A rendering of the proposed Stitch project over the Downtown Connector.

The U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) has awarded Atlanta a $900,000 planning grant for The Stitch, the city’s ambitious plan to cap part of the Downtown Connector with a park.

The Stitch would consist of 14 acres atop a platform spanning the I-75/I-85 Downtown Connector between the Civic Center MARTA Center at West Peachtree Street and Piedmont Avenue. 

The transformative project would reconnect a portion of Downtown’s street grid broken by the interstate 70 years ago, provide a new greenspace, and spur transit-oriented development around the park, as well as affordable housing.

The Stitch is not the only interstate capping project being floated for the city. The proposed Midtown Connector would stretch from 10th Street to North Avenue with a 25-acre park over the interstate, while the long-simmering park over Georgia 400 would provide new greenspace in Buckhead.

Along with the $900,000 for The Stitch, the USDOT also awarded $16 million to the Atlanta BeltLine to continue buildout of the Southside Trail.

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Collin Kelley has been the editor of Atlanta Intown for two decades and has been a journalist and freelance writer for 35 years. He’s also an award-winning poet and novelist.