The 300,000 unfortunate souls mired in Connector traffic each day will at least have something prettier to look at soon. Officials have anointed two local architecture firms winners of the Atlanta Bridgescape Competition, a creative contest to overhaul key bridges in Midtown (10th Street) and downtown (Courtland Street/Ralph McGill Boulevard). A panel of experts that included reps from Perkins + Will, Mack Scogin Merrill Elam Architects and even the Piedmont Park Conservancy (for their landscape expertise) blindly judged five finalists, who were required to prove that their designs could be accomplished for $3 million or less. Launched earlier this year, the competition is part of a larger, phased effort to enhance all five miles of The Connector through the heart of Atlanta. Officials say construction on the first phase of bridge enhancements — new dramatic arches, lighting, landscaping and signage on the Connector's two Peachtree Street bridges — will begin this year. After the jump, see the winning designs and tip your hat to the triumphant firms.
· Bridgescape Comptition [Website]