Federal court rules in favor of Northern Beltline - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Federal court rules in favor of Northern Beltline

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BIRMINGHAM - AL -

Federal court ruled against Black Warrior Riverkeeper's effort to postpone production of the Northern Beltline.

In April 2011, BWR asked the United States District Court to halt the project's progress until  federal transportation officials and the Alabama Dept of Transportation took a "hard look" at the environmental effects of the proposed interstate.

Friday, the United States District Court in Birmingham ruled that construction may begin on a 1.8- mile segment that will join State Roads 79 and 75 in Pinson.

In total, the 50-mile roadway will connect I-459 in Bessemer to I-59 in Trussville and is expected to cost $5.4 billion.

A portion of the Court's ruling says, "...the public also has an interest in development that will promote job growth and economic stability, and Plaintiff does not establish a factual weight of harm to override the public interest in development."

The project is expected to start in spring 2014 and could take 30 years to complete.

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