Old Woodward reopens for Day on the Town bash

By: Tiffany Esshaki | Birmingham - Bloomfield Eagle | Published August 6, 2018

 Wider sidewalks, a concrete street and new landscaping are among the above-ground enhancements in downtown Birmingham following the four-month Old Woodward Avenue reconstruction project.

Wider sidewalks, a concrete street and new landscaping are among the above-ground enhancements in downtown Birmingham following the four-month Old Woodward Avenue reconstruction project.

Photo provided by Birmingham Communications Director Kevin Byrnes

BIRMINGHAM — It’s finally time, everyone. We made it.

This weekend will mark the official grand reopening of downtown Birmingham after the monthslong reconstruction project that had the Old Woodward Avenue and Maple Road intersection completely closed since the spring.

To mark the occasion, the Birmingham Shopping District will coordinate its annual Day on the Town event with the reopening Saturday, Aug. 11, so visitors can not only enjoy the sparkly new sidewalks and streetscaping, they can find some great deals from their favorite retailers too.

The big day will kick off at 9 a.m. at the intersection of Old Woodward and Maple. BCB Entertainers, formerly known as the Straw Hat Band, will perform during the ceremony as city officials count down to a ribbon cutting to formally reopen the downtown area.

It will be a big moment, since the central hub of Birmingham’s downtown district has been closed off since April to replace water mains and sewers; add improved irrigation, fiber optic systems, electrical connections and landscaping; not to mention, wider sidewalks and angled parking.

“The Day on the Town sale is a wonderful opportunity for the public to see and experience the improvements to downtown Birmingham as we reopen Old Woodward,” City Manager Joe Valentine said in an email. “What better way to highlight our new street than with the largest shopping event of the year? We look forward to everyone coming out to share in this celebration.”

At the same time, many of Birmingham’s downtown retailers will be open with special sales and promotions for the annual 10-hour Day on the Town. The event is always a big draw for shoppers, according to BSD Executive Director Ingrid Tighe. A Kids Zone will be open 10 a.m.-5 p.m., and parking will be free in all of the structures and at meters throughout the downtown area.

“We are excited that Old Woodward’s reconstruction is wrapping up and that we are able to hold Day on the Town as the public and our merchants are used to,” Tighe said. “Our merchant community has been very patient throughout the process, and we hope Day on the Town is the catalyst that helps them finish the year with strong sales.”

Though visitors will be celebrating the reopening of Old Woodward and Maple, the stretch between Willits and Brown streets, and from Bates Street to Peabody Street, will still be closed to traffic to accommodate Day on the Town festivities.

To learn more about the Old Woodward reconstruction project, visit bhamgov.org/downtowninfrastructure.

For more information about Day on the Town, visit AllInBirmingham.com.