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Public-Private Partnership to Revitalize Old Shell Road Underpass



The City of Mobile is partnering with the Alabama Export Railroad and the non-profit Community of Mobile, Inc., to improve the midtown underpass on Old Shell Road.

 

This project will include improved landscaping and hardscaping, new green plantings, sidewalks, a built-in sprinkler system and improved LED lighting. The concrete support pillars of the overpass will also be thoroughly cleaned and power washed. The local non-profit Community of Mobile, Inc., started this initiative to beautify this highly trafficked area along Old Shell Road.

 

Founded by Lewis Beville in 2021, Community of Mobile, Inc., has spent years coordinating with the City of Mobile and the Alabama Export Railroad and has raised more than $300,000 from local foundations, corporations and individuals to support this project. The Mobile Area Water and Sewer System is making in-kind contributions to the project, which will also include drainage improvements.


During its meeting on May 28, the Mobile City Council unanimously approved a $250,000 allocation toward the project. These funds came from the city’s Capital Improvement Program (CIP) with the full support of District 1 Councilman Cory Penn.“We want to make sure this area is walkable because we have a lot of local schools and students that rely on Old Shell Road,” Councilman Cory Penn said. “I am very excited to see this effort underway, and I was happy to help move it forward. This is an excellent opportunity for local nonprofits, the railroad, MAWSS and the city to come together on a great project that will benefit the community.” 

 

In addition to a significant portion of the $478,000 construction costs, Community of Mobile Inc., has raised an additional $64,000, which will go toward an endowment fund for recurring maintenance costs and future additions to the Underpass. About two dozen companies, organizations and individuals were among the donors.


“We are thrilled to support the Underpass Project and grateful to everyone who has played a role in this effort,” Mayor Sandy Stimpson said. “This is a model for how public-private partnerships should work, and Lewis Beville and Community of Mobile Inc. deserve credit for bringing this vision to life. I also want to thank the leadership of Alabama Export Railroad and MAWSS for their cooperation, as well as Councilman Penn for using his CIP allocations to support this impactful project in District 1.”

 

Work is scheduled to begin on Monday, June 3, and Old Shell Road will be closed at the railroad overpass between LeFevre Street and Union Avenue for approximately two months. An assigned detour will run from Sage Avenue to Dauphin Street to Florida Street. Construction is expected to be substantially complete within two months so that the road can be reopened before school starts in the fall.

 

For additional information on the Underpass Project, visit communityofmobile.net.


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