First phase of Northern Beltline construction underway

First phase of Northern Beltline construction underway

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Construction for the first phase of the Northern Beltline began Monday. Source: Alan Collins/WBRC Construction for the first phase of the Northern Beltline began Monday. Source: Alan Collins/WBRC
JEFFERSON COUNTY, AL (WBRC) -

Work began Monday on the $46 million dollar first phase of the Northern Beltline. The first phase of construction will connect U.S. 75 to U.S. 79 about 1.3 miles and take about two years.

The final beltline project is expected to cover more than 50 miles and take more than 30 years.

A Tennessee construction company started work Monday on the staging area for the road work. Some of those who live in the area believe the beltline will be an economic boom.

"It will stimulate the economy, bring in the money they earned," Forrest Tillman said.

Some have mixed feelings.

"It's probably going to be a good thing. It will bring in some progress but the cost I'm afraid is going to be out of sight," William Statham said.

A short distance awa on the Clay Palmerdale Road, Jim Jones and his wife purchased their home five years ago. The Alabama Department of Transportation purchased part of his property. Jones is disappointed the property has not been maintained.

"When they purchased it it they promised to take care of mowing the grass, keeping the shrubbery and all back, but they haven't done anything," Jones said.

Jones is also concerned about the impact of the construction work on his property values once the project reaches his home. Environmentalists opposed the project but a federal judge refused to grant an injunction to stop it.

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