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Shirley, Arlington and Brandon Project

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During the summer of 2024, this project will include water and sewer system improvements and the installation of asphalt pavement at the current dimensions of the streets from West Lincoln to Maple Road.

Understanding the difference between an improved and unimproved road - presentation by City Engineer Melissa Coatta on February 5, 2024. Also download an improved vs. unimproved fact sheet that explains the differences between improved and unimproved roads.  

Horizontal directional drilling - presentation by City Engineer Melissa Coatta on February 5, 2024.

Project Bidding:
- Project to be issued for bids: 4/25/2024
- Bid opening: 5/16/2024
- Contract to be awarded by the City Commission: 6/24/2024
Special Assessment District:
- Set Public Hearing Date for Hearing of Necessity and Confirmation: 5/20/2024
- Hearing of Necessity: 6/3/2024
- Hearing of Confirmation: 6/24/2024 
Resident Meeting: 5/30/2024 

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between an improved and unimproved street, and how does the City determine which streets will be improved?
The City of Birmingham has both improved and unimproved roads. An improved road is a road
with curb and gutters which has a surface of concrete or asphalt. An unimproved road is a gravel
road with or without curbs and gutters that has been treated with cape seal to provide a relatively
smooth and dust free driving surface.

The City of Birmingham’s Engineering Department initiates road improvement projects per the “Procedure for City Street Improvements” policy adopted in 2021. This policy aligns with recommendations from the Ad Hoc Unimproved Street Study Committee and includes a systemwide infrastructure ranking of all unimproved streets.
What was the purpose of the Ad Hoc Unimproved Street Study Committee?
The Ad Hoc Unimproved Street Study Committee was formed in 2017 for the purpose of developing a long-term plan to address unimproved roads in the City. The committee was composed of seven total members with two elected City Commissioners, three residents living on an unimproved street from different areas of the City, one resident living on an improved street, and one member with a background in road design. Follow this link to read their final report.
Why were Shirley Road and Arlington Street selected for improvements?
As part of the City’s annual Capital Improvement Plan and budget for Fiscal Year 2023-2024, Shirley Road and Arlington Street were selected by the City’s Engineering Department for water main replacement and some sewer improvements. Shirley and Arlington have combined sewers that were originally installed in 1927, and sections of both streets have relief sewers that were installed in 1968. The improvements will result in wider water mains and extended relief sewers. The sewer and water mains are located beneath the public streets, hence the proposed project will also include a new pavement surface. Both streets are currently unimproved streets, meaning they were originally constructed as a gravel surface and then later treated with chip seal surfacing. 
Who will pay for these improvements?
The vast majority of the cost for this project will be paid for by the City and taxpayers. Costs related to reconstructing the street will be subject to a special assessment to the adjoining property owners, as has been the policy of the City for many years. Costs related to improvements to the water mains and sewer lines are paid from water and sewer user fees. If needed, new water and sewer laterals that service individual properties are subject to special assessments.
Do fire hydrants in the area produce enough water to meet current goals for water flow?
No. Per the Fire Department, Shirley and Arlington need immediate improvements to the water system for fire suppression needs due to some hydrants not meeting water flow requirements. The new, wider water main will provide significant improvement in water flows, and this improvement will allow the system to meet current goals for residential areas.