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My Best Use of Metal-July 2018

Architects show off their favorite projects


The Peachtree Street Corridor is 8.5 miles of road and surrounding real estate in the geographic heart of Atlanta. It is also the financial heart of the city. According to Atlanta-based Bleakly Advisory Group, the corridor occupies less than 4 percent of the land, yet it accounts for over a third of the real estate value. The area also provides over half of all Atlanta’s jobs and nearly three-quarters of all professional, science and technology jobs. It is home to 10 percent of the population, disproportionately Millennials and Gen Xers. It is a young, wealthy and dynamic area.

The Midtown Alliance and Central Atlanta Progress are actively pursuing long-term strategies to make this corridor even more vibrant. Their vision encourages the development of the arts, green space and neighborhoods filled with shopping, dining and entertainment. The goal is a safe, clean, pedestrian-friendly community stretching the length of the corridor. To bring this vision to reality, they hired Silverman Construction Program Management, Atlanta. To link Midtown to the rest of the corridor, Silverman asked Kimley-Horn, Atlanta, to redesign the two bridges where Peachtree Street crosses the I-75/85 Connector. The decades-old concrete and chain-link bridges did not fit the modern neighborhood aesthetic the city was building.

The new design retained the underlying structure, but not the chain-link. In its place, gleaming stainless steel mesh has 6-foot-tall lighted, aluminum letters facing the highway, and colorful digital prints of Metro Atlanta landmarks on the pedestrian side. Concrete planters double as traffic barricades where sidewalks once flanked the road. This design is not only more attractive, but makes pedestrians feel more secure from the heavy downtown traffic. On the north bridge, towering, nested arches create 260-foot, open, steel tunnels over the walking paths across the highway.

C.W. Matthews Contracting Co. Inc., Marietta, Ga., was the general contractor on the project and tapped the specialty metal fabricator Henry Inc., Decatur, Ga., to build the arches, stainless panels and letters. The work was completed in February 2018, and the bridges stand as artistic monuments to the forward-looking spirit of the city and its cultural leaders.

Jeff Grundman, creative director, Henry Inc., Decatur, Ga.

Peachtree City Bridge Completion Drone Video

Drone footage of the completed Peachtree City Bridge in Atlanta.