HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) — The City of Huntsville has plans to build a 1,400 foot pedestrian suspension skybridge connecting downtown from the Clinton Avenue/Heart of Huntsville/Constellation Drive area to Lowe Mill.
The skybridge would soar above Memorial Parkway, giving pedestrians a safe way to cross.
News 19 spoke with Kathy Martin, the Director of Engineering for the City, to learn more about the project.
“It’s to promote safety really, is the main purpose of that bridge,” Martin stated. “Providing improved safety for alternate modes of transportation, so again, to reduce vehicles on the roadway by connecting folks to job centers, community centers and recreation, as well.”
The cost of the project is extremely high.
“Our cost assessment is about $64 million for all this new infrastructure,” Martin told News 19.
However, the City is applying for a federal grant to help cover 40% of the project.
“We’re seeking $25 million in federal funds associated with the infrastructure bill,” Martin explained.
This isn’t the first time Huntsville has applied for the Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity (RAISE) grant. While Huntsville hasn’t won before, Martin said each year the city gets feedback on why it wasn’t chosen. She said the Huntsville’s plans are “highly recommended”, giving her hope.
“We continue to be encouraged by them telling us that this project comes highly recommended, that’s the terminology that’s used in grant process,” Martin said. “It encourages us to re-apply because for the small amount of application fees and updating our application, you know, the possibility of getting $25 million dollars to do as many things as this project is proposed to do for the community, is something that is difficult for us to give up.”
The project would also bring a new railroad bridge and improvements to the Pinhook Creek area.
Applications for the grant close on April 14th. The U.S. Department of Transportation says the winners will be announced no later than August, 12, 2022.