Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley says construction of the Northern Beltline is expected to begin in 2014.
Bentley said Tuesday that after construction starts, the first portion of the project is expected to take between five and six years. Officials say the first phase of the project is a 1.34 mile stretch between Alabama Highway 75 and Highway 79 in northwest Jefferson County.
The Northern Beltline is a 52-mile highway that extends from Interstate 59 in Jefferson County to the Interstate 459 junction with Interstate 20/59 in southwest Jefferson County.
Bentley says the highway will help support economic development and job creation in the area.
A 2010 study by the University of Alabama's Center for Business and Economic Research suggested that the construction will support nearly 70,000 jobs.