News | April 11, 2011

SELC sues ALDOT to force full accounting of massive highway project

SELC, representing Black Warrior Riverkeeper, filed suit in federeal court April 11 to compel the Alabama Department of Transportation to comply with federal law requiring full and up-to-date analysis of the proposed Northern Beltline. That analysis must include environmental impacts of the development that would follow the beltline, and alternatives to building the highway in the first place.

The highway would cut through the headewater streams of the Black Warrior and Cahaba rivers, threatening Birmingham's drinking water supply with runoff pollution from construction, from the highway, and from subsequent development. The highway would increase traffic in the region, exacerbate air pollution from vehicle exhaust which has plagued metrol Birmingham for years.

The cost of the proposed 52-mile, six-lane interstate recently jumped 38% — to a total of $4.7 billion. At a cost of $90 million a mile, it is thought to be one of the most expensive highway projects in the U.S. 

Read our press release for more details.