City of Huntsville secures federal RAISE grant for pedestrian access project
Published on August 9, 2022
The City of Huntsville’s vision for improving downtown pedestrian access while providing an economic boost to low-income communities is a step closer to reality after securing $20 million in federal grant funding.
The pedestrian access and redevelopment corridor (PARC) project has been on the City’s wish list for over a decade, but funding shortfalls kept the project in a holding pattern. The Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity (RAISE) grant, administered by the U.S. Department of Transportation, ensures PARC can move ahead.
“Huntsville welcomes the RAISE grant, which will allow us to take property out of flood zones, enhance connectivity and improve our transportation grid along Pinhook Creek,” Mayor Tommy Battle said. “We appreciate our partnership with the federal government and this grant, which will help us take Huntsville to the next level.”
The key aspect of PARC is connectivity. The project will safely connect the downtown, Mill Creek and Lowe Mill communities via greenways and a suspended pedestrian bridge. These three areas are currently separated by two major state and federal roadways: U.S. 231 and U.S. 431/AL53.
The project will also include major enhancements along Pinhook Creek in the downtown district to reduce flooding and improve the floodplain along the creek. Upon completion, the Pinhook Creek area will feature new public recreation amenities while also connecting multiple neighborhoods.
“This project has been a continuous goal for the City since 2006,” said Shane Davis, Huntsville’s Director of Urban & Economic Development. “The completion of the project will provide a safe multimodal hub for pedestrian and bicycle connectivity for multiple areas of Huntsville as well as new downtown recreation opportunities. Over time, the City will use this project to connect north and south Huntsville, Five Points, Lowe Mill, John Hunt Park and even Research Park with alternate modes of mobility.”
It will also offer a significant boost to low-income communities by providing access to health care and employment opportunities to about 5,000 people who live within a half mile of the project area.
“This is one of those quality-of-life projects that will have enormous benefits for anyone who lives, works and plays downtown,” Mayor Battle said. “We are grateful for our local, state and federal partners who helped secure this last piece of the puzzle. “I especially thank Sen. Richard Shelby and his team for their assistance in procuring the grant, as well as Sen. Tommy Tuberville and Gov. Kay Ivey, who went above and beyond in expressing their support for the project.”