Atlanta — Construction Progress
According to the www.atlantaintownpaper.com website, Construction progress continues toward the target late-2013 completion date of the Atlanta Streetcar. The East-West route will run 2.7 miles from the King Center via Edgewood Avenue to Centennial Olympic Park then looping back on Auburn Avenue. The line will have 12 stops and will connect major tourist destinations and local business.
The operations and maintenance center for the streetcars will be under the I-75/85 overpass on Edgewood Avenue.
According to City of Atlanta senior transportation advisor Tom Weyandt more than 15,000 utility lines of differing types must be removed or rerouted from the rail right of way. The city's agreement with contractor URS allowed them to begin construction while design was still being finalized. This helped advance the project, as is demonstrated by widespread construction along the line.
The project is being followed with great interest by both businesses and residents. The Equitable Building on Peachtree Street has changed hands in anticipation of the streetcars, and Waffle House will add a restaurant on the Centennial Park side. The project is already generating "tremendous foot traffic" for local businesses, said Weyandt. "From the Purple Door Salon to Harold's Pizza, the whole area is being completely revitalized," he commented.
The goal of the project is to link Downtown with the planned Atlanta BeltLine transportation corridor. The first phase features a connection between the streetcars and the Peachtree Center MARTA Station. "As it expands," said Weyandt, "we're providing increased connectivity, and increased opportunities for educational institutions, jobs, and so on."
The streetcar project is a public-private partnership between the City of Atlanta, MARTA, the Atlanta Downtown Improvement District, the Federal Transit Administration and the U.S. Department of Transportation.
For progress updates on the streetcar project, visit http://atlantadowntown.com