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Spring Street Viaduct Replacement Project
(Fulton County)

Spring Street Viaduct
Spring Street Viaduct

Georgia DOT will replace the structurally deficient Spring Street viaduct (bridge) over the CSX railroad in downtown Atlanta.  The project is on Spring Street between Mitchell Street and Marietta Street, including Martin Luther King Jr. Drive between Forsyth Street and Spring Street. 


Total construction is estimated to take 36 months. The project was let in October 2013. Based on a November 2013 Notice to Proceed, the scheduled completion date is November 2016.


Permanent Road Closure: MLK, Jr. Between Northside Drive & Centennial Olympic Park  -  NOTE: This is not a Georgia DOT Project

This portion of Martin L. King, Jr. Drive has been abandoned to the Georgia World Congress Center Authority for the construction of a sports stadium.
View City of Atlanta Press Release  

Spring Street Project Work Plan

Georgia DOT District 7 staff have met with the contractor, C W Matthews, to determine the work plan for this project. Because of extensive utility relocations, no detours related to this project will be in place until September 2014. More detail will be provided in summer 2014.




Beneath the viaducts of Atlanta’s downtown are many miles of railroad tracks. Since the early twentieth century, these viaducts routed Atlanta’s pedestrians and traffic above the rail lines.

Atlanta’s Spring Street Viaduct—one of the most prominent—has served the City of Atlanta for an amazing 91 years. Built in 1922, the Viaduct has been and remains a gateway to Downtown Atlanta. It is a major connector for residents, visitors, commuters and businesses. Today, it is a well-traveled route to downtown destinations including the Georgia Dome, CNN Center, Phillips Arena, the Georgia World Congress Center, Richard B. Russell Federal Building and the Castleberry Hill, Luckie-Marietta and Fairlie-Poplar neighborhoods.

Bridge Replacement

After a lengthy life, the bridge—now structurally deficient with advanced steel and concrete deterioration—requires replacement. Aside from safety factors, replacement will also enhance regional economic development efforts by improving accessibility and connectivity in the downtown corridor - keeping motorists, transit riders and freight deliveries flowing efficiently.

Project Costs

The Spring Street Viaduct was originally built at a cost of $1 million. The replacement cost is approximately $20.7 million.


 Project Phases


The project will be constructed in two phases. By Q1 2014, the contractor will announce which phase to begin first. The detours for each phase are limited to one calendar year from start.

Northern Phase

The Northern Phase will replace the viaduct from the CNN Center Parking Deck to Marietta Street. Traffic will be two-way on Spring Street north of MLK Jr. Drive to allow access to the Atlanta Federal Center parking garage entrance. Through traffic will be detoured; detours will be selected and enforced by the City of Atlanta to accommodate increased traffic on each route.

Southern Phase

The Southern Phase will replace the Spring Street viaduct from Mitchell Street to MLK Jr. Drive, widen upper MLK Jr. Drive and reconstruct lower MLK Jr. Drive. Traffic will be two-way on Spring Street from Marietta Street to the CNN Center parking deck to allow access to the parking garages along the north end of the project. Through traffic will be detoured onto routes selected and enforced by the City of Atlanta to accommodate increased traffic volume.




Spring Street is an important arterial into and out of downtown Atlanta. Increases in travel time are anticipated due to the impact of the work zone.

During each phase of construction, a portion of Spring Street will be closed and traffic detoured, increasing the traffic volume on the detour streets. To mitigate the impacts, the portion of Spring Street not affected by construction will remain open with two-way traffic to allow access to parking garages.

The City of Atlanta will select, establish and maintain the detour routes as well as temporary signals and adjusted signal timing. Bus and pedestrian detour routes are incorporated into the detour plan. Potential detours include Forsyth Street, Mitchell Street, MLK Jr. Drive, Centennial Olympic Park Drive, Marietta Street, Techwood Drive and Walton Street.


