Another exit ramp to close while ALDOT continues work on I-59/20
Birmingham, Ala. —
Attention drivers! Another permanent closure is coming downtown. Again, it is part of ALDOT's work on I-59/20. Monday the 11th Avenue North exit ramp will close permanently.
If you use that ramp you enter Birmingham very close to the Uptown district. For drivers there will be a detour in place to get into the city another way. But business managers in the Uptown area say this is something they've been discussing and crossing their fingers it doesn't impact business too much.
Lunch time at Your Pie in Uptown means long lines and busy workers. But next week's closure of the 11th Avenue North exit ramp could change that. General Manager Nicholas Hardy says weekend business is driven by events at the BJCC but other times they do draw customers from those driving into town. "It could affect middle of the week businesses, lunch businesses stuff like that," says Hardy, "it's just one less exit for somebody to get off of and it brings people to this location so people have to loop around and go a little bit further to get here."
Right now if you're driving south on I-59/20 and you take the 11th Avenue north exit ramp, it's just a couple right turns and you're in the Uptown district. Starting Monday the detour will take people about six blocks southeast of Uptown.
"This is generally an area with a lot of visitors with the Westin and Sheraton here so people may have to go an alternate route and get lost or confused so it could be difficult for people we have coming into town," says Hardy, "we as managers in the Uptown district have discussed it and tried to figure out alternate means to get people here."
But hardy says they can't do much because they can't change the interstate, so they will remain optimistic that their customers will follow the detour to get to their businesses. "It has to work we don't have much of a choice."
The detour for this closure is for drivers to continue on Red Mountain Expressway and use the 6th Avenue N exit.
And while the 11th Avenue N exit ramp will never open again, ALDOT says once the new configuration of I-59/20 is in place there will be a new access ramp in and out of the city at 25th Street N.