JEFFERSON COUNTY, AL (WBRC) - After decades of talking about a northern beltline for Jefferson County, backers say it is ready to get off the ground.
The fifty-three mile interstate will complete Interstate 459. It will start in Bessemer, cut through the northern part of the county around Gardendale and go through clay to the St. Clair County line.
On Monday, the economic impact of the three billion dollar project was released to area business leaders. The project is expected to take 21 years but could create some 70,000 jobs just for the construction period. The economic impact for the area could be more than seven billion dollars.
"This is a big project. This is a huge dream for a lot of people, but it could be reality, says Senator Richard Shelby. "We are the only major city, major metropolitan city that has half of a beltline around it. We got to finish."
I-22, as it will be called, is expected to be funded 80% out of federal funds and 20% from the state of Alabama.
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