It’s time to remove the highway
that divides our city.
The northern portion of downtown Birmingham is ripe for economic development. But for 40 years, the elevated highway of I-20/59 has divided our downtown neighborhoods. ALDOT’s current plan to widen the elevated roadway will only make it worse.
Since its construction in 1971, the current elevated I-20/59 roadway has served to divide our city, resulting in a bleak, unwelcoming barrier between historic neighborhoods and key cultural attractions. The bridge needs to be repaired — a fact we all agree should take place sooner rather than later. However, ALDOT’s current plan not only repairs the bridge but also widens it to 10 lanes of traffic, expanding it to within 18 feet of the Sheraton Hotel, devaluing more than $450 million in public and private investment, including the Uptown entertainment district, the Westin Hotel, and the BJCC.
If allowed to take place, this massive $500 million construction project would have a lasting and negative impact on regional traffic in and through Birmingham’s Central Business District (CBD) for the next 50 years. ALDOT’s own studies show the changes they propose for I-20/59 would cause traffic to increase at Malfunction Junction, which is also an “antique” design. At this price and for this duration, Move I-20/59 believes it is critically important and in the public interest to get this plan right.
ALDOT doesn’t think this interstate is quite close enough to your hotel room.