Drummond Co., the Alabama Department of Labor, Gov. Kay Ivey and other officials broke ground this morning on the revitalization project of what will become Heritage Landing in Walker County.
The project is a collaborative effort that includes Drummond Co., the city of Dora, Walker County Development Authority, the U.S. Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement and the Alabama Department of Labor’s Abandoned Mine Land Program.
The goal of the project is to transform the 50-acre parcel for future development. It is located immediately adjacent to Interstate 22, right off exit 78, and only 15 minutes from downtown Birmingham and 25 minutes from downtown Jasper. It is adjacent to the community of Yerkwood.
“I was proud to join the Walker County Development Authority and Drummond Co. to break ground on the new Heritage Park. No doubt, this visionary project is the result of teamwork and innovative thinking, both of which are necessary for Alabama to continue achieving success,” said Ivey.
According to records reviewed from the Alabama Mine Map Repository, the area was extensively mined during the early to mid-20th century. The property was mined for coal until the 1960s, leaving extensive spoil piles on the property and a dangerous highwall cut adjacent to I-22. As part of the redevelopment, extensive reclamation will be performed on the highwall and remaining soil piles with the ultimate goal of transforming the site into a parcel of land ready for future development.
“The work our Abandoned Mine Land Program does is essential in ensuring that old, dangerous mines are property reclaimed, which eliminates safety hazards and allows the land to be redeveloped,” said Fitzgerald Washington, secretary of the Alabama Department of Labor. “In addition to cleaning up this site and making it safer, this project has the potential to create positive economic progress for residents in the area.”
Phase one of the project is anticipated to be complete by the first half of 2024. Alabama Power Co. and other partners will provide utility access to the site, including sewer and broadband internet. The property is also near a Class I rail line.