“I am pleased to announce that the City of Atlanta has received $10 million in funding from the 2016 TIGER grants to support the Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive Corridor Improvement Project. With this major grant, the City is able to make significant progress toward completing this vital project,” said Mayor Kasim Reed. “I offer my thanks to both Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx and President Barack Obama for their continued support of the City of Atlanta as we work to expand and update our transportation systems to support economic opportunity for all our residents. As the birthplace of Dr. King, the street bearing his name should and will be one of the most attractive and important streets in our city.”
The Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive Innovation Corridor Project is the first of its kind in the U.S. The improvements to the seven-mile street will include synchronized traffic lights, new sidewalks and a multi-use trail with new landscaping, historic signage, street furniture, upgraded crosswalks, distinctive paving with ADA ramps, public art displays at major intersections, improved medians, new street lighting and a pocket park in the median of the road. The project will provide new mobility options and increase access to transit, employment centers and services along the length of Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive and will improve safety for all users of the corridor.
Additionally, the project promotes a range of affordable, accessible mobility options connecting residents of the corridor to rail stations, bus routes, trails, schools and more. The City of Atlanta Department of Public Works held multiple public meetings and incorporated residents’ input into the streetscape improvement plan.
Earlier this year, the Atlanta City Council passed legislation authorizing the City to partner with the Georgia Department of Transportation to begin resurfacing along the seven-mile corridor, allowing the City to further extend its resources. The total cost for the full Innovation Corridor Project is $22.9 million; TIGER grant will cover just under half of the full cost.
“For the eighth year running, TIGER will inject critical infrastructure dollars into communities across the country,” said Secretary Foxx. “This unique program rewards innovative thinking and collaborative solutions to difficult and sometimes dangerous transportation problems. A great TIGER program doesn’t just improve transportation; it expands economic opportunity and transforms a community.”
The highly competitive TIGER grant program supports innovative projects, including multi-modal and multi-jurisdictional projects, which are difficult to fund through traditional federal programs. This year’s awards focus on capital projects that generate economic development and improve access to reliable, safe and affordable transportation for communities, both urban and rural.
This is the third TIGER grant the City of Atlanta has received during Mayor Reed’s administration; the City received a $47.7 million in TIGER II grant to build the Atlanta Streetcar and an $18 million TIGER V grant to support construction of the Atlanta BeltLine’s Westside trail, for a total of $75.7 million in TIGER funds to support innovative transportation projects in the City of Atlanta.