Ambitious public works project Atlanta Stitch receives $1.16 million in federal funding

(ATLANTA, Ga.) — Civil engineering nuts, rejoice: One of Atlanta’s most ambitious public works projects has received a boost in funding from federal sources. Rep. Nikema Williams (D-Atlanta) was able to earmark $1.16 for the project, which has remained popular despite a lack of movement in five years.

The Atlanta Stitch plans to create a 14-acre park in the heart of Atlanta, capping the I-75/85 Connector between Ted Turner Drive and Piedmont Avenue. Known as the Stitch because it would reconnect communities destroyed by the Connector’s construction in the 1950s and 60s, supporters espouse the project’s goals of equity, green space, and civic engagement.

A.J. Robinson, president of Central Atlanta Progress, which proposed the Stitch, sounded cautiously optimistic. He pointed to other improbable projects which call Atlanta home, including Centennial Olympic Park, the Atlanta BeltLine, and Atlantic Station. “Atlanta, particularly downtown, we’re not afraid of big projects,” he said to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

The project would cost an estimated $700 million, and could be completed by 2032. Supporters have pointed to the World Cup, to be hosted in part by Atlanta in 2026, as a potential galvanizer for progress, in a similar fashion to how the 1996 Olympics accelerated the construction of Centennial Olympic Park.

The next step could be a larger federal grant — last month, the Atlanta City Council agreed to apply for a $10.5 million grant for preliminary engineering on the project.

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