Maxine Parker Bridge now open in Collegeville

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - A problem in Birmingham that has lingered for decades is now fixed.

Officials cut the ribbon on the Maxine Herring Parker Bridge Tuesday afternoon. It carries Fred L. Shuttlesworth Drive from 29th Avenue North to 32nd Avenue North, over a set of railroad tracks, and into the Collegeville neighborhood.

For years, Collegeville residents have basically been trapped in their community anytime a train comes through or stalls on the tracks.

Mayor William Bell said he had first hand experience with the problem when he worked in the area several years ago.

"It became a common everyday experience with the trains in all different directions. But one day, there was an ambulance that was trying to get in here and couldn't get in to save someone's life. And I knew then, something had to be done," said Bell.

The bridge opened to traffic and pedestrians late Tuesday afternoon.

In addition to Bell, the ceremony was attended by Governor Kay Ivey and other state officials.

Ivey says naming the bridge for the late Birmingham City Council president is appropriate.

"She (Maxine Parker) was a fierce supporter of Collegeville, and the need to make people aware that accessibility needed to be elevated, so the people could have a safe way to get into and out of their neighborhoods."

The bridge was completed in just two years.

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