BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) – The lights could soon be coming back on along interstates throughout the Magic City. Right now, Birmingham City Council members say they are having conversations to try and get the darkness resolved.

Councilman Clinton Woods joined CBS 42 News Anchor Sherri Jackson on Tuesday and talked about the interstate lights. He said it’s a combination of vandalism and burned-out lights.

“There’s legitimate vandalism going on where the lights are being vandalized and people are stealing copper,” Woods said. “Whatever we can kind of do to get to that point, but it’s process and we’re working through the bureaucracy of it.”

Drivers around Birmingham told CBS 42 it causes a safety issue.

“It would be nice to have more overhead lighting to know where the lights are and whatnot,” Isabella Distefano said.

It’s a noticeable darkness for Birmingham drivers like Amelia Fouts.

“Sometimes it’s just difficult to make sure that I’m where I need to be on the road,” Fouts said. “To have well-lit driving conditions especially at night I think that will create an all-around safer situation for everyone on the road.”  

Woods said although the interstates are state roads, the city is looking to prioritize lights after getting several complaints. He said the council is looking to partner with the state to try and make it happen by the World Games.

“There’s currently a lot of people working in a lot of different rooms right now trying to get this resolved,” Woods said.

CBS 42 spoke to an ALDOT spokesperson over the phone Tuesday who said both ALDOT and Birmingham are looking to match funds of about $1.4 million each to turn the lights back on.

Five points of focus include:

  • Arkadelphia Exit on I-20/59
  • Ensley Five Points West Exit on I-20/59
  • University Blvd. Exit on I-65
  • Greensprings Exit on I-65
  • Norwood to Woodlawn near airport on I-20/59