Just days after the Cumberland CID pledged $5 million of support to construct a bridge to connect SunTrust Park to parking decks across Interstate 285, visuals have emerged giving a sense of what Braves fans should expect. Engineering and design firm AECOM released a fly-through video of the bridge from below and above, showing a brick-lined pedestrian path as well as one lane for a shuttle circulator bus to carry fans across the interstate. The Marietta Daily Journal reports that costs have been targeted at just under $10 million — half of which will be covered by the money from the CID — not including the expense of purchasing the land needed to build the bridge. County Commissioner Tim Lee is hoping to bring the bridge proposal to a vote by the end of the month, paving the way for soliciting contractor bids to complete the project. If all goes according to plan, Lee envisions the bridge being ready for opening day of SunTrust Park in spring 2017. However, there's still a catch.
One major sticking point that persists is whether the Cobb-Marietta Coliseum & Exhibit Hall Authority — owners of the Cobb Galleria Centre, the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre and holders of the deed to SunTrust Park — will grant permission for the bridge to be accessed through their property.
As designed, the bridge would need to tie into a parking deck belonging to the Galleria, which has been deemed a non-starter previously by the organization. However, now that funding is lined up and a design picked, maybe the Authority will change its mind… or it could be time to investigate plan B.