New Birmingham Beltline to bring $7bil

The proposed 53 mile beltline to the north of Birmingham has been given great expectations for the economic future of the city. New Birmingham homes and new home communities, including those designed and constructed by Thornton Homes, may hopefully see increases in value over the coming years if the beltline lives up to these expectations. Below is an article from Jeremy Gray at the Birmingham News posted on which details the project and its estimated economic return. As stated, the project could generate 70,000 jobs over the 21 year timeline and bring in $2billion annually after it is completed, an economic injection certainly to be felt by the Birmingham homes for sale and new home communities in this part of the state.

I-422 to infuse billions in Birmingham area

The Northern Beltline will likely generate an economic impact of more than $7.1 billion during construction and $2 billion annually after it’s built, according to a report being unveiled this morning.

The study commissioned by the Coalition for Regional Transportation said that the nearly 53-mile interstate 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 that the Birmingham area should reap the vast majority of the benefits of the beltline’s expected economic impact.

Current 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. Of those construction jobs, approximately 33,525 would be in the Birmingham area, according to the executive summary of the study obtained by The Birmingham News.

A BBA spokesman declined to comment on the report prior to this morning’s presentation of the study.

After construction is complete, the beltline is expected to bring another 20,000 jobs each year statewide. Nearly 12,000 of those will be in Jefferson County alone.

Construction of the beltline is also expected to be a shot in the arm for residential and business growth over the next 30 years in the six-mile wide corridor adjacent to the beltline.

By 2040, the population of the beltline corridor is expected to increase 22.3 percent. The beltline is expected to bring 3.4 percent of that increase, or about 6,500 more people than would join the population without the beltline.

The beltline is expected to bring an additional 372 new businesses to the area, for an additional 4 percent commercial growth.

The study also examined the socioeconomic and environmental effects of the Northern Beltline, which will eventually be named Interstate 422.

“The highway will not unfairly or disproportionately affect minority and low-income populations,” the report states. “Instead it presents development opportunities that can benefit these groups.”

The beltline should improve access to jobs for low income residents. Future developments in the area of the beltline should include mixed income housing to prevent the displacement of lower income residents, the study suggested.

The interstate should also improve traffic safety, travel times and the overall air quality of the area near the beltline.

The findings presented in the study are conservative, the executive summary states, because it factors in income, sales and property taxes, but not occupational taxes and taxes on things such as alcoholic beverages, tobacco products and hotel and motel rooms.

Read the original article here.

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