The entire Northern Beltline project is a 52-mile multi-lane highway that will stretch from I-59 in northeast Jefferson County to the I-459 interchange with I-59/20 near Bessemer. Based on the 2014 estimate, the entire project should be completed by 2054.
The design incorporates more bridges, additional detention ponds and level spreaders to protect the surface water and aquatic species. The systems designed to protect Self Creek are effective and functioning properly.
When construction commenced in February 2014, there were no threatened and endangered species in the construction area. On May 4, 2015, the Fish and Wildlife Service listed the Northern Long Eared Bat as a threatened species. Clearing required for preliminary work for future projects and active construction is being closely coordinated with species experts and the United States Fish and Wildlife Service.
Additional sections will be reviewed closer to the time of construction to ensure future conditions are evaluated prior to final design and construction.
Assessment of environmental issues for those projects of the Northern Beltline to be constructed in future years is on-going at ALDOT. As part of the planning and decision process for those future projects of the Beltline, ALDOT will continue to conduct additional environmental investigations to supplement the earlier investigations to ensure that any impacts to endangered or threatened species or waters of the State are avoided, minimized and appropriately mitigated.
ALDOT project personnel will administer the contract locally, providing daily construction inspection of contractor operations for quality and conformance with the contract requirements. Water quality inspections will also be conducted daily by ALDOT and contractor Qualified Credentialed Inspectors and Qualified Credentialed Professionals dedicated specifically to environmental compliance. ALDOT East-central Region Staff and ALDOT Central Office stormwater professionals will conduct additional water quality inspections providing guidance and oversight as needed. Weekly and rainfall inspection reports and notifications will be transmitted to ADEM electronically and will become a part of the project’s Construction Best Management Practices Plan which is maintained at the project office.
Stormwater runoff will be managed both during and after construction of the Beltline. ALDOT will focus on how it manages communication, work, water, erosion and sediment as it meets regulatory requirements related to construction stormwater discharges. ALDOT will also utilize permanent practices that cause post-development hydrology to mimic pre-development hydrology as closely as possible. Some Low Impact Development features such as level spreaders, step pool conveyances, and vegetative strips and swales will be incorporated into the work.
ALDOT will obtain a Construction Stormwater Permit and the contractor that is awarded the job will become a co-permittee. ALDOT prepared a Construction Best Management Practices Plan (CBMPP) certified by a Qualified Credentialed Professional (QCP). The Contractor will be required to submit a Stormwater Management Plan (SWMP). In addition, ALDOT has obtained a US Army Corps of Engineers 404 permit. The project will be covered by the ALDOT MS4 permit.