City, Community Foundation of Greater Birmingham partner on Rail-Trail extension

Monday, January 8, 2018

The city of Bessemer is pleased to announce a partnership with the Community Foundation of Greater Birmingham on an extenstion of the city’s Multi-use Rail-Trail along Highway 150.

The Community Foundation is providing $50,000 in grant funding to extend the rail-trail from Berkley Avenue to Arlington Avenue and build a pedestrian bridge across Berkley Avenue.

“We’re very thankful to the Community Foundation of Greater Birmingham for its willingness to partner with us on this project” said Mayor Kenneth Gulley. “The Community Foundation has a long and rich history throughout this region of philanthropy and engagement in the community. Their commitment to this project shows their willingness to invest in improving the quality of life and opportunity for residents of Bessemer.”

The rail-trail along Highway 150 is the first in the city’s history. The first-phase of the rail-trail began last year and stretches from Exeter Avenue to Berkley Avenue. Decorative lighting and benches are being installed and a ribbon-cutting will be announced soon.

The second phase of the project will extend the trail from Berkley Avenue to Arlington Avenue. Work is expected to start this summer. The second phase project will cost approximately $500,000, of which some 80 percent will come from federal funds. The city and the Community Foundation will split the remaining $100,000 in cost.

Future phases call for expansion of the rail-trail into downtown Bessemer near the Bessemer Hall of History Museum and construction of a pedestrian bridge across Highway 150 to link the rail-trail to the Bessemer Recreation Center and Roosevelt Park. The city has already secured federal funding for the future project to link the rail-trail to the Recreation Center at Roosevelt Park.

The Bessemer Rail-Trail is part of the Red Rock Ridge and Valley Trail System (read more on the system here: http://www.freshwaterlandtrust.org/about-red-rock-trail-system/).

Founded in 1959 by and for the community, the Community Foundation of Greater Birmingham is a permanent charitable endowment to drive positive change. In the 58 years since, the Community Foundation of Greater Birmingham has connected philanthropists, nonprofits and engaged leaders to build a stronger more vibrant future for our community.

To learn more about the Community Foundation of Greater Birmingham and its programs, click on the following link: https://www.cfbham.org/.

The first phase of the Bessemer Multi-Use Rail-Trail from Exeter Avenue to Berkley Avenue is nearing completion. A ribbon-cutting will be announced in the coming weeks.

 

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