 Construction Info


The section of Spring Street between Mitchell Street and MLK Jr. Drive will include three 11.7-foot lanes and 9.4-foot sidewalks. The section of Spring Street north of Alabama Street to Marietta Street will consist of three 11.7-foot lanes with curb and gutter, 10.4-foot sidewalks on either side and an auxiliary left turn lane into the CNN parking area.

Improvements of MLK Jr. Drive from Forsyth Street to Spring Street would include three 11.7-foot traffic lanes with a 7.9-foot sidewalk on the south side and a variable width sidewalk on the north side. The lower level wall will consist of two 10.7-foot traffic lanes with curb and gutter on both sides and a 5.8-foot sidewalk on the north side.

Right-of-way widths for Spring Street between Mitchell Street and MLK Jr. Drive will be 60 feet; right-of-way for the Spring Street section from Alabama Street to Marietta Street will be 60 feet to 72 feet; and right-of-way for the MLK Jr. Drive improvement will be approximately 80 feet. Approximately 2.66 acres of temporary construction easement are required to provide access to the project via Fairlie Street and Wall Street.


 Detour Communications



During the project’s preconstruction phase, several meetings were held with employers, business owners, property managers and residents who will be directly impacted by the Spring Street Viaduct Replacement construction and detours.

Once the contractor and Georgia DOT produce the approved construction plan, Georgia DOT will begin outreach to affected travelers and employers; employers, recreational venues, neighborhood associations and homeowners associations will be encouraged to help their employees, customers and members aware of potential effects of the project.

Detour Plan

The City of Atlanta has designed the detour plan related to this construction and we will make the detour maps available to the public.

Communications Plan

In conjunction with key stakeholders in the project area, Georgia DOT will develop a comprehensive communications plan that will include a dedicated website, press releases, advertising, web banner ads, ongoing grassroots outreach, and email campaigns. Our goal is to reach as many commuters and travelers as possible with the detour information so that they can make alternate travel route decisions if needed and/or plan for additional travel time.


For more information, contact Rick Parham at or Lillian Jackson  


 Bridge vs Viaduct


What’s the Difference between a Bridge and a Viaduct?

Bridges and viaducts are very similar and generally serve the same purpose, and in fact, many dictionaries and reference sources consider the two words to be synonyms. In general terms, both bridges and viaducts are structures which span over land, water or roads to enable crossing from one side to the other. They are designed according to the specific function they serve, the material used and the terrain (land or water) over which they span.

But in reality, there are differences between the two structures-- viaducts are one of many types of bridges. All viaducts are bridges, but not all bridges are viaducts.

Viaducts are a type of bridge made of multiple small spans, a series of arches, built over water or land. When made over land, they typically connect two points which have similar heights. They are popular in cities which have railroad centers like London, Chicago, Birmingham and Atlanta. Viaducts are often built for the crossing of freight trains over railroad yards and the railroad line and for railroads to cross large valleys or cities with multiple avenues and cross streets. Some viaducts are double-decked, meaning one deck has rail traffic while the other deck has road traffic. When built over water, they have to be combined with other tunnels and bridges that have larger spans.

At A Glance: Viaducts vs Bridges

  • Viaducts always have one or more arches and intermediate supports.
  • Viaducts are generally smaller than bridges, so they are usually cheaper to build. Over water, their smaller size usually does not allow clearance for big ships.
  • Bridges don’t always have arches and intermediate supports.
  • Bridges are of all sizes. They can be built long enough to connect two islands and high enough to allow any ship to sail under them.


Chandria L. Brown
Project Manager
(404) 631-1580

Lillian Jackson
Project Community Outreach
(404) 631-1823



 Quick Links


Project Details

Project Number: BHNLB-9073-00(016) & BRNLB-9073-00(018)
PI Number: 752086-752560
​Contractor: ​C.W. Matthews
​Project Length: ​Four-tenths of a mile
Total Cost: ​$20.7 Million

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