GARDENDALE, Ala. (AP) – Construction of the Northern Beltline, a highway that will link areas of Jefferson County, is expected to begin in 2014, Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley announced Tuesday.
The Northern Beltline is a 52-mile highway that extends from Interstate 59 in Jefferson County to the Interstate 459 junction with Interstate 20/59 in southwest Jefferson County.
After construction begins, the first portion of the project is expected to take between five and six years, Bentley said. The first phase of the project is a 1.34 mile stretch between Alabama Highway 75 and Highway 79 in northwest Jefferson County, officials said.
“It will link all the Interstates in the county, and it will increase accessibility to several communities. New industries look for modern infrastructure and convenient access when considering locations to build and create jobs,” Bentley said in a statement. “The Northern Beltline will spur economic growth and benefit drivers and residents throughout Jefferson County.”
A 2010 study by the University of Alabama’s Center for Business and Economic Research suggested that the construction will support nearly 70,000 jobs.
U.S. Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., said the announcement is welcome news and the project has earned support from multiple local governments and state officials.
“Just as the completed I-459 has been a catalyst for dynamic growth, the Northern Beltline will prove to be vital to continued development throughout this part of the metropolitan area,” he said in a statement.
For more information on the Northern Beltline, click here.
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