economic development / City of Tuscaloosa

City leaders in Tuscaloosa are focusing on encouraging more development on the city’s west side and in other parts of the community.

The Tuscaloosa News reports plans involve luring new investors and development to west Tuscaloosa as well as eastern and southern areas of the city that have been neglected or fallen from favor.

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.