Located in the heart of downtown Birmingham, Alabama, Railroad Park is one of the community’s most widely enjoyed recreational green spaces. The site includes a lake, wetland, ponds and streams, as well as miles of walking and biking trails. In addition to being a public amenity, Railroad Park serves as a stormwater management system for the city of Birmingham, controlling runoff and rain flow to minimize localized flooding.

At the west end of the park sits a one-acre lake with a stormwater recirculation system. When the system wasn’t functioning properly, the Railroad Park Foundation called on Gresham Smith to assess the issue and develop a budget-friendly solution. Using our experience from larger conveyance system projects, our firm quickly went to work, selecting robust, reliable equipment that will meet the unique challenges of the urban park.

Client

Railroad Park Foundation

Location

Birmingham, AL

Project Type

Stormwater

Services

Engineering

19

acre park

1

acre lake

10

year community landmark

Connecting the Community

Connecting the Community

The park is comprised of several streams and ponds that connect to the large lake in the park’s west end. In addition, several miles of walking trails and significant green space provide ample opportunities for gathering. The one-acre lake serves as a noticeable central focal point, making its beautification a core component of the park’s overall success.

The park’s stormwater recirculation system was not functioning properly, and needed improvements to increase efficiency, reliability and preserve the community benefits.

Perfecting the Public Amenity
Perfecting the Public Amenity

Perfecting the Public Amenity

Gresham Smith’s recommended improvements included an aeration system that would help to continuously filter the water, eliminating algae blooms and organic material buildup on the surface. The new equipment includes an automated system, which will adjust operations in response to varied weather conditions, helping the lake maintain an adequate water level while reducing maintenance costs.
A Catalyst for Development

A Catalyst for Development

Since the establishment of Railroad Park, the surrounding areas have experienced significant commercial development, including mixed-use and retail developments, as well as attractions such as the Birmingham Barons stadium. With a reliable stormwater recirculation system in place, Railroad Park is set to continue to be a community asset and catalyst for development for decades to come.

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Hal Humphrey, P.E.
Hal Humphrey, P.E.
Senior Civil Engineer