Northern Beltline

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The Proposed Northern Beltline:


Not a “Done Deal” or a Good Idea


Northern Beltline Environmental Fact Sheet:

Northern Beltline Facts (including maps):

Petition to Governor Bentley: Stop the Northern Beltline

Based on current spending and revenue trends, the U.S. Department of Transportation estimates that the Highway Account of the Highway Trust Fund will encounter a shortfall before the end of fiscal year 2014:


Press Releases


Groups ask Metropolitan Planning Organization to remove Northern Beltline from funding plan (10/9/12)

Latest ALDOT study of Northern Beltline misses the mark, environmentalists say in court papers (5/1/12)

Groups Urge Army Corps To Reject Flawed Northern Beltline Permit (11/14/11)

Groups Urge MPO to Drop Northern Beltline from Local Transportation Plan (8/9/11)

Groups Sue ALDOT for Flawed Environmental Study on Northern Beltline (4/11/11)








The highway will cross and permanently alter Black Warrior and Cahaba river tributaries in 90 places (including impacts to two major sources of drinking water). It will destroy 35 wetlands and 3,078 football fields’ worth of forest. Click for a larger version:

Birmingham Area Transportation Projects Competing with Beltline for Funds. Click for a larger version:

Proposed Northern Beltline Route in Jefferson County, AL (SELC – 4/12/11)

Existing Jefferson County Sewer Infrastructure Juxtaposed with Northern Beltline

Proposed Route Map (Regional Planning Commission of Greater Birmingham – 2011)

Large Landowners Along the Beltline (Birmingham News – 12/13/09)

Projected Jefferson County Population Growth (Birmingham News – 12/13/09)







Resolution by Indian Springs, Ala opposing the Northern Beltline (5/7/2013)

EPA “B Letter” to U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (9/11/12)

EPA “A Letter” to U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (8/17/12)

Northern Beltline Myth vs. Fact (8/13/12)


Click for larger view:

If You Build It, Will They Come? Reassessing the Economic Impacts of the Northern Beltline Project (Ochs Center for Metropolitan Studies – 6/19/12)

Scientific Review of the Northern Beltline’s Final Environmental Impact Statement Reevaluation (Cahaba River Society – 6/20/12)

ALDOT “Summary of Preliminary Analysis” of their 1997 Final Environmental Impact Statement (9/19/11)

The public was invited to submit public comments to ALDOT through 10/14/11. Southern Environmental Law Center submitted these comments on behalf of Black Warrior Riverkeeper. Additionally, among the many other comments submitted in opposition to the current Beltline plan, see these from SOURCE and Cahaba Riverkeeper.

Public Comments on the Birmingham Metropolitan Planning Organization’s FY 2012-2015 Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) (SELC on behalf of BWRk – 8/9/11),BWRK_comments_on_MPO_TIP%281%29.pdf

Repair Priorities: Transportation spending strategies to save taxpayer dollars and improve roadsSmart Growth America (June 2011)

Smart Transportation: Save Money and Grow the EconomySmart Growth America (June 2011)

The chosen 52 mile Northern Beltline route is opposed by the EPA due to its extensive environmental impact. The following letters relay EPA’s stance that it is the most environmentally destructive of the 7 considered routes:

- 1997 EPA letter:
EPA Comment Letter 9-08-97

- 1995 EPA letter:
USEPA Comment Letter 7-08-95



General Beltline Info


ALDOT’s corrected website about the Northern Beltline

RPCGB (Regional Planning Commission of Greater Birmingham)

Northern Beltline

Corridor X-1

SELC (Southern Environmental Law Center)

SOURCE (Save Our Unique River, Communities & Environment)

Cahaba River Society




Media Coverage


Northern Beltline construction scheduled to begin (2/20/2014)

More to transportation than simply asphalt and more highways (Opinion from Chervis Isom)

Northern Beltline under fire (10/29/2013)

Black Warrior Riverkeeper challenges Northern Beltline permit in federal lawsuit (10/25/2013)

Politics Drives Road Building in Alabama (Letter on (10/11/2013)

