Skip to comments.Federal cash sustains dream of freeway through Ala. woods
Posted on 03/23/2016 10:15:33 AM PDT by Tolerance Sucks Rocks
PINSON, Ala. -- At 8 a.m. on a Saturday, the rumble of bulldozers and other earth-moving equipment was already audible in Ardell Turner's modest home in this rural hamlet north of Birmingham.
Not far away, they once mined coal. Now state and local leaders are seeking prosperity through one of the nation's largest and priciest road projects.
On planners' maps, the Northern Beltline will be a 52-mile, six-lane interstate that will effectively complete a loop around Birmingham, Alabama's largest city. More than a half-century after the Beltline's conception, work on a small segment began last year within a mile of Turner's home. The estimated price tag for the entire highway is $5.3 billion, with completion expected in 2054. But to the business leaders and politicians who have doggedly pursued it for decades, the project is as essential as ever to spawning jobs and new business.
"It's not easy, it's not cheap, but most things in life that are worthwhile are not," said Renee Carter, executive director of the Coalition for Regional Transportation, a business advocacy group created in 2008 to promote the highway.
To the Beltline's detractors -- including a Colorado congressman who once dubbed it the "Alabama Porkway" and environmentalists waging a four-year legal battle to stop it -- the Beltline is the whitest of elephants, a taxpayer-funded gift to politically connected corporations that will damage local watersheds with no assurance of a payoff for the enormous investment. While local backers have christened the project "the road to jobs," Turner, a petite great-grandmother who has lived in the area for 65 years, preferred a different label: "a road to nowhere."
(Excerpt) Read more at eenews.net ...
Good. Birmingham needs to be bypassed.......................
38 years to complete? Something very wrong with that picture for sure.
There’s mountains and stuff in the way........................
Then they need a better plan. By the time they finish it will probably be insufficient anyway.
What they and we here in the Florida Panhandle need is a Interstate connecting line from Montgomery to the Gulf Coast here in Ft. Walton Beach. Hurricane evacuations are impossible. I know, I’ve been in them. Only two lane roads connect most of the cities in this area and no Interstate connections to the NORTH away from the coast between Mobile Alabama and Lake City Florida.....................
Having lived in B’ham, this is certainly needed, and certainly will be needed in 38? years.
Houston is on its way to completing its 3rd loop around the city, and San Antonio is working on its 2nd.
Through travelers going southeast can already bypass Birmingham on the “eastern” side of the city. The proposed highway essentially completes the circle by making a “western” route.
I’ve driven I59 through Birmingham and they need it, but 40 years makes it a boondoggle.
Same here in Louisiana. They employ contra flow here, which means both sides of interstates are leading out of town. It is still a slow process. Stayed put during Katrina, as I live about 90 miles north of New Orleans. Survived but it was a rough ride for sure. Several big trees came down but thankfully all missed the house, the pool and one of my cars. electricity was out for over a month. Went a week and a half before I realized I could plug the satellite TV into the generator to get news updates. The pool came in handy after the storm passed as it was very hot after the storm. Had to get in and clean it out of course but that was not a problem as there was really little that could be done. Getting gas was another big problem.
It’s only fifty-two miles. The 1900+ mile First Transcontinental Railroad was built in a bit over six years.
They had cheap Chinese labor.........................
Yeah, and $400 handcars.
One of the biggest mistakes made in the Atlanta area was not building the ‘northern loop’ to bypass the north Atlanta suburbs. If just the section from I-75 to I-20 had been completed the massive number of tractor-trailers coming down I-75 to the Atlanta area would have been greatly reduced.
Thanks to the environmentalists who filed a series of never ending lawsuits we have increased pollution, increased traffic accidents and longer drive times. Sounds like they’re playing the same game in Birmingham.
I’d agree with that. We make it down that way some, and go various routes off of 85/185, depending on where we’re going.
A direct line from Montgomery to Crestview, FL connecting with I-10 would be super!.........................
And I’ll be 98 years old!!!
I’d be 101, but that will never happen, LOL.
Montgomery has a similar boondoggle with the “outer loop” which will take forever to finish, and they don’t have to move any mountains. Furthermore, it goes south, while all of the growth in the area is to the north.
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