Relief is on the way for Connector commuters who think Atlanta's bridges are just too blah. Construction bidding will begin this fall for projects that should spiff up two Peachtree Street bridges over the Connector — one in Midtown near Brookwood, the other downtown — and provide what officials hope is an impressive gateway into the heart of ATL. The projects should also boost the bridges' appeal for pedestrians and cyclists, bringing new sidewalks, landscaping and fencing. Funding is in the bag, project design is complete, and Central Atlanta Progress says construction should commence in early 2015. They offer this preview: "The design enhancements include the construction of monumental arches that will be visible from the interstate, will span over the sidewalks atop the bridge and will be lit at night."
CAP stresses that enhancing the two Peachtree Street bridges is merely the beginning. The broader vision goes like this: "Over several years, the Connector Transformation Project aims to improve additional bridges, and to positively impact the development of parcels and structures surrounding the Connector. The project will re-imagine the interstate's concrete retaining walls and nondescript overpasses with visually appealing creations that will encourage motorists to take a pit stop and explore what lies beyond the exterior of the Connector to experience the true Atlanta." Right on.
Last week, CAP issued requests for proposals from consultants/firms/teams who can provide the right kind of public relations for the broader Connector project. (They're sounding fairly serious about making this happen). Next up: a competition.
In May, the "Atlanta Bridgescape Design Competition" will coincide with a major architect convention in town. The contest will seek a broad range of concept design submissions for two more Connector bridges: The 10th Street bridge in Midtown, and one at Courtland Street/Ralph McGill Boulevard downtown. Let's just hope that Florida-bound Midwesterners can keep at least one eye on the road.
· I-75/85 CONNECTOR TRANSFORMATION [CAP]
· To Hell with Beautifying the Connector — Let's Cap It! [Curbed Atlanta]