Atlanta's push to make bridges that span The Connector more pleasing to the eye (and drivers' sense of place) has officially begun. A few weeks ago, construction launched on the first of several bridge overhauls (see above) where Peachtree Street crosses that snarling beast of an interstate in the northern reaches of Midtown. According to the Midtown Alliance, the objective with this bridge is to help uplift Atlanta's signature corridor while making a statement that travelers and commuters have indeed arrived in the heart of A-town.
The centerpieces of this north Peachtree bridge, as the Midtown Alliance describes it, will be "sweeping, 35-foot tall gateway arches and illuminated 'Peachtree' signage, providing bold visual impact from the interstate that creates a sense of arrival into Atlanta's urban core." This "Peachtree" lettering will also be visible to travelers on the street, officials specified, though they didn't say if the letters will be backwards or not. This visual/spiritual upgrade will be bookended by another bridge overhaul where Peachtree crosses The Connector downtown. Construction on the bridges is predicted to last between 12 and 14 months.
Elsewhere, expect similarly radical bridge upgrades in Midtown (10th Street) and downtown (Courtland Street/Ralph McGill Boulevard). Two local architecture firms were selected earlier this year to design the projects as part of the Atlanta Bridgescape Competition. The contest is part of a phased effort to enhance all five miles of The Connector.