New Midtown Atlanta park plan receives federal funding
GPB's Amanda Andrews explains the Midtown Connector Project, a park that would go over Interstate 85 in Atlanta.
Congress approved more than $3 million for the city of Atlanta to develop a new greenspace in a recent spending bill. The money will go towards the Midtown Connector Project, a plan that would connect eastern and western Midtown with a park.
What is the project?
The connector project has been in development for the past four years. It would build 15 acres of greenspace over Interstate 85 between North Avene and Fifth Street.
Plans include a playground, reflecting ponds, walking trails, and an outdoor performance space.
Taylor Morison is with the Midtown Connector Project Foundation. He said this park could help connect the city and make it more walkable.
“We have great organizations like the PATH Foundation and the BeltLine, that we envision in the future building off of this,” Morison said. “We can connect to the upper west side, lower west side, south side — where I live — east side, northeast side, you know, all around.”
How is it funded?
Sen. Raphael Warnock and U.S. Rep. Nikema Williams helped secure federal funding for the project. That money goes towards the planning and engineering process. Morison said once the foundation completes about a third of the design, it can compete for more federal grants.
“We’ll be looking to hopefully reach that milestone at the end of this year at 30%," Morrison said, "and then start applying for federal big dollar grants like RAISE and others early next year.”
The Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity, or RAISE is a program through the U.S. Department of Transportation to fund projects with significant local or regional impact.
When will it be built?
Groundbreaking could happen at the end of 2024, with the goal to open the park in 2028.