BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) - The $700 million plan to sink an interstate highway that runs through downtown Birmingham below street level is moving forward.

A New York-based engineering firm Parsons Brinckerhoff Inc. plans to use complex traffic simulation models to demonstrate the proposal to sink Interstate 20/59 will work. The firm will supervise the work of UAB engineering students who will collect, analyze and enter traffic data for the plan.

A study last year showed the ambitious project was viable and the Alabama Department of Transportation has since agreed the plan to sink the interstate would work.

Supporters say a sunken interstate would open up land for development and bolster efforts to build a $530 million domed stadium.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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