New estimates put the cost of a proposed 52-mile expressway curving around Birmingham, Ala., at $5.45 billion, $700 million higher than the original price tag, according to the Federal Highway Administration. State officials and local advocates for the road call the federal figures inflated, saying the job could be done for under $4.7 billion. The project, which is awaiting an Army Corps of Engineers permit, would create about 70,000 construction-related jobs, says a study by the University of Alabama Center for Business and Economic Research.

Related Summaries