Ted Turner Drive Viaduct Replacement Project
Beneath the viaducts of Atlanta’s downtown are many miles of railroad tracks. Since the early twentieth century, these viaducts routed Atlanta’s pedestrians and traffic above the rail lines.
Atlanta’s Spring Street Viaduct (now Ted Turner Drive)—one of the most prominent—has served the City of Atlanta for an amazing 96 years. Built in 1922, the Viaduct has been and remains a gateway to Downtown Atlanta. It is a major connector for residents, visitors, commuters and businesses. Today, it is a well-traveled route to downtown destinations including the Mercedes-Benz Stadium, CNN Center, Phillips Arena, the Georgia World Congress Center, Richard B. Russell Federal Building, Martin Luther King Federal Building, Sam Nunn Atlanta Federal Center and the Castleberry Hill, Luckie-Marietta and Fairlie-Poplar neighborhoods.
After a lengthy life, the bridge—now structurally deficient with advanced steel and concrete deterioration—requires replacement. Aside from safety factors, replacement will also enhance regional economic development efforts by improving accessibility and connectivity in the downtown corridor - keeping motorists, transit riders and freight deliveries flowing efficiently.
As of 18 July 18, the City of Atlanta officially Gave Its Contractor the Notice to Proceed (NTP) with the Ted Turner Viaduct Project. Although the project will now begin soon, it will now have to be completed in two Phases since there was about a two month delay due to the City of Atlanta approval process. Because the project will now completed in two Phases, the overall length of the project has now been extended.
The first Phase of the project will take place before the Super Bowl and the second Phase of the project will be conducted after the Super Bowl and all related events. There will also be a city wide moratorium on construction from December to February which will add to construction delays.
As of now, the project’s construction schedule is as follows:
18 JUL 18 – NTP
The City of Atlanta Issued a formal Notice to Proceed to C. W. Matthews to begin the Ted Turner Viaduct project.
1 AUG 18 – 30 NOV 18; Phase 1 – MLK Bridge
Phase 1 will consist of the demolition of the MLK walk over bridge, the construction of an additional lane on Upper MLK and the widening of Lower MLK to two traffic lanes and a pedestrian sidewalk. The utilities and data lines from the MLK Building to the RBR will also be rerouted. Phase 1 will “NOT” affect the flow of traffic around the RBR, specifically on Russell Way and the MLK Gulch Bridge. No detours will be necessary for the RBR during Phase 1. However, the detours for Upper MLK will go into effect and Alabama St. will be the primary entrance to the Gulch area. Also, the sidewalk along Upper MLK adjacent to the AFC will remain open during all construction.
1 DEC 18 – 8 FEB 19; Moratorium on Construction
A halt to all construction will be issued for Super Bowl preparation through Super Bowl clean up. During this time, both Upper and Lower MLK will be opened for Super Bowl traffic. However, the MLK loading dock will still have to be accessed from the Forsyth St. side of the building.
11 FEB 19 – SEPT 19; Phase 2 – Ted Turner Bridge
Phase 2 will consist of the demolition and reconstruction of the Ted Turned Bridge between the MLK Building and the RBR. The detours around the RBR will go into effect at this time. Also, Lower MLK will be reclosed during demolition and construction and only one traffic lane will remain open on Upper MLK. Alabama St. will once again be the primary entrance to the Gulch area.
- On 2/11/19, the RBR and MLK building entry and exit points on Ted Turner Drive will remain open, but access to these locations will be slightly adjusted during construction. Please follow new direction signage for access.
- On 2/11/19, to allow for construction activities, the current path for vehicles to exit the RBR loading dock will be slightly detoured across the 10 parking spaces closest to Alabama Street and the AFC loading dock. This new temporary detour exit will be made by having crushed asphalt placed over the curb. The current entrance guardrail will be removed to allow for vehicular traffic in and out of the same location. Directional signage will also be installed.
- A temporary, partially enclosed emergency exit corridor will be in place for emergency egress out of the MLK/RBR tunnel, the Strom Auditorium and the RBR cafeteria.
- Latest updates (March 2019)
- Barricades and fencing were installed adjacent to both the Martin Luther King Federal building and the Robert B. Russell Federal Building. The fencing will block the sidewalk, steps and surrounding areas to keep tenants and visitors outside of the construction area.
- The demolition of the Ted Turner Drive viaduct (Spring Street), between MLK, Jr. Drive, SW and Mitchell Street, SW is currently underway.
- Demolition of Phase I of the west ramp, between Forysth Street, SW and Ted Turner Drive, SW is underway.
Link to City of Atlanta, Department of Public Works, Ted Turner Drive Bridge Replacement Project Update w/Detour Map (Feb 2019)
- Latest updates (November 2019)
- The abutment walls are completed. Concrete and rebar installation for the roof of the abutment is completed. Installation of water line through the abutment in progress.
- The project completion is extended until June 2020 due to unforeseen site conditions.
The Sam Nunn Atlanta Federal Center and Richard B. Russell parking garages will remain open and accessible by the existing roadway. The privately operated parking lot located behind the Sam Nunn Atlanta Federal Center, also known as the “Gulch”, will remain open during the Spring Street Viaduct project.
During the Southern Phase of the project, the Martin Luther King Federal Building’s loading dock entry point will be relocated to Forsyth Street. There will be no change to deliveries to the Sam Nunn Atlanta Federal Center or the Richard B. Russell Federal Building during the Southern Phase.
Project Management and Contacts
The project is managed by the City of Atlanta. The US Government contact for questions from Federal agencies concerning this project is Jason Withers, firstname.lastname@example.org and Lloyd Perryman, email@example.com
Through this site, we will provide routine updates as necessary and particularly in advance of the Southern Phase. For additional project details, please visit www.dot.ga.gov for more details.
Additional updates will be provided as necessary. The GSA will work jointly with the City to prepare public release of project updates.
The GSA Public Affairs point of contact is Adam Rondeau, 470-495-7496.
The City of Atlanta, Department of Public Works, Public Relations Manager contact is Michael Frierson 404-546-6254.