Report: Ala. highway project to generate billions

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) - A report estimates the Northern Beltline will have an economic impact of more than $7.1 billion during construction and $2 billion annually after it's built.

The study commissioned by the Coalition for Regional Transportation is to be unveiled on Monday. It says the nearly 53-mile highway linking Interstate 20/59 in southwest Jefferson County to I-59 in northeast Jefferson County will create jobs, generate tax revenue and improve traffic safety.

The study, completed by Sam Addy of the University of Alabama Center for Business and Economic Research, shows the Birmingham area should reap the vast majority of the economic benefits.

Plans call for the $3 billion construction of the beltline to be completed in 21 years. About 70,000 jobs would be created statewide
during the construction phase.

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

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