The Stitch is a proposed transformational investment that aims to create approximately 14 acres of new urban greenspace atop the I-75/I-85 Downtown Connector. Here, we address some of the most common questions about the project.
The Stitch proposes to create a continuous bridge, or “cap”, over the Downtown Connector between the Piedmont Ave. /Baker Highland bridge and the Ted Turner Drive bridge. This will be comprised of several new bridge structures “filling in” the existing bridges in this extent, in effect turning this section of the Downtown Connector into a ¾ mile tunnel. On top of these bridges will be the park and transportation improvements that comprise the Stitch.
The extents of the new park created by the Stitch will roughly follow the retaining walls bounding the Downtown Connector today. Planned transportation improvements for streets intersecting the Stitch may extend for several blocks to make logical transitions or connections.
Finally, while the Stitch won’t have direct control over the privately-owned properties surrounding the infrastructure improvements, the project team hopes to influence the affordable-focused redevelopment of these properties through strategic policy initiatives and partnerships.
The Stitch is a complex project requiring a diversity of funding sources. To date, the Atlanta Downtown Improvement District, the City of Atlanta, and the Federal government have committed around $15M in funding to the development of the project. Potential future funding stacks include additional federal funds, state and local funds, philanthropy, and value capture mechanisms such as Tax Allocation Districts.
The cost for all sections of the Stitch is currently $713 million. This total will be updated periodically as the project design and engineering is refined over the next several years.
An exact timeline is difficult to project in the early stages of design development; however, once funding is secured, early estimates project that design and construction could take around a decade. Projects of this scale and magnitude are a once-in-a-generation opportunity.