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Public-Private Partnership to Revitalize Old Shell Rd. Underpass

May 29th, 2024

Posted in: Public NoticePress ReleaseMayorTraffic Engineering

- May 29, 2024 -

Public-Private Partnership to Revitalize Old Shell Rd. Underpass

Mobile, Ala. — The City of Mobile is partnering with the Alabama Export Railroad and the non-profit Community of Mobile, Inc. to improve the midtown underpass on Old Shell Road substantially.

This project will include improved landscaping and hardscaping, new green plantings, sidewalks, a built-in sprinkler system and improved LED lighting. The concrete support pillars of the overpass will also be thoroughly cleaned and power washed. The local non-profit Community of Mobile, Inc. started this initiative to beautify this highly trafficked area along Old Shell Road.

Founded by Lewis Beville in 2021, Community of Mobile, Inc. has spent years coordinating with the City of Mobile and the Alabama Export Railroad and has raised more than $300,000 from local foundations, corporations and individuals to support this project. The Mobile Area Water and Sewer System is making in-kind contributions to the project, which will also include drainage improvements.

During its meeting on May 28, the Mobile City Council unanimously approved a $250,000 allocation toward the project. These funds came from the city’s Capital Improvement Program (CIP) with the full support of District 1 Councilman Cory Penn.

“We want to make sure this area is walkable because we have a lot of local schools and students that rely on Old Shell Road,” Councilman Cory Penn said. “I am very excited to see this effort underway, and I was happy to help move it forward. This is an excellent opportunity for local nonprofits, the railroad, MAWSS and the city to come together on a great project that will benefit the community.” 

In addition to a significant portion of the $478,000 construction costs, Community of Mobile Inc. has raised an additional $64,000, which will go toward an endowment fund for recurring maintenance costs and future additions to the Underpass. A complete list of project donors is available below.

“We are thrilled to support the Underpass Project and grateful to everyone who has played a role in this effort,” Mayor Sandy Stimpson said. “This is a model for how public-private partnerships should work, and Lewis Beville and Community of Mobile Inc. deserve credit for bringing this vision to life. I also want to thank the leadership of Alabama Export Railroad and MAWSS for their cooperation, as well as Councilman Penn for using his CIP allocations to support this impactful project in District 1.”

Work is scheduled to begin on Monday, June 3, and Old Shell Rd. will be closed at the railroad overpass between LeFevre Street and Union Ave. for approximately two months. An assigned detour will run from Sage Ave. to Dauphin Street to Florida Street. Construction is expected to be substantially complete within two months so that the road can be reopened before school starts in the fall.

For additional information on the Underpass Project, visit

Donors to “The Underpass Project”

J. L. Bedsole Foundation

Nan H. Altmayer Charitable Trust

Joy and James Grodnick Charitable Foundation

Lewis and Karen Anne Beville

Beard Equipment Company

Hydro Technologies

Hearin-Chandler Foundation

Ty and Johannah Bullard

Mitchell McLeod Pugh and Williams

City of Mobile

Burton Family Holdings

Andy and Margaret Newton

Great Southern Wood Preserving

China Doll Rice and Beans, Inc.

John and Allison Peebles

Ben May Charitable Trust

David J. Cooper Family Charitable Foundation

Thames Batre Insurance

A. S. Mitchell Foundation

Chris and Sonya Gomel

Merrill and Carolyn Thomas

Alabama Export Railroad

Autry Greer and Sons, Inc.

Trustmark Bank


Click here to view the renderings.