Before demolition and construction on downtown’s crumbling Courtland Street bridge kicked off early this summer, crews had installed safety nets on the structure’s undercarriage.
The nets prevented pieces of the 110-year-old bridge from breaking off and falling on Georgia State University students walking beneath it.
Now, however, thanks to a $25 million project funded by federal, state, and local sources, a replacement bridge, spanning from Gilmer Street to Martin Luther King Jr. Drive, is soon to open (sans safety hazards), according to Georgia State University’s student-run paper, The Signal.
The Courtland Street bridge is undergoing its third month of construction, and the full replacement is expected to be finished, on schedule, around the end of October, the paper reported.
When the project is complete, the bridge—and much of the area beneath it, which students typically walk through en route to classes—will have been closed for six months.
That would be six months in which students have had to find a detour if they were moving between the University Center building and the library, or the school and the statehouse or Atlanta City Hall.
This stretch of Courtland Street also runs over Decatur Street, which was temporarily closed due to construction, and the MARTA lines connecting the GSU and Five Points stations.
The foundation and substructure of the new bridge have been completed. The project now awaits the installation of a few deck sections—the road’s surface pieces, essentially—parapet walls, sidewalks, and lighting fixtures.
Additionally, Collins Street, which runs perpendicular to Courtland Street beneath the bridge, will need to be repaved before students can once again roam around down there.
Multiple GSU parking decks also were closed during construction, so the structure’s revival should come with a sigh of relief from many downtown vehicle commuters.
The bridge replacement is one of many projects underway at GSU, an economic engine for the area, and its surrounding blocks.
And who can forget the GSU-driven redevelopment of Summerhill wrapped around the university’s new football stadium (formerly known as Turner Field)?