Drivers in downtown Atlanta are much closer to having a newer and safer bridge thanks to American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds that are being used to replace an outdated bridge currently closed to traffic, Federal Highway Administrator Victor Mendez announced Friday, July 16.
The Georgia Department of Transportation is using $8.8 million in ARRA funds to build a completely new bridge, replacing the current Mitchell Street Bridge that was closed to traffic in March 2008. The bridge, which crosses over the Norfolk Southern Railroad, served as a vital link to downtown Atlanta and was used by heavy trucks, transit buses and daily commuters.
“Recovery funds are making communities safer and stronger here in Atlanta and across the country,” Mendez says. “By helping to reopen and rebuild vital transportation links, we are strengthening not just the infrastructure but also the economy.”
The Mitchell Street Bridge, originally built in 1924 and reconstructed in 1940, carries more than 6,800 vehicles daily. Replacement was necessary because of its deteriorating condition. The new bridge will reconnect portions of downtown Atlanta and improve traffic options in the vicinity of the Atlanta Federal Center, Georgia Dome, CNN Center and other downtown attractions.
Of the $26.6 billion in ARRA highway funds available nationwide, Georgia’s share is $895.7 million. To date, Georgia has obligated the full amount for 369 projects. Of the 369 projects, 71 have been completed, and 252 are under way.