For Immediate Release: August 24, 2022
Heritage Landing Abandoned Mine Land Economic Revitalization Project Brings Development Opportunity to Walker County
MONTGOMERY– The Alabama Department of Labor, Governor Kay Ivey, and Drummond Company (DCI) held a groundbreaking ceremony for the construction of the new Heritage Landing development project in rural Walker County. The ceremony was held on the former legacy mine site on August 24, 2022.
This project is a collaborative effort and includes participation by Drummond Company, the City of Dora, the Walker County Development Authority, the U.S. Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSMRE), and the Alabama Department of Labor’s AML Program.
In 2018, Drummond Company was approved for a $3 million grant by the ADOL Abandoned Mine Land (AML) Revitalization Program towards the reclamation and development of its Heritage Landing development. The Heritage Landing project represents an opportunity to reclaim and transform an approximately 50-acre un-reclaimed legacy mine site in southern Walker County.
Records reviewed from the Alabama Mine Map Repository indicate that this area was extensively mined in the early to mid-20th Century. The property was mined for coal until the 1960’s, leaving extensive spoil piles (waste rock and soil overburden removed to access the coal seam) on the property and a dangerous highwall cut adjacent to I-22. The dangerous highwall (a hazardous vertical bluff left where mining of the coal seam ceased) stretches almost 3,000 linear feet and averages 35-feet in height. The highwall cut and spoil piles remain in evidence on the property today posing a danger to the public. As part of the redevelopment of the property, extensive reclamation will be performed on the highwall and remaining spoil piles situated on-site with the ultimate goal of transforming the site into a 50-acre parcel of land ready for future development opportunities.
“I was proud to join the Walker County Development Authority and Drummond Company 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 Governor Ivey. “As someone who is the proud daughter of rural Alabama, I will continue to champion growth for every corner of our state, and it begins with projects like Heritage Landing. Yet again, Walker County and Alabama are taking a major step forward.”
“The work our Abandoned Mine Land Program does is essential in ensuring that old, dangerous mines are properly reclaimed, which eliminates safety hazards and allows the land to be re-developed,” 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.”
The property is contiguous and immediately adjacent to the I-22 corridor connection between Birmingham and Memphis. This prime location, right off of exit 78, is only a 15-minute commute from downtown Birmingham and a 25-minute drive from downtown Jasper. The site is adjacent to the community of Yerkwood.
Phase 1 of the project is anticipated to be completed by the first half of 2024. The 50-acre site will be fully graded. Thanks to Alabama Power Company and other partners, the site will have full utility access, from electric to water, sewage, and high-speed broadband internet access. The property is also near a Class 1 rail line, in addition to being a stone’s throw from I-22 and easy drives to I-65, I-59/20, and Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport.
The AMLER Grant Program is derived from monies appropriated from the U.S. Treasury with the focus on the reclamation of abandoned mine lands coupled with the economic development of coal impacted communities in the Alabama coalfields. To qualify, these economic development projects must be located on or adjacent to coal mine sites that ceased operations prior to the signing of the Surface Mine Control and Reclamation Act (SMCRA) on August 3, 1977. Counties eligible for projects include Bibb, Blount, Cherokee, Cullman, DeKalb, Etowah, Fayette, Franklin, Jackson, Jefferson, Lamar, Madison, Marion, Marshall, Shelby, St. Clair, Tuscaloosa, Walker, and Winston.
The AMLER Grant funding, provided by the federal government, is being administered by ADOL AML and all funding must be approved by the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSMRE).
For more information on the ADOL AML Program, or abandoned mine land reclamation in general, please visit https://ourworksnotdone.org and https://www.labor.alabama.gov/Inspections/Mining/reclamation.aspx.
Members of the media seeking more information should contact Communications Director Tara Hutchison.
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