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I-85 south to 17th Street Bridge to open Monday

From Staff Reports

A new connection to Midtown Atlanta will open Monday as Georgia DOT contractors put the finishing touches on the 17th Street Bridge.

Motorists on I-85 South will be able to use the new ramp to the 17th Street Bridge and cross the bridge heading eastbound to connect to Midtown. No westbound traffic will be allowed on the bridge.

"I am very proud of the hard work our employees and contractors have put in to complete the 17th Street Bridge project on time," Georgia DOT Commissioner Harold Linnenkohl said."

"As we explained at the beginning of the project, the bridge is just one phase of overall plan for the 17th Street area," Linnenkohl said. "This ramp opening is a great first step, because we feel the connection from I-85 South directly to Midtown is needed. As more pieces of the puzzle are completed, there will be even more of a positive impact to Midtown traffic."

Specifically, the Georgia DOT is currently working on the 17th Street Extension project from the western edge of Atlantic Station to Northside Drive. That project is on schedule for completion in summer 2004.

"At the very latest, westbound traffic will be allowed on the bridge when the extension project is completed this summer," Linnenkohl said. "However, it could be even sooner as Atlantic Station works to open the 21-story office tower and many of the residential units that will be ready for occupancy in spring 2004."

The $38 million 17th Street Bridge project contractors were C.W. Matthews Contracting of Marietta and APAC-Georgia of Smyrna.