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Long-awaited Huntsville pedestrian bridge one step closer to reality

A $20 million grant will help the city build a pedestrian bridge between downtown and Lowe Mill communities and make other improvements in the area.

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — Huntsville just got a $20 million Department of Transportation Grant. That's going towards the pedestrian access and redevelopment corridor (PARC) project, a long-wished for part of Huntsville's Big Picture. The project will connect the downtown, Mill Creek and Lowe Mill communities via greenways and a suspended pedestrian bridge. The areas are currently separated by U.S. 231 and U.S. 431/AL53, and crossing these is a risky endeavor.

The city of Huntsville says that the project will also include major enhancements along Pinhook Creek in the downtown district to reduce flooding and improve the floodplain along the creek. Pinhook Creek will also get new public recreation amenities as well as connections with other neighborhoods.

“This project has been a continuous goal for the City since 2006,” said Shane Davis, Huntsville’s Director of Urban & Economic Development. “The completion of the project will provide a safe multimodal hub for pedestrian and bicycle connectivity for multiple areas of Huntsville as well as new downtown recreation opportunities. Over time, the City will use this project to connect north and south Huntsville, Five Points, Lowe Mill, John Hunt Park and even Research Park with alternate modes of mobility.”

Construction is expected to start in 2023.

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Another benefit will be better access to health care and employment for the estimated 5,000 who live within a half mile of the project. 

“This is one of those quality-of-life projects that will have enormous benefits for anyone who lives, works and plays downtown,” Mayor Battle said. “We are grateful for our local, state and federal partners who helped secure this last piece of the puzzle. “I especially thank Sen. Richard Shelby and his team for their assistance in procuring the grant, as well as Sen. Tommy Tuberville and Gov. Kay Ivey, who went above and beyond in expressing their support for the project.”

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Senator Richard Shelby, R-Alabama, has announced that the U.S. Department of Transportation has awarded Alabama three Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity grants. The grants total $27,179,948, to fund efforts for infrastructure improvements in Alabama: $20 million for the city of Huntsville, nearly $5.2 million for the city of Cordova, and $2 million for the Northwest Alabama Council of Local Governments.

“I am proud to announce that Alabama is receiving more than $27 million for local infrastructure improvement projects through DOT’s RAISE Grant Program. All three of these investments will support improved quality of life, safety, and experience in each of their respective communities,” Shelby said. “I am particularly pleased that Huntsville has been awarded the funds to construct multiple pedestrian bridges that will soon provide greater access to businesses and vital services located downtown. This multimodal project has been in the works for quite some time, and I look forward to the finished product.”

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The RAISE grant for the city of Huntsville will provide $20,000,000 to design and construct multimodal improvements on approximately 1.2 miles of the Pedestrian Access and Redevelopment Corridor, linking downtown Huntsville to neighborhoods that are physically isolated by U.S. Route 231/431, Governors Drive, and the Pinhook Creek.  The scope of the project consists of approximately 6,000 feet of multimodal improvements, a cable-suspended pedestrian bridge, three bowstring truss pedestrian bridges, replacement of a railroad bridge, and flood mitigation measures.

The RAISE grant awarded to the city of Cordova will provide funding in the amount of $5,179,948 for repairs and improvements to take place on more than 30 miles of deteriorating roadways throughout Cordova, Alabama.

The RAISE grant for the Northwest Alabama Council of Local Governments will provide $2,000,000 for the Shoals Area Railroad Overpass in Colbert County. The project will produce a comprehensive corridor study and design plan for the roadway approaches and bridge structure over the Norfolk Southern Railroad near Montgomery Avenue in Sheffield, Alabama. The scope of the study encompasses the National Environmental Policy Act, environmental permitting, roadway design, approaches and the overall bridge design.

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The DOT RAISE grant program awards funding annually for important transportation and infrastructure projects across the nation. The program provides an opportunity for the department to invest in road, rail, transit, and port projects that promise to achieve national objectives.

Previously known as the Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development and Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery Discretionary Grants, Congress has dedicated $1.5 billion in Fiscal Year 2022 RAISE grants to fund projects that have a significant local or regional impact.

The Transportation Department uses a rigorous merit-based process to select projects with exceptional benefits, explore ways to deliver projects faster and save on construction costs, and make needed investments in our nation’s infrastructure.

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