The Northern Beltline: Still Not a Done Deal or a Good Idea (10/4/2013)

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers approves permit for first segment of Northern Beltline (10/1/2013)

New cost estimate puts Northern Beltline price at about 5.45 billion (8/20/2013)

Bachus: Streamline approval process for Northern Beltline, other projects (7/12/2013)

The Northern Beltline: A similar Tennessee project raises concerns about ALDOT’s plans (6/19/13)

The downtown I-20/59 project deserves state interest (6/18/2013)

Report: Alabama road conditions cost drivers $530M a year in vehicle repairs (3/20/13)
(Alabama road maintenance doesn’t get proper funding because the behemoth Beltline steals the majority of dwindling federal funding.)

Northern Beltline debate at the Birmingham City Council (includes video) (3/13/2013)

Study: Traffic delays last longer, less predictable and affect weekends (2/7/13)
(When ALDOT can’t afford to make substantive changes needed for traffic flow, road maintenance, and safety, the last thing we need is a grossly-overpriced, environmentally-destructive, Northern Beltline which the Regional Planning Commission of Greater Birmingham predicted to help traffic flow by a mere 1-3%.)

U.S. keeps building new highways while letting old ones crumble (2/3/2013)

Meet the $4.7 Billion Birmingham Highway Only Cronyism Could Build (1/28/13)

Northern Beltline is too expensive (1/25/13)
Northern Beltline is too expensive_1.25.13

The Northern Beltline and the lost art of debate (11/15/12)

Beltline money could be better spent (10/17/12)

Northern Beltline’s Era has Long Passed (10/8/12)

Northern Beltline proponents blast environmental groups over ALDOT lawsuit (10/1/12)

This McMahon’s no second banana (9/19/12)

EPA questions Northern Beltline proposal (9/14/12)

EPA urges Army Corps of Engineers to reject Northern Beltline permit (9/13/12)

ALDOT to benefit from languishing federal earmarks (8/26/12)

EPA wants more study before it issues construction OK for Birmingham Northern Beltline (8/22/12)

Transportation bill eliminates designated source of funding for Northern Beltline, but keeps it on track (7/23/12)

You can be for both business and environment in Alabama (7/19/12)

ALDOT files final permit to begin work on Northern Beltline (7/6/12)

Northern Beltline falls short on economic rewards (7/1/12)

Latest report turns thumbs down on Northern Beltline but not all our commenters agree (6/20/12)

Report says economic benefits of Birmingham’s Northern Beltline exaggerated (6/20/12)

Study questions economic impact of Northern Beltline (6/19/12)

Birmingham Water Works to hire economic development director (5/18/12)

Northern Beltline will displace longtime property owners (5/9/12)

Elevated toll road plan for US 280 still up in the air, Alabama DOT chief says (5/8/12)

Northern Beltline survey saddens residents along path and divides our commenters (5/1/12)

Environmental groups revise lawsuit concerning Birmingham’s Northern Beltline (5/1/12)

Pork money driving Northern Beltline (4/30/12)

Northern Beltline is multimillion-dollar boondoggle (4/28/12)

More discussion needed about Birmingham’s Northern Beltline (4/24/12)

U.S. House Democrats target Northern Beltline as wasteful boondoggle (4/18/12)

Funding for Alabama’s Northern Beltline Uncertain (4/15/12)

Routes for bypassing downtown Birmingham possible, but all come with baggage (4/15/12)

Questions persist as Northern Beltline construction proceeds (4/15/12)

[PHOTOS] Ardell Turner Northern Beltline (4/13/12)

Alabamians love federal pork, especially in form of Northern Beltline ( 4/6/12)

Feds approve Alabama’s environmental evaluation of first leg of Birmingham’s Northern Beltline (3/30/12)

Jefferson County economic development authority seeks more land for development (3/18/12)

Birmingham Business Alliance carrying wish list to Washington, D.C. (3/6/12)

Tolling the Northern Beltline? Gov. Bentley says maybe, suggests $2 billion roads program (1/18/12)

Birmingham Business Alliance to support beltline, NIH funding in 2012 (12/8/11)

