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Central Station Intermodal Transportation Depot


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The City of Birmingham yesterday approved the allocation of $9M toward the federal grant match of $30M to finally complete the Central Station intermodal transporation center. Central Station, which was constructed in 1998 and opened in 1999, is the proposed location of the city's intermodal depot The expansion would allow Birmingham's Amtrak station to finally vacate from the dismal location on Morris Avenue and the relocation of the Greyhound station also.

The Central Station will stretch from along Morris Avenue from 16th Street to 19th Street with skywalks connecting the 3 parts of the station across the 3-block stretch. It will also have a walkway that will connect Central Station to the Railroad Park on the Southside. There will also be retail shops and restaurants located inside of the intermodal depot.

This move by the city is a great addition to the proposed BJCTA Metro Area Express (MAX) bus expansion that was announced 2 weeks ago. Central Station along with the Railroad Park will booster more economic development for the Midtown area surrounding the tracks. Numerous residental developments have been placed on hold until these developments have started, and hopefully the will finally get off the ground.

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Great to see that the intermodal transportation center is being completed. When the city bus transfer center was built a few years ago, I thought that was all there was to it. The fact that the center will be connected to the Railroad Reservation Park is a really nice added bonus.

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I was in the area today and snapped a couple of pictures. The first picture is the block between 19th and 18th streets, where the little Amtrak station is now. The second picture shows the existing bus depot to the left and the vacant block to the right where part of the new center will apparently be built. This will be some great infill. I hope it prompts property owners to upgrade their properties facing Morris Ave to the north of the new center. Those buildings are in pretty sad shape, and the facade of one of them crumbled to the ground within just the last few days.



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Yeah, I past that area of the City Center everyday on my way to work, and the area could really use an upgrade. It is embarrassing considering that Morris Avenue, along with the surrounding streets have been proposed to be apart of the Theatre District and the Railroad Park developments.

Also in related news, this afternoon, the BJCTA board approved the $114M expansion (via the City Center-to-Airport shuttle) and improvement of the existing MAX bus service. I think we will see a much better Birmingham in 2008, especially involving mass transit. These major developments will show the suburbs that they could greatly benefit if they step up the plate and become more involved into the BJCTA, thus making it a true regional mass transit system. Hoover's mayor, Tony Petelos, has already expressed interest in expanding the MAX in Hoover in the long-term.

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