I-75/85 Connector Transformation

Phase One Implementation Projects - Peachtree Street Bridges

CAP/ADID and Midtown Alliance are once again partnering to bring the Connector vision to fruition.  Funds have been raised to support the design, engineering and construction of improvements to the two Peachtree Street bridges that cross I-75/85 - one in Midtown and one in Downtown.  The enhancements will ensure that these bridges are visible and attractive gateways for travelers along the Connector and will also improve the pedestrian and cyclist experience above. 

In addition to funding from ADID and Midtown Alliance, generous support has also been provided by the Georgia Department of Transportation Gateway Initiative, the Georgia State Road and Tollway Authority Georgia Transportation Infrastructure Bank and the Woodruff Foundation.

Read more about Georgia DOT's support for the project.

Design is underway.  Construction is anticipated to begin during the first quarter of 2015.

Final Report Released

Check out the detailed report that summarizes the vision for a transformed connector

 

Learn More

View the summary presentation on this site to learn more about the Connector transformation effort.

Exchange ideas with others  who want to enhance the appearance and experience of the Connector.

Did you miss the Public Meeting?  View a meeting summary for the scoop on the meeting.

View results of the visual preference survey that helped guide priority projects.

The Process

Midtown Alliance and Central Atlanta Progress/Atlanta Downtown Improvement District engaged the SWA Group to assist in developing a bold vision for the Connector through a process that included public sector leaders from the City of Atlanta and Georgia Department of Transportation, a Leadership Team of Downtown and Midtown stakeholders, and a Creative Team of local design professionals.

Completed in early 2012, the first phase of Connector Transformation process developed a strategic plan that defines opportunities to enhance the Connector in a way that improves its appearance and creates a positive economic impact for the City, nearby businesses, institutions, and destinations.  Work has now progressed toward developing detailed designs, creating partnerships to facilitate implementation, and securing funding for enhancement projects.

The Connector Transformation Project was initiated in order to enhance the visual appearance of the Connector, create a positive economic impact for the City, and to improve the experience of more than 300,000 individuals who travel along the roadway each day. Specific goals of the ongoing planning effort include:

  • Develop innovative approaches that go beyond beautification to address multiple issues concurrently – connectivity, pedestrian and bicycle mobility, and sustainability
  • Enhance the image and identity of Atlanta as perceived by residents, employees and visitors
  • Incorporate sustainable design elements that will mitigate the corridor’s environmental impact and become a national model for urban infrastructure
  • Identify and prioritize short-term and long-term design concepts, improvement strategies, and projects
  • Produce an action plan to fund and advance swift implementation of short-term improvements

The vision is focused first and foremost on the environmental and urban design of I-75/85. At its core, this effort is not a congestion mitigation effort. We recognize that traffic congestion is one of our region’s most pressing issues and these issues will no doubt be a factor. However, while the districts will make reasonable attempts to explore and improve traffic as part of any enhancement, the goal of the transformation effort is to improve the visual appearance, human experience, and economic potential of our urban Interstate.

Background

From its inception, the City of Atlanta has been defined by transportation. Atlanta was founded as a railroad terminus, came to prominence by developing the world’s busiest airport, and relies upon an extensive network of interstate highways and public transportation. While the City’s infrastructure is a key strength, the condition and experience of the “I-75/85 Connector” from Brookwood to Turner Field belies Atlanta’s position as a leader in transportation, business, and tourism. The 5-mile stretch of highway through Midtown and Downtown Atlanta includes long expanses of pavement, imposing retaining walls, limited landscaping, and a myriad of steel and concrete crossings that leave residents, commuters, and visitors with a negative impression of the City. A team of local public/private partners is hoping to change that perception.

Atlanta’s urban interstate was constructed in the late 1940s and early 1950s as a six-lane divided highway. Between 1980 and 2010, the Connector was widened and rebuilt on several occasions to increase the roadway’s automobile capacity. Today, the freeway from the I-75/85 merge north of Midtown to Turner Field and the I-20 Interchange south of Downtown includes 10-16 lanes of traffic and carries upwards of 300,000 vehicles per day.

Recognizing that the condition of our Interstate reflects negatively on our State, our City and our urban districts, Midtown Alliance and Central Atlanta Progress/Atlanta Downtown Improvement District have joined forces to transform the Connector into a more positive, memorable experience that can attract new investment to the corridor and the city.

In the most basic terms, Midtown and Downtown stakeholders intend to give our front door a major facelift. Through a series of small and sweeping changes, we will make one of the most visible corridors in Atlanta more attractive, enhance the identity of our city, and improve the experience for hundreds of thousands of citizens who travel the Connector each day.

Congratulations!
April 2012 - SWA Group was awarded the ASLA Texas Chapter Award of Excellence in the Planning and Analysis category for their work on the Atlanta Connector Transformation Project.  Kudos to the entire talented team from SWA.

 

Have questions or need more  information about the vision project?  Contact Jennifer Ball at jball at atlantadowntown.com or 404-522-3344.