Questions raised about environmental park on city's westside | News
MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA)- It has been a long time coming and many wonder if it will ever happen.
Plans were drawn years ago for West Fairview Avenue revitalization from Court Street to Interstate 65.
And while some projects are in the works, the entire vision has suffered unexpected delays.
Perhaps the only places you'll see progress on Fairview Avenue are storefronts like Mama Pierce's.
"I really appreciate what happened for me and I'm hoping this little area will get better," says Mama Pierce.
The city used grant money to paint and renovate some building facades to help boost the area's appearance.
Mama Pierce's restaurant was one of them.
"All the buildings look better, ya know, all the buildings they did. And I appreciate that and I'm sure the rest of the people do too, but we still wondering what are they gonna do about the park? What are they gonna do about Fairview street?"
She's talking about Genetta Park.
It's currently under construction at the corner of Fairview and I-65.
But it hasn't gone as planned.
"We were delayed in phase one," says Montgomery Mayor Todd Strange.
Strange says construction on the environmental park was delayed nearly eight months.
"Right now it just looks like a deep hole out there with some cement around it and some bushes," says Pierce.
Folks who pass the spot often are confused about the purpose of the park.
"When is it gonna look better?" asks Pierce.
Mayor Strange says the park's stream and wetlands were built to restore ground water collected from west and central Montgomery.
A watercolor rendering shows multiple phases eventually allowing for recreational areas at the park.
But for now, construction continues.
"I think that it's gonna eventually be something, but I hope it'll be in my lifetime," says Pierce.
The second phase of the park is expected to be complete in the spring. In the meantime, city leaders say the Department of Transportation approved a contract they have with engineers to design the new Fairview Avenue streetscape. Construction should start on it within the year.
Mayor Strange says there is also someone interested in purchasing the old Sears building property near Court Street. The city currently owns the land. Crews tore down the building last year.
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