Metro Roundup: Shades Creek Greenway extension tops Homewood’s 2022 priorities


Homewood residents looking for ways to be active or just get outside are in luck heading into 2022, with plans to expand the Shades Creek Greenway as well as the addition of sidewalks and a playground. poached.

These projects are just a few of the major projects and developments heading to Homewood in 2022.

Shades Creek Greenway Phase II

The second phase of the Shades Creek Greenway project will connect the existing trail that currently ends at the intersection of Columbiana Road and Lakeshore Parkway to the other side of Columbiana. It will extend behind the Crescent at Lakeshore apartments, behind Wildwood area businesses and end at BioLife Plasma Services.

The estimated cost of the project is about $6 million, an 80-20 split between the Alabama Department of Transportation and the city of Homewood, which will be responsible for about $1.2 million, according to the City Engineer Cale Smith.

The plan is for the project to launch this spring, Smith said, with ALDOT overseeing the bidding process. A timeline for the project’s completion is unknown at this time, Smith said.

The new trail is 1.5 miles long and the entire trail is 4 miles and goes from Target near Brookwood Village to Wildwood. The shared-use trail can be used by both cyclists and pedestrians running or walking on the trail, Smith said.

“It’s a great asset to our community,” Smith said.

City Council Speaker Alex Wyatt said the Shades Creek Greenway was a “long, long project” and that the first phase had been “tremendously popular”.

“We believe that will continue with this second phase,” Wyatt said.

The project connects West Homewood residents to the Lakeshore area and Wildwood, Wyatt said, and is a city priority because of its ability to create shared recreation space.

sidewalk projects

Several sidewalk projects are coming to Homewood, including Reese Street, Saulter Road and Lancaster Road.

Wyatt said the Saulter Road sidewalk project was going to tender in late December and is a “big and expensive” project that involves more than the typical sidewalk project. The plan is to connect the current sidewalk to a pocket park which is also under construction. The city was expected to sign the park lease around mid-December, then move on to designing and building the park.

The land on which the park will be built is owned by Samford University, which leases it from the city. Amenities will be part of the process, but the park will be passive, Wyatt said.

The sidewalks on Reese Street are also part of a larger process on this street, as the city will also add parking spaces in an effort to narrow the road and connect 18th Street and Central Avenue. Bids were due after press time for the Saulter and Lancaster projects, while Reese Street will bid first. The next phase of sidewalk construction will take place in West Homewood, Wyatt said.

Other cities, state projects

The project at the intersection of Lakeshore Drive and Interstate 65 will help reduce congestion in this area. The project will create a diverging diamond that will cut through traffic on the opposite side of the road at the bridge, allowing drivers to veer left onto I-65 without stopping. It will also allow vehicles approaching Lakeshore from interstate off-ramps to merge into traffic without waiting for a light.

The city is also paying about $332,000 to Kimberly Horn to create a stormwater master plan focused on the Griffin Creek area. It includes the area between Valley Road and Green Springs Highway and is where most stormwater complaints originate.

The study will take inventory of existing structures and also see the creation of an online infrastructure dashboard so the city can monitor them, Smith said. It will also include a maintenance plan for the public works department, as well as recommended updates to the city’s stormwater ordinance.

The project is expected to take between four and six months and will result in a number of projects the city may choose to undertake to improve stormwater issues, as well as the maintenance plan and updated ordinance, a said Smith.

On the Green Springs Freeway, Wyatt said the city is adding medians, landscaping, sidewalks and crosswalks in an effort to revitalize this area. The city may also add sidewalks towards Lakeshore, focusing on the connection from Broadway Street to Oxmoor Road.

Economic development

A company bought the Brookwood Village mall, along with Macy’s and the Brookwood Office Center, with plans for redevelopment.

In August, Fairway Investments and Pope & Land Real Estate sent out a press release announcing plans to redevelop Brookwood Village with a team including the services of Goodwyn Mills Cawood, DAG Architects and others, with Colliers International and Arlington Properties also acquiring contracts.

Sims Garrison, COO and President of Fairway Investments, said in the statement, “We look forward to working with the towns of Mountain Brook and Homewood to try to turn the struggling mall into something more appropriate and representative of the communities it serves. .”

There hasn’t been much communication between the owners and the city since then, Wyatt said. Markstein’s Tim Wright, who represents part of the Owners Group, said there was no further comment as of press time. Collier and Arlington made public presentations in October, but no further action was taken.

Wyatt said the most likely role the city council would play would be any necessary rezoning.

In Wildwood, several new restaurants and businesses were scheduled to open in late 2021 or 2022, including Whataburger, Chipotle, a renovated Chick-fil-A and Aspen Dental.

Homewood City Schools

Within the city’s public school system, Homewood City Schools will create its sixth five-year strategic plan, helping to develop a vision for the future of the school system.

“The strategic planning process is comprised of community members, business leaders, students and school staff and represents a significant engagement for everyone involved. The tremendous success of our schools is due to the strong strategic plans that have been put in place in our school system,” said HCS Superintendent Justin Hefner. “This process will identify the goals, aspirations and perspectives of

our schools and transform them into priorities for our school system over the next five years.

The process began in the fall of 2021, bringing together stakeholders from across the community. The school system used the Schlechty Center, a nonprofit organization that provides strategic consultation, targeted advice, and technical assistance to district and school leaders to create engagement-focused schools and school districts.

All data and information will be compiled to enable school leaders to define the system’s “core values, mission and future goals for schools in the City of Homewood,” said school system communications director Merrick Wilson. .

The team will meet this spring to finalize “goals and direction” and present them to the Homewood School Board for approval, Hefner said.

“This process is a true example of Homewood’s love and commitment to our children and our schools. We are blessed to already have such a great school system, but I am excited to see how we will challenge ourselves through this new strategic plan and grow even stronger as a school system,” Hefner said.


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