Daily VideoAugust 11, 2009
Alabama Highway System Raises Spending Concerns
As part of NewsHour’s ongoing “Blueprint America” series, produced in collaboration with WNET-New York, special correspondent Rick Karr, looks at an Alabama highway system currently under the microscope.
Authorized 50 years ago by President Johnson, the Appalachian Development Highway System program was designed to incorporate isolated communities and end poverty in the mountainous region. Now in the 21st century, new plans are being drawn up for the Northern Beltline which will expand its reach to 13 states and more than 3,000 miles.
Some say that building a new Northern Beltline will bring jobs and spur growth to the surrounding communities even if it does disrupt some local land holdings but others question the wisdom of continuing to spend federal dollars during a recession.
“The growth opportunities that are presented by the Northern Beltline will actually help create more jobs. We need more jobs, and we need a better tax base for Jefferson County to be able to get out of the crisis that they’re currently in.” Phillip Wiedmeyer, Coalition for Regional Transportation
“You have an initially good program for a good purpose, but you end up Christmas-treeing it with all these additional projects, and it just gets out of control. Once you start the program, you never stop it, so it is a zombie highway program.” David Burwell, Environmental Lawyer
“So I would much rather personally see investment in public transportation, which is much less expensive than a new highway system.” Cathy Crenshaw, Sloss Real Estate Group
Warm Up Questions
1. Name all of the highways surrounding your community.
2. What kinds of buildings surround these highways? Are these federal, state or local highways?
1. What would you do if the state wanted to put a highway where you lived? How would you fight it?
2. Some people in the piece called this Alabama’s “road to nowhere” much like Alaska’s bridge to no where. What does this term mean? Why do legislatures try to get funds for “road to nowhere”?
3. Do you think federal funds should be used to build local highways? Why or why not?
Tooltip of related stories
Tooltip of more video block
Submit Your Student Voice
On Sunday, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers denied a permit for completion of the Dakota Access Pipeline, which would have come a half a mile south of the Standing Rock Sioux reservation in North Dakota. Instead, the Corps said it would begin to explore alternative routes. Continue readingArts & CultureEconomicsHealthScienceU.S.UncategorizedWorld
Fighting has escalated in Aleppo, Syria as rebel groups try to hold off government forces attempting to take back the eastern section of the city. Continue readingArts & CultureEconomicsHealthScienceU.S.UncategorizedWorld
Fidel Castro, the 90-year old communist leader of Cuba, died on Friday. He had ruled the country with a firm grip for nearly half a century, withstanding a 50-year long U.S. economic embargo and multiple assassination attempts. Continue readingArts & CultureEconomicsHealthScienceU.S.UncategorizedWorld
Throughout the 2016 presidential campaign, President-elect Donald Trump promised to crack down on undocumented immigration, including hundreds of thousands of young people who have obtained temporary legal status under the Obama Administration. Continue readingArts & CultureEconomicsHealthScienceU.S.UncategorizedWorld
The proliferation of fake news sources on social media has raised questions about the duty of sites like Facebook and Twitter to screen content and distinguish fact from fiction. Continue readingArts & CultureEconomicsHealthScienceU.S.UncategorizedWorld