$3.5 million in state and local funds was approved by the Birmingham City Council on Tuesday for restoration work and maintenance work on interstate lighting systems along the I-59/20 interstate corridor.
The cost-sharing agreement approved Tuesday allocates $1.65 million in city funds for the lighting project, which is already underway, according to the Birmingham mayor’s office, with the Alabama Department of Transportation financing the remaining $1.85 million.
Mayor Randall Woodfin, who recommended the agreement to the city council, stressed the importance of proper lighting in Birmingham.
“It is important that our city highways and roadways have proper lighting for safety’s sake, ease of navigation and also to display the beauty of all that makes Birmingham great,” Woodfin said in a statement Tuesday. “This partnership means a better Birmingham for our residents and visitors.”
Primary areas for the repairing and restoration of lighting systems are from Tallapoosa Street to the I-59/20 interstate route interchange.
Repairs to the lighting systems include the repairs to lighting rendered unusable by theft of copper wiring, according to the mayor’s office. Aluminum wiring and vandal-proof rebuilds for the high-mast lights are two solutions brought forward by city officials to address potential copper thievery in the future.
“We are taking extra precautions to reduce the likelihood of vandalism,” Said James Fowler, director of transportation for Birmingham, in a statement Tuesday. “While no system is foolproof, we are switching to aluminum wiring and are also rebuilding the system in a way that will make the wiring more difficult to remove and have virtually no salvage value.”
Other areas being updated by ALDOT include:
- I-20/59 at Arkadelphia Road.
- I-20/59 at the Ensley 5 Points Interchanges (including 5 Points Ave West, 21st Street, and 19th Street).
- I-65 at Green Springs Ave.
- I-65 at University Blvd.