Family at risk of losing farm to Northern Beltline - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Family at risk of losing farm to Northern Beltline

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Michelle McDonald talked about possibly losing her farm to the northern beltline on Wednesday. (abc3340.com) Michelle McDonald talked about possibly losing her farm to the northern beltline on Wednesday. (abc3340.com)
TRUSSVILLE - AL -

A Northern Beltline over Birmingham is said to create new jobs, improve travel, and attract new businesses. But that new construction is personal for one Trussville family, the Northern Beltline will connect to I-459 in Bessemer then stretch across to I-59 in Trussville. People who live there tell us,  it's costing them - not only their land, but their family history.

Inside a farmhouse off Advent Circle in Trussville are reminders of four generations of family heritage.

"My sister, my mother, and my uncle all live here," Michelle McDonald, a farm owner said. "And my grandmother before she passed away and my aunt lived here. So it's family property."

And Michelle McDonald's great grandfather built this house for them.

"You cannot replace what I have monetarily," McDonald said. "The sentimental and what it means cannot be bought."

But the home she loves is at the risk of a decade-long plan to help traffic flow. Tuesday, Governor Bentley announced the project is moving forward with a 2013 start date.

"The northern part of this county needs it," 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."

ALDOT told us the Northern Beltline will provide a better way to travel - and even though it connects to I-459, it won't make a complete circle.  ALDOT tells us, because Center Point is so heavily congested, the beltline must end between Deer Foot Parkway and Advent Circle. Several drivers say, it's needed.

"It's getting more and more populated so it's definitely getting crowded around here," John Robson, a Jefferson County driver told us. 

"It might relieve a lot of the congestion," Randy Garrison, a driver said. "When I go from 459 to 59, it's a serious slowdown."

But for families in it's path, the project means a loss of home.

"It's not just me in the path of it. There are tons of people who object to their taxes being spent on something that doesn't have to do with traffic. "You're talking about billions and billions of dollars being spent on something that's not a priority."

Right now, the state is waiting on the permit from the Corps of Engineers and going over the plans.  They're hoping to begin construction by early or mid 2013.

 

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