As part of its 100-year anniversary, the Birmingham, AL Rotary Club provided $3.5 million dollars to build a trail that connects Railroad Park to another Birmingham landmark, the Sloss Furnaces. Working with the Rails to Trails Conservancy, the City of Birmingham converted the out-of-use Seaboard Air Line railroad bed into a public use trail that could be enjoyed by people of all ages.
The railway, which was previously covered in graffiti and debris, sits 20 feet below street level and required two footbridge crossings over low points where water collects. With over 600,000 annual visitors to the adjacent Railroad Park, designers from Page Duke Landscape Architects needed to specify a durable product.
PermaTrak’s maintenance-free boardwalk system was a perfect solution for handling the commercial trail’s high amount of foot and bicycle traffic. The City is saving on maintenance costs with a concrete material that doesn’t turn out rotted or warped deck boards- even in a humid, Southern climate.
The trail provides space for walking, jogging, bike riding, dog walking, and other popular activities at the park, and converted what was once an abandoned railroad bed into a thriving public recreational space. The pedestrian crossings at Rotary Trail are PermaTrak’s first installation in the state of Alabama and have generated excitement from both locals and visitors.
Railroad Park offers two playgrounds, outdoor gym equipment, a skating area, Railroad Park Dining Car, solar-powered cell phone charging stations, free Wi-Fi, and the iconic 46-foot “Rotary Trail in the Magic City” sign.