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Birmingham Impact Analysis (intro):
Study Purpose W-ZHA, LLC in collaboration with Goody Clancy was retained by Move I-20/59 to assess the economic and fiscal implications of removing I-20/59 viaduct to allow for meaningful investment in this critical area of Birmingham’s City Center. Conceptually, removing the viaduct could involve depressing the highway and/or relocating the highway. As part of this study, three case studies are highlighted to demonstrate how transformative investment can have a catalytic, place-defining impact on a city and its economy.
Existing Conditions The Interstate 20/59 viaduct has a negative impact on nearby property values and land use. Most of the property within two blocks of the viaduct is occupied by tax exempt land uses. The viaduct has also compromised the potential of the Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex and the Birmingham Museum of Art.
The viaduct has created a barrier and, as such, has essentially cut-off neighborhoods to the north. As a result these neighborhoods are challenged by high vacancy and tax delinquency. These neighborhoods continue to be distressed as Downtown Birmingham is experiencing a revitalization boom.