In Birmingham, Alabama near the Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex, some 700 parking spots are about to be eliminated. According to Al.com the Alabama Department of Transportation has mandated that the parking lot under Interstate 20/59 be closed due to safety issues.
Apparently, the freeway is carrying twice the weight its structure was designed for and is showing serious signs of wear. Birmingham leaders were caught off guard by the announcement.
“Of course, we knew this was to be an eventuality with the rebuilding and repair of the corridor bridges, but we were not prepared for the sudden closure, due to extenuating safety hazards,” said Councilwoman Kim Rafferty. “It is not a decision I argue with but the city administration, the BJCC, the council transportation committee, ALDOT, and other interested parties should have been called to a joint meeting to begin work on mitigating the loss of the 700 parking spaces.”
Maybe a combination of disorganization, politics and complicated schedules have complicated the decision making in this situation, but I say, if the department of transportation tells you it’s not safe to park under a freeway, go ahead and believe them. Everyone seems to be doing all they can to handle the unexpected change in plans.
BJCC Executive Director Tad Snider said his facility would work to find alternative parking and let customers know the locations. Snider said the BJCC would immediately begin a process to inform customers of the change. Signage and social media are all tools that will be used, he said.
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