The Birmingham City Council passed a resolution Tuesday authorizing Mayor Randall Woodfin to pursue a grant from the Alabama Department of Transportation to build a pedestrian bridge across a Titusville railroad track. The bridge would allow students of the neighborhood’s Booker T. Washington K-8 School to safely cross the track.
The grant in question would be for a total of $800,000, “the maximum we can get from ALDOT for this type of project,” said Department of Planning, Engineering and Permits Director Andre Bittas. The city would have to put up a 20 percent match. This means that Birmingham would spend $160,000 on the project, with ALDOT providing $640,000.
Tuesday’s resolution does not allocate that money from the city, said Tim Gambrell, the city’s principal planner: “We’re just saying that the council would agree to do that in the future.”
Gambrell said that the pedestrian bridge was necessary to ensure the safety of students who walk to Titusville’s Washington school from the Smithfield neighborhood.
“It’s seen as a hazard that the young students, some as young as kindergarten, have to cross this railroad track,” he said. “There are stories that are told that trains stop there and children have to cross the track, even though there’s a train there, to get to school.”
The members of the council present at the meeting — Darrell O’Quinn, William Parker, Lashunda Scales, Hunter Williams, and President Valerie Abbott — voted unanimously in favor of the resolution.