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
DOWNLOAD VIDEO The U.S. National Park Service marked its 100th anniversary in 2016, and PBS NewsHour…Arts & CultureEconomicsHealthScienceSocial StudiesU.S.UncategorizedWorld
2016 marked the 100th anniversary of the U.S. National Park Service, and PBS NewsHour Student Reporting Labs observed the milestone by producing video stories about national parks across the country in a series called “America the Beautiful.” Continue readingArts & CultureEconomicsHealthScienceSocial StudiesU.S.UncategorizedWorld
An enormous iceberg more than 2000 sq. miles in diameter recently detached from the Larsen C ice shelf in Antarctica and floated into the Weddell Sea, located south of the tip of South America. Continue readingArts & CultureEconomicsHealthScienceSocial StudiesU.S.UncategorizedWorld
For decades, Liu Xiaobo was one of the Chinese government’s most outspoken critics and advocates for peaceful change and democratization. Continue readingArts & CultureEconomicsHealthScienceSocial StudiesU.S.UncategorizedWorld
President Trump’s son, Donald J. Trump Jr., released an email exchange between him and a publicist, who informed him that a Russian lawyer could provide the Trump campaign with potentially damaging information about Hillary Clinton. Continue readingArts & CultureEconomicsHealthScienceSocial StudiesU.S.UncategorizedWorld