New jobs, transportation, and healthcare changes coming to AL - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

New jobs, transportation, and healthcare changes coming to AL

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BIRMINGHAM - AL -

 

Big announcements from Governor Robert Bentley today will mean changes with state healthcare, new job creation, and even the way you get to work. The Governor spoke at the annual Birmingham Business Alliance luncheon and he says he has a plan to improve your drive to work and attract more businesses to Alabama.

It's a project decades in the making... 

The first big announcement from Governor Bentley centered on building the northern beltline - with a start date as early as next year.

"The northern part of this county needs it," Governor Robert Bentley said. "I know it's going to take a long time to build it, it's going to take years but we need to get started on it. But I believe we can start on this project in the early part of next year."

The beltline would be a 50 mile-pass around Birmingham picking up where I-459 left off.

"It will stimulate a lot of growth in that area - growth that is going to go someplace in the Birmingham area and we want to accommodate it as efficiently as we can," Brian Hilson, Birmingham Business Alliance said.

"We're becoming a transportation hub, we have a low tax rate and all of these are attractive to businesses," David Carrington, Jefferson County Commission President said.

And if you join the masses on Highway 280 for your commute, Governor Bentley's second big discussion today will interest you...

"It is a bottleneck," Governor Bentley said.

Here's the plan:  the state will upgrade intersections on 280- creating adaptive traffic signals - that can determine where the heaviest traffic is and change the lights -  meaning a faster commute.

"Many accidents on 280 happen because of the stop and go patterns that exist because of the congestion," Brian Davis, ALDOT said.

But Governor Bentley also said today education is the key to making any type of new business thrive. And he plans to train students from kindergarten through college - in skilled jobs.

"I'm dedicated to try to develop in this state a more streamlined way of developing skilled workforce for the companies as they come to the state of Alabama," Governor Bentley said. "That's very important."

And today, the Governor took  an opportunity to share his decision as to whether Alabama would create an insurance exchange. The Affordable Care Act requires this from each state by Friday. If a state refuses then the government will set one up. Governor Bentley said, "The Affordable Care Act is neither affordable nor does it improve health care."  He told us, several other governors will take this same action by the end of the week.

 

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