November 22, 2021 6:00am

Power Poll Results: The Northern Beltline

As funding is secured, influential Birmingham leaders support Beltline

Photo of Ty West
Birmingham, AL Correspondent

Construction will be able to resume on the Northern Beltline project after funding was secured in the infrastructure bill, and the long-discussed project enjoys strong support among influential Birmingham leaders.

Those were a couple of takeaways from this month's Birmingham Power Poll, which surveys influential local leaders each month on key topics in the community.

The Birmingham Power Poll is not a scientific poll, but does offer a window into the perspectives of influential Birmingham community and business leaders.

In this month’s poll, 78% of respondents said they were in favor of the Northern Beltline project, which will create an Interstate 459-style highway on the northern side of metro Birmingham.

The project has been underway for years but stalled due to a lack of funding.

Proponents have said the project will help disperse development around the region, create economic development opportunities and increase the pace of congestion along corridors like Interstate 65, U.S. 31 and U.S. 280 south of the city of Birmingham. Critics have cited environmental concerns and questioned whether funding would be better spent elsewhere.

Most respondents to the Power Poll believe the project will have a positive effect on the region. Only 5% felt it will have a negative effect.

Despite the optimism about the impact, 43% of respondents said if funding hadn’t been previously earmarked for the project – which carries an estimated price tag of $5 billion – they’d rather see the funding spent elsewhere.

This month's Power Poll surveyed 135 leaders with a response rate of 27.41%.

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About Power Poll: Power Poll asks questions of the most powerful, influential people in U.S. cities. It is not a scientific survey. But because the people responding to the surveys comprise the leadership structure of their cities, the results afford a fascinating glimpse into the thoughts, opinions, and beliefs of those in a position to make change. Power Poll is distinctly nonpartisan.

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