Big bucks and a lot of jobs. That’s the result of a study released today on the economic impact of the Northern Beltline in Jefferson County. “Economically it’s going to be good for Trussville.” Trussville Mayor Gene Melton said.
An advocacy group called the Coalition for Regional Transportation sponsored the study. “We are very excited. We have the construction impact from the construction period will be seven billion dollars alone. 70-thousand jobs and 155 million dollars in new tax revenue,” Renee Carter, Executive Director of the Coalition said.
The 53-mile project will cost about $3 billion. The federal government will pay 80%; Alabama will have to cover the remaining 20%.”We are going to have to fight. They are trying to take it away from us. I have a funding formula. It will be able to bring us about 150 million dollars for the next five years. “Sen. Richard Shelby said.
The federal funds will come from money being used to finish interstate 22 the Birmingham to Memphis corridor. The beltline is expected to take 21 years to finish. “This is a big project. This is a huge dream for a lot of people but it could be reality. We are the only major city, major metropolitan city that has half of a beltline around it. We got to finish it,” Shelby said.
Supporters are also trying to insure the project will not hurt the environment. “It’s going to be good for everybody. We are going to make sure environmentally we protect the Cahaba River and the DOT got on board with us about that,” Melton said.