Jefferson County’s proposed Northern Beltline questions remain unanswered (11/27/11)

Environmental groups fight Northern Beltline (11/17/11)

ALDOT and the Northern Beltline (11/17/11)

ALDOT to delay construction of Northern Beltline for in-depth study of route (11/15/11)

Birmingham’s Northern Beltline will benefit only a small group (10/17/11)

Northern Beltline hearing produces few local voices (10/5/11)

Northern Beltline stimulates … questions (10/2/11)

The Northern Beltline, Urban Sprawl and You (9/26/11)

A Poor Investment for the Environment, Region, and Taxpayers (9/25/11)

Northern Beltline route details released by Alabama Department of Transportation prior to hearings (9/22/11)

Revised Northern beltline plan for metro Birmingham wins little support from commenters (poll) (9/20/11)

Read ALDOT’s full Northern Beltline study (9/19/11)

ALDOT Releases New Study of Birmingham Northern Beltline (9/19/11)

Public comment sought on Northern Beltline in 2 hearings (8/31/11)

Alabama Voices: Birmingham beltline cost too high (8/23/11)

Birmingham’s look at Fort Wayne, Ind., should also show beltlines aren’t economic engines (8/20/11)

Alabama fish added to endangered species list (8/10/11)

Time to put the brakes on the Northern Beltline (6/23/11)

Is a northern beltline an opportunity to make the same mistake twice? (6/10/11)

Spinning a Web (6/9/11)
“The deceptive public relations tactics of the Birmingham Business Alliance and the Coalition for Regional Transportation reveal the character of the Northern Beltline’s most ardent supporters.”

Beltline splitting family property, or taking it altogether, in northern Jefferson County (4/30/11)

[RADIO] Downtown Development (4/28/11)

[RADIO] Environmental Impact (4/27/11)

[RADIO] Overview (4/26/11)

Lawsuit to halt metro Birmingham’s Northern Beltline reveals deep divides among commenters (4/12/11)

Black Warrior Riverkeeper Northern Beltline lawsuit asks for halt to work, alternatives (4/12/11)

Environmental groups sue to block Northern Beltline (4/1/11)

USS Real Estate has benefited from taxpayer benevolence (3/28/11)

Tom Howard of USS Real Estate talks about largest landowner in county (3/20/11)

Ground should be broken next spring for the first construction phase (3/15/11)

Costly Northern Beltline benefits big business (2/28/11)

Does the new price tag on the Northern Beltline make it too expensive to build? (2/28/11)

OUR VIEW: New higher cost estimate for the Northern Beltline should give region’s leaders cause to reassess project to make sure it’s the best use of $4.7 billion (2/28/11)

Better use for billions than Northern Beltline (2/25/11)

Birmingham’s Northern Beltline cost estimate soars to $4.7 billion (2/23/11)

OUR VIEW: Alabamians go lobbying for federal transportation dollars — and rural areas go lacking — even as Florida’s governor says no thanks to billions from Uncle Sam (2/21/11)

No legislative roadblock to Northern Beltline, key Republican lawmaker in Washington promises (2/17/11)

Birmingham Business Alliance plans D.C. trip on key issues (2/8/11)

Time to put the brakes on the Northern Beltline (1/23/11)

Citizens being misled about Northern Beltline (1/19/11)–Citizens-being-misled-about-Northern-Beltline

Gov.-elect Robert Bentley promises decisive leadership on issues important to Birmingham (12/14/10)

Shelby’s not happy about the earmark ban (11/17/10)

OUR VIEW: Now comes the hard part as the Birmingham Business Alliance begins building a better seven-county region (9/26/10)

A road to nowhere? (8/12/10)

Group formed only to promote road, not regional transportation (8/7/10)

Northern Beltline is not an economic savior (8/1/10)

Frustrating to see road juggernaut push along 1960s-style development (7/31/10)

Efficient transit is what we need (7/25/10)

Beltline to Nowhere (7/5/10)

Northern Beltline study to be released, landowners concerned (6/28/10)

Shelby, Bachus push Northern Beltline project (6/28/10)

Catching the high-speed rail wave (6/27/10)

Don’t focus solely on road building (6/20/10)

Plan approved for Jefferson, Shelby road work through 2035 (6/9/10)

OUR VIEW: Before we get too far along in the building of the Northern Beltline, we should have a plan for what type of growth we want (5/16/10)

Birmingham-area plan would drop 40 road projects for lack of funds (4/22/10)

Alabama road projects need $4.3 billion (3/26/10)

Birmingham Business Alliance’s top lawyer talks shop (2/8/10)

League of Women Voters hears pros, cons of Northern Beltline for metro Birmingham (1/28/10)

Moving ahead or stuck in traffic: Birmingham needs transportation system that doesn’t rely on cars (1/14/10)

Northern Beltline: Questions for ALDOT (1/1/10)

Northern Beltline Work Set to Begin (12/13/09)

Northern Beltline debate comes amid calls for delay, study (12/13/09)

First segment of Northern Beltline would connect 2 rural roads (12/13/09)

Northern Beltline’s fate hinges on transportation bill in Congress (12/12/09)

Critical habitat status eyed for Turkey Creek (12/5/09)

New Alabama road projects come to halt (10/11/09)

Naked Birmingham (8/20/09)

BLUEPRINT AMERICA – PBS reports on infrastructure: [VIDEO] Zombie Highways (8/11/09)

[VIDEO] Zombie Highways: How to build a Zombie Highway (8/10/09)

[VIDEO] Zombie Highways: Highway vs. Nature (8/10/09)

[VIDEO] Rep. Jim Oberstar on the transportation bill (7/22/09)

[VIDEO] Overview – America in Gridlock (10/15/08)

‘Zombie highways,’ mass transit failures: PBS ‘News Hour’ takes look at Birmingham (8/6/09)

Show looks at the Northern Beltline and area mass transit (8/6/09)

Northern Beltline: Money drowns out reason (5/10/09)

U.S. Sen. Richard Shelby pledges federal aid for Northern Beltline project near Birmingham, AL (5/1/09)
U.S. Sen. Richard Shelby pledges federal aid for Northern Beltline_5.1.09

BWWB wants to ensure reliable water supply to meet future demands (2/11/09)

State Senator Scott Beason on the Northern Beltline (1/20/09)

Beltline as it is now envisioned would endanger the Cahaba River (12/19/08)

Beltline an example of greed (10/26/08)

Those with juice put on squeeze (10/26/08)

Birmingham chamber creates coalition with goal of fast-tracking Northern Beltline (10/9/08)
Birmingham chamber creates coalition_10.9.08

Northern Beltline Back in the Spotlight (Alabama Construction News – Fall 2008)

Beltline opponents want to save water, resources (12/16/07)

Mobile Lawsuit will Effect Northern Beltline (12/12/07)

Dumb and Dumber (11/6/07)

Regional Transportation Plan Needs Wise Approach (9/9/07)

Naked Birmingham

Playing politics with roads (6/1/05)

Sen. Shelby continues to bring home transportation bacon (9/4/03)

Can’t Get There from Here – or Can We? (FORUM for Applied Research and Policy – Summer 2001)
kulash article_Summer2001

Land rush may ensue when road’s route announced this summer (5/13/01)




[VIDEO] Family at risk of losing farm to Northern Beltline (11/15/12)

[VIDEO] EPA puts up roadblock for Northern Beltline project (9/14/12)

[VIDEO] Bernard and Fay Crawford Have Been Notified That Their Property is in the Proposed Route of the Northern Beltline (4/29/12)

[VIDEO] How Northern Beltline will affect Ardell Turner’s property (4/15/12)

[VIDEO] The Road to Nowhere

[VIDEO] Birmingham’s proposed Northern Beltline generates strong opinions (4/20/11)

[VIDEO] Northern Beltline construction cost jumps to $4.7 billion (2/23/11)

[VIDEO] Opposition growing for the Northern Beltline project (3/1/11)

The Fight Against the Northern Beltline (2010)

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