I-59/20 along a longer route also involving the Finley Corridor.

A major obstacle facing these scenarios is the concept of environmental justice. In accordance with an executive order signed under President Bill Clinton, federal policy disapproves of building a roadway through […]

Re-routing the Interstate2019-02-14T13:07:20+00:00
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