The Alabama Department of Transportation requested comments on the proposed new Cahaba Beach Road and Bridge.

Cahaba River Society along with a number of other organizations and individuals submitted comments. Below is a summary of Cahaba River Society's comments, a link to the full version, and an assortment of comments submitted by others.

PROPOSED NEW CAHABA BEACH ROAD & BRIDGE
SUMMARY OF COMMENTS TO ALDOT
NOVEMBER 1, 2017

Cahaba River Society recommends the No Build alternative at this time.

  • The risks and impacts of the ‘build alternatives’ far outweigh the limited potential benefits that have been described. The project’s transportation purpose is poorly defined, traffic benefits related to actual purposes have not been studied and demonstrated, and the full road improvement project costs are seriously underestimated. The risks and water resource costs, particularly those associated with protecting the integrity of one of the Birmingham areas’ primary drinking water sources, are great.

  • The project would increase pollutant contamination risks to the primary drinking water source for Birmingham and potentially increase drinking water costs via:

    • The increased potential for construction runoff mishaps, 

    • Increased post-construction urban stormwater impacts from the project and spin-off development, causing sediment pollution, habitat destruction, and reduced water supply during drought,

    • Forest loss, which alters hydrology and reduces pollutant filtering and replenishment of the drinking water source, and 

    • The enhanced risk of a direct spill into Birmingham’s primary drinking water source.

  • Building the road would require removal of forested open spaces that were purchased with Birmingham Water Works Board (BWWB) ratepayer dollars to protect our drinking water and would violate conservation easements intended to permanently protect the BWWB lands.

  • The actual purposes for the road proposal are so vaguely declared that potential benefits, costs, impacts and alternatives cannot be adequately studied. The project purpose needs to be clearly identified and “build” alternatives for achieving those purposes other than the proposed road, such as those suggested by O’C&L, Inc., should be evaluated.

  • If the project purpose is to relieve traffic congestion on Highway 280, the likelihood of success is unsupported by evidence. If the project purpose and likely indirect impact of the road is to open this sensitive area to development, a comprehensive risk assessment of indirect and cumulative impacts to our drinking water source is necessary.

  • The potential traffic impacts on surrounding areas have not been identified and the cost has been significantly underestimated, because the project purpose is vague and there has not been a traffic study of indirect/cumulative impacts and necessary ancillary traffic improvements.

  • These issues also raise concerns about equity – who benefits from the road and who bears the cost for the road, for the loss of drinking water protection lands, and for potential negative impacts to drinking water supply and price. Social equity issues should be considered.

  • Environmental integrity concerns such as wetland impacts and impacts to federally-listed threatened and endangered species must be fully studied  considering direct, indirect and cumulative impacts.

  • A Finding of No Significant Impact based solely on an Environmental Assessment process would not be appropriate. An Environmental Impact Statement process with full public involvement is necessary.

Read full comments submitted to the Alabama Department of Transportation

Cahaba River Society along with a number of other organizations and individuals submitted comments.

See Cahaba River Society's comments:

 

Cahaba River Society

Comments to ALDOT

re: Proposed

Cahaba Beach Road

November 1, 2017

Appendix A

Cahaba River Society

Comments to ALDOT

re: Proposed

Cahaba Beach Road

November 1, 2017

Appendix B

Cahaba River Society

Comments to ALDOT

re: Proposed

Cahaba Beach Road

November 1, 2017

See statements/comments from others:

Cahaba Riverkeeper Statement on Proposed Cahaba Beach Road

Henry Lynn Phillips

Comments to ALDOT

re: Proposed

Cahaba Beach Road

October 30, 2017

Pamela S. Murray

Comments to ALDOT

re: Proposed

Cahaba Beach Road

October 30, 2017

© 2023 by Cahaba River Society

Call us:

205-322-5326

Find us: 

2717 7th Ave South, Suite 205

Birmingham, AL 35233