Freshwater Land Trust could get a step closer to trail extension today

Local News
Christmas Day
December 25 2021 12:00 am

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — If you’ve ever wanted to walk from Railroad Park to Avondale, you soon may have the opportunity.

The Birmingham city council will vote Tuesday on an ordinance that could pave the way for an extension of the Jones Valley Trail.

The council will consider whether to give the Freshwater Land Trust a temporary construction easement to begin work on the project.

“We couldn’t be more excited and think it’s really going to be a game-changer for Birmingham,” Freshwater Land Trust executive director Rusha Smith said. “And so we’re so enthusiastic and think everyone else will be, too.”

The extension would add almost a mile to the existing trail, which currently ends at the corner of 1st Ave. S and 32nd St. S. The extension would connect it with 2nd Ave. S and lead up to 41st St. S in Avondale.

If the council grants the Freshwater Land Trust permission to move forward with the construction, the organization will then move forward with construction permits, and Smith hopes to break ground on the project no later than the end of April. Ideally, she would like to start on Earth Day, April 22. The goal is to finish the project before the start of the World Games in Birmingham in July of 2022.

“This is so needed, not only for people right now for people to be able to get outside and enjoy the beautiful weather and safely distance from other people, but it’s also a wonderful means of alternative transportation to downtown Birmingham,” Smith said.

The Jones Valley Trail is part of the Red Rock Trail System, a project that the Freshwater Land Trust helped start about a decade ago. The ultimate goal, Smith said, is to connect Ruffner Mountain with Red Mountain. Extending the Jonesy Valley Trail is an important part of that process.

“This section of the Red Rock Trail System, which we are the facilitator of, is really an essential spine that was needed,” Smith said. “It is another step in getting the trail system all the way out to Ruffner Mountain.”

Once the Jones Valley Trail extension is complete, the Freshwater Land Trust will begin another extension project that will take the trail close to Cahaba Brewing Company.

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