Midtown interstate deck supporters seek public input

July 10, 2019 Atlanta : Construction underway on The Interlock, a $450 million mixed-use development in West Midtown. Metro Atlanta added 72,500 people in the past year, according to Atlanta Regional Commission estimates released Wednesday. JOHN SPINK/JSPINK@AJC.COM

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The public will have a chance soon to weigh in on a proposal to build a huge deck over the Downtown Connector through Midtown.

The Midtown Connector Transportation Improvement Project, a nonprofit association that’s promoting the plan, opened an online portal Monday to accept public comments. The portal will be open through Aug. 5.

The Midtown Connector, the name of the project, would include a massive deck, or platform, over Interstate 75/85 from North Avenue to 10th Street. The platform would create property for commercial real estate development and new greenspace. The project would also upgrade existing vehicle bridges and add pedestrian tunnels.

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The Midtown Connector resembles The Stitch, a proposed deck over 14 acres of I-75/I-85 through downtown. The Midtown Connector would start past the northern boundary of The Stitch. A similar project has also been proposed for Ga. 400 in Buckhead.

Initial plans for the $800 million to $1.2 billion project would demolish some Georgia Tech fraternity and sorority houses, the privately owned torch tower near The Varsity that commemorates the 1996 Olympics, and other buildings along the interstate.

Other U.S. cities have completed similar platforms. The largest is Boston’s Big Dig, a $22 billion project that buried Interstate 93 and created a new connection from downtown to Boston Logan International Airport. It opened in 2002.

The Midtown Connector Transportation Improvement Project includes representatives from the Midtown Alliance business association, the state Department of Transportation and Georgia Tech.

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