Seven years after the ball got rolling on engineering work, a relatively small but important multimodal expansion of a Midtown artery is officially underway.

Crews are moving forward with preliminary construction work for the 15th Street extension project that will create a people-friendly, two-block link from the Arts Center MARTA station to Williams Street, near the downtown Connector, according to Midtown Alliance.

That work includes test drilling for rock-blasting and removal that’s expected to begin later this month, per the Midtown agency.

As is, 15th Street dead-ends at West Peachtree Street, next to the AMLI Arts Center apartment tower. That walls off access to the transit hub for sections of Spring Street, where hundreds of new residences have recently taken shape in buildings such as Mira at Midtown Union.

The extended street will slip between apartment high-rises and consume part of what’s currently a gravel parking lot. It will include three new lanes of public roadway between West Peachtree and Spring streets, including two left-turn lanes at both of those one-way streets. West of that, expect a single through-lane in each direction, connecting to Williams Street.  

Other features will include five-foot-wide bicycle lanes at sidewalk level in each direction, another five-foot zone dedicated to trees and street furniture, and 10-foot sidewalks on both sides of the street.

Placement of the forthcoming 15th Street extension. Google Maps/Urbanize

The proposed look of two new blocks of 15th Street, looking west toward Atlantic Station from West Peachtree Street. Courtesy of Midtown Alliance

The bike lanes are designed to directly connect with the Arts Center MARTA station, existing and forthcoming residential and hotel developments, and other bike routes in the district, per Midtown Alliance.

The full two-block extension will consume Georgia Department of Transportation right-of-way, which eliminated the costs of acquiring real estate.

After receiving a grant from the Atlanta Regional Commission, city and GDOT officials began work to design the 15th Street project back in summer 2017. In addition to fundraising, engineering, traffic, and environmental studies took place over the next few years. A hiccup involving the bidding process knocked the construction timeline back in fall 2022.

More than $6 million in funding is in place to build the project, with about half of that coming from GDOT and federal coffers. Midtown Improvement District funds and City of Atlanta impact fees are covering the bulk of remaining costs.

According to Midtown Alliance, the project was awarded to low bidder Reeves Young in December. The schedule calls for completing the bulk of the extension by September next year, per project officials.

Courtesy of Midtown Alliance

A section of the proposal showing 15th Street's new functionality. Courtesy of Midtown Alliance/Jacobs

Meanwhile, on the flipside of Midtown, another people-friendly overhaul of a key crossroads officially began today with street-lane closures and construction fencing erected.

The intersection where the BeltLine’s popular Eastside Trail meets Monroe Drive and Piedmont Park is scheduled to be closed until Friday evening as utility and asphalt work unfolds and concrete ramps are installed. Find more information on detour routes here


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