Rendering of proposed 15th Street extension between West Peachtree and Williams Streets.
BY ELLIE HENSLEY
The Atlanta Regional Commission announced that the planned extension of 15th Street was recently awarded a $2 million grant from the Federal Highway Administration.
Through a partnership with the City of Atlanta, Midtown Alliance is designing the project and serves as the city’s implementation agent for the project.
The 15th Street Extension project will help complete Midtown’s street grid, which makes the district easier and safer to navigate for all modes of transport. It will create two new blocks of roadway, a rare opportunity in an urban environment.
Read more below for details about the 15th Street Extension project:
About the Project
The project will be a multi-modal connection that extends 15th Street from its current end point at West Peachtree Street two blocks west to Williams Street.
The project will have one vehicular travel lane in each direction with dedicated turn lanes to West Peachtree Street and Spring Street. The new cross section will also include five-foot tree planting/furniture zones and 10-foot sidewalks on both sides of the street. Starting from a blank canvas also allows us to include sidewalk level bikes lanes which provide a higher level of safety and comfort for people on bikes. These bike lanes will provide a direct connection to the Arts Center MARTA Station as well as bicycle routes planned for Spring Street and West Peachtree Street.
The extension will be built on undeveloped land owned by the Georgia Department of Transportation (Georgia DOT), eliminating the need for costly and time-consuming land acquisition. Georgia DOT acquired the land years ago when transportation partners were discussing the possibility of building a 15th Street Bridge. Although the bridge never came to fruition, the state agency has held onto the parcels of land to preserve future development rights. After the 15th Street Extension is completed, Georgia DOT will gift the land to the City of Atlanta.
“If Georgia DOT did not own this land, this project would most likely not be possible,” said Midtown Alliance Director of Capital Projects Cladie Washburn. “There aren’t many new opportunities to build a new street in a dense urban environment, and this is the first one Midtown Alliance has built from scratch.”
The road extension is separate from but related to another Midtown Alliance project on 15th Street, a Light Individual Transportation (LIT) Lane Connection between its intersections with West Peachtree Street and Piedmont Avenue. Together these two projects will help provide a multimodal east-west connection in a part of Midtown where few currently exist.
15th Street Extension Timeline
The design and engineering phase is expected to wrap up by this fall. Pending approvals and permitting by authorities, construction procurement is forecasted to begin late this year. Construction is slated to begin in early 2022 with an anticipated duration of 18 months.
Stay up to date on the project’s progress by following its webpage here.