Where downtown Atlanta’s highway-capping Stitch would go, in photos

February 27,2018

Source: Josh Green, Curbed Atlanta

A year and a half ago, conceptual plans for downtown Atlanta’s The Stitch emerged, birthing a technicolor dream for urbanists who value livability and vital, connected cityscapes.

Eighteen months later, the highway-capping project remains an unrealized dream, as this photo essay illustrates. But officials behind The Stitch idea have not been idle, they say.

Jennifer Ball, Central Atlanta Progress vice president of planning and economic development, tells Curbed Atlanta, “Our team has made good progress on advancing the structural and site civil engineering analyses” in recent months.

CAP is heading a year-long feasibility study for The Stitch project, alongside Jacobs, the engineering firm brought in to execute the initial vision, and other development heavyweights including John Portman and Associates. It’s expected to wrap up this fall.

At an October meeting, reps from those companies said The Stitch would be hugely expensive—an early figure was $300 million—but that it has the potential too boost surrounding property values by 25 percent, encourage denser development, and create an economic impact of $3 billion.

The Stitch would cover the downtown Connector by building concrete over the roughly 14-lane interstate from the Spring Street flyover to the Piedmont Avenue Bridge, turning a half-mile stretch of highway into a long tunnel and the space above into 14 acres of opportunity. Think: greenspaces, water features, paths, an amphitheater.

The immediate area, by and large, is home to a series of parking spaces, empty lots, underutilized lawns, and a blighted building or two.

View the photo essay at the link above.