Atlanta funds project to ease flooding, add bike lanes near Falcons stadium

Atlanta on Tuesday took another step toward improving the environment just west of the future Falcons stadium in the Proctor Creek basin.

The gist of the plan is to restore the land’s ability to handle stormwater runoff along a portion of Joseph E. Boone. In addtion, the street will be narrowed and bicycle and turn lanes will be installed.

The Atlanta City Council voted unanimously to allocate up to $387,747 for the project. The money will match an anticipated grant from the federal Environmental Protection