Old Woodward project causing concerns for Birmingham residents

Construction is supposed to start June 1, with an expected completion date somewhere in October

The final phase of remodeling one last part of old Woodward in Birmingham was approved Monday (April 11) night at one of the city's meetings. The goal is to help slow down traffic, provide safer pedestrian crossings and improve infrastructure in general.

BIRMINGHAM, Mich. – The final phase of remodeling one last part of Old Woodward in Birmingham was approved Monday (April 11) night at one of the city’s meetings.

The goal is to help slow down traffic, provide safer pedestrian crossings and improve infrastructure in general.

On the surface, this seems like a fantastic project, but all that depends on who you ask.

Some Birmingham residents are divided on the matter.

“We’ll have a new street,” said Birmingham resident Anthony Hrabowski. “A lot of people will walk around and enjoy themselves.

Some Pedestrians like Hrabowski are delighted, learning the restructuring of Old Woodward is being done to keep people walking down the street safely.

However, the assistant engineer for the city of Birmingham says the issue is deeper than that.

“The city of Birmingham is a very old city,” said Birmingham Asst. City Engineer Scott Zielinski. “A lot of old sewers and water mains needing to be rebuilt as part of these projects. Although we’re going to have a beautiful project when it’s done, it is going to limit the parking spaces.”

Old Woodward is currently being remodeled above and below. However, those in charge of the Five Five Five Building aren’t happy to be losing parking spots.

Robert Ziegelman with Luckenbach Ziegelman Architects is part of the group that helped design the building’s layout. He says the new project is something that can cripple businesses.

“There’s no planning in the future to provide parking for a commercial area,” said Ziegelman. “If you’re going to take away parking for this commercial area, at least provide parking another way.”

As of right now, talks about what can be done in the future are still playing out.

“The nature of construction in a project this big, it’s impossible to keep everyone happy,” Zielinski said.

A bus stop is supposed to be placed in front of the Five Five Five Building, which is another concern as it would take out more parking spaces.

Construction is supposed to start June 1, with an expected completion date somewhere in October.


About the Authors:

Victor Williams joined Local 4 News in October of 2019 after working for WOIO in Cleveland, OH, WLOX News in Biloxi, MS, and WBBJ in Jackson, TN. Victor developed a love for journalism after realizing he was a great speaker and writer at an early age.

Brandon Carr is a digital content producer for ClickOnDetroit and has been with WDIV Local 4 since November 2021. Brandon is the 2015 Solomon Kinloch Humanitarian award recipient for Community Service.