By William C. Singleton III
Vestavia Hills city officials want to ensure the first impression of their city is its best impression.
City leaders are working on improving the southern gateway at Interstate 65 and U.S. 31 and have hired a Birmingham landscaping company to help them.
The City Council recently approved a contract with Blackjack Horticulture for $350,000 to help beautify the area on the Vestavia side of the interstate. Blackjack was the lowest bidder of four companies who responded to the city’s request for proposals.
Blackjack will be adding two stone retaining walls and landscaping the site with an assortment of trees and bushes, including Wildfire black gum, bald cypress, Autumn Blaze red maple and burning bush.
The contract calls for a year of maintenance after the project is completed. City officials said it should take three months to complete the project.
“Our vision is to improve the first impression people have entering Vestavia Hills,” City Manager Jeff Downes said.
The landscaping contract represents a portion of the overall cost to improve the gateway, which currently includes a temple structure. The overall project will cost about $418,000, which includes design and maintenance expenses, Downes said.