Letter From The Chairman 2012

Mike ThompsonAlthough we cannot yet drive by and see physical construction activity along the Northern Beltline route, 2012 brought significant accomplishments that should allow us to do exactly that in 2013.

On March 29, the Federal Highway Administration (FHwA) officially approved the Federal Environmental Impact Study Reevaluation (FEISR), the most significant regulatory requirement in advancing the project to construction.

The FEISR incorporates all of the information in ALDOT’s prior 306-page Federal Environmental Impact Study (FEIS) and only adds any new information to the FEIS. The FEISR is a 1,480-page document that not only cleared the required regulatory and legal process of the Alabama Department of Transportation (ALDOT) and FHwA, but was also reviewed and approved by multiple other federal, state, and local agencies according to their areas of expertise.

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Environmentalists Oppose Northern Beltline Jobs

Birmingham has benefited from the 459 loop around the southern perimeter of our city. It saves time, allowing travelers to bypass downtown traffic. It has also made the suburban areas south of the city into some of the fastest growing, most prosperous areas of our state. The Northern Beltline could do the same for the areas north of Birmingham.

Why would anyone appose it?

Read more at Yellow Hammer.


JobKeeper Alliance to Southern Environmental Law Center: “Don’t Block the Northern Beltline”

The Northern Beltline in Jefferson County will improve  accessibility across the region, as well as create jobs and economic growth, and is widely supported across the region. But, radical environmental groups have been fighting the project. Now, JobKeeper Alliance is fighting back.

The Alabama Political Reporter says:

JobKeeper Alliance, a job-focused nonprofit organization is concerned that the Southern Environmental Law Center (SELC) will try to use a federal lawsuit the group filed over 30 months ago to block the start of construction on the Northern Beltline, which Governor Robert Bentley ® has recently announced will begin in early 2014.

JobKeeper Alliance has been a vocal supporter of the job-creating highway project. On Wednesday JobKeeper announced that it believes SELC filed the lawsuit to delay the project while the law firm and Black Warrior Riverkeeper attempted to erode public support for the Northern Beltline through an aggressive PR campaign focusing on the cost of the project.

Read the FULL STORY at The Alabama Political Reporter.


Future Interstate 422 and Brookside’s Economic Life

Roger McCondichie, mayor of Brookside, says that the future comes with an important number: 422. The new Interstate 422 —the proposed Northern Beltline highway— will include an exit for Brookside.

Read more at The North Jefferson News.


The Best Investment a Nation Ever Made

Without the Interstate Highway System, America would be a less prosperous, less safe and less comfortable place to live.

This study looks at the first 40 years of the System and calls it “The Best Investment A Nation Ever Made.”

Taken from the executive summary:

The Dwight D. Eisenhower System of Interstate and Defense Highways is in place and celebrating its 40th anniversary, must surely be the best investment a nation ever made.

Consider this:

  • It has enriched the quality of life for virtually every American.
  • It has saved the lives of at least 187,000 people.
  • It has prevented injuries to nearly 12 million people.
  • It has returned more than $6 in economic productivity for each $1 it cost.
  • It has positioned the nation for improved international competitiveness.
  • It has permitted the cherished freedom of personal mobility to flourish.
  • It has enhanced international security.