LANDSCAPING DESIGN: Nimrod Long and Associates
LIGHTING DESIGN: Hyde Engineering
RETAINING WALL RECOMMENDATION: CTL, Inc.
COORDINATION TO OBTAIN US FISH & WILDLIFE ENDANGERED SPECIES CLEARANCE: Saber, Inc.
COORDINATION TO OBTAIN HISTORICAL COMMISSION CLEARANCE: A.G. Gaston Engineering
Cahaba Road serves as a connector to three municipalities in the Birmingham metropolitan area. This road is also the main access to the Birmingham Zoo and Birmingham Botanical Gardens, which generate high traffic volumes and parking during peak events. Given the road’s importance, the City of Birmingham led a project to improve the facility to accommodate more than just vehicular traffic.
Sain worked with a group of stakeholders, which included the City of Birmingham, Alabama Department of Transportation, Birmingham Zoo, and Birmingham Botanical Gardens. Each group member contributed valuable insight with differing expertise. The group identified the following goals for the project:
- Bicycles and Pedestrians shall be accommodated.
- Preserve the beauty of the road and blend the new landscaping with the existing tree canopy.
- The Zoo entrance shall be transformed to provide a “Gateway.”
- All improvements must be constructed within the existing road right-of-way.
- Improvements shall be planned and coordinated with other projects ongoing in the immediate area.
Sain provided the roadway design, survey services, traffic services, and CE&I for the project. The first steps of the design included performing a traffic study to evaluate existing traffic conditions, project future traffic with expansions of the Zoo and Gardens and determine an appropriate roadway typical section. The final design included two 14’ lanes which would accommodate both vehicular and bicycle traffic, sidewalks on both sides of the road, lighting on one side of the road, and a roundabout at the Zoo entrance.
During construction, Sain provided a full-time inspector on the project to serve as the liaison between the contractor, City, and ALDOT. Sain was also tasked with communicating schedules, progress, and issues to the Zoo and Gardens.
At the ribbon cutting, Mayor William Bell of Birmingham was quoted by the Birmingham News as saying, “This project connects two great attractions, making them one ultimate destination. This work symbolizes a great partnership between the City of Birmingham, Friends of Birmingham Botanical Gardens, and Birmingham Zoo. Working closely together, we are continuing to make the City of Birmingham better for all of its residents and for all of our visitors.”
Sain was awarded an Excellence in Engineering Award from the American Council of Engineering Companies of Alabama in 2016 for its work on this project.