The Heart of Alabama’s Economic Recovery? The Construction Industry.
With Alabama’s legislature finding ways to balance the state’s budget, projects like the Northern Beltline that invest in the region’s economic development and create opportunities are the obvious solution to moving Alabama forward.
Jay Reed writes:
Alabama’s commercial construction industry is a vital and significant component of the economy and impacts more than half of our state’s employment. A study recently conducted by the Associated Builders and Contractors of Alabama found that commercial construction and the industries that feed it stimulated $9.349 billion of business in our state, and generated 150,000 full-time jobs in 2010 alone.
The Building of the Northern Beltline Will Be Environmentally Responsible
Alabama Governor Robert Bentley said that the Northern Beltline will be the best-designed highway in Alabama, and that during construction, the most care will be taken to minimize environmental impacts.
Calling the project one of his campaign promises, Bentley made the remark during a Tuesday press conference at Gardendale Public Library announcing the state has secured the final necessary permit to begin building the first 1.3-mile segment of the highway.
Economic Development Projects and the ATRIP Funds List
The director of the Alabama Department of Transportation recently said that economic development projects have sent three counties to the top of the state’s $1 billion road and bridge program.
A chart compiled by AL.com showed that Cullman County, Madison County and Tuscaloosa County received more per capita than the other 20 largest counties under the Alabama Transportation Rehabilitation and Improvement Program.
Approval Process For Northern Beltline Should Be Streamlined
According to U.S. Rep. Spencer Bachus, large construction projects such as the Northern Beltline are delayed by “protracted” permitting processes which should be simplified.
“One thing we can all agree on is that we need more jobs and construction jobs are some of the best paying jobs out there,” Bachus said. “Unfortunately, a big roadblock to creating more of these jobs is the inexcusably slow review process imposed by Washington on the permitting of new construction projects.
“Corridor X” to Benefit Walker County; Northern Beltline Would Work for North Jefferson
A recent news report highlights the many benefits that are coming to Walker County, which will soon be home to the newest major interstate in Alabama (I-22). The future interstate, currently known as “Corridor X”, directly links Birmingham to Memphis, TN. “Corridor X” is creating jobs and easier access to natural recreational areas. We want those same benefits and more for North Jefferson.
Just as many benefits are flowing to Walker County from the impending completion of the future I-22, there are many benefits that North Jefferson will realize with the completion of the Northern Beltline. These include an additional $2 billion in economic impact, the creation of nearly 21,000 jobs, and the generation of $54 million in new tax revenues per year.
Alabama’s 13 reports:
"Less than 22 miles from Birmingham, Walker County- an area once bustling with coal mining operation is home to Jasper, the county’s seat…The town of more than 13,857 people is bustling with new energy and more businesses opening up in the downtown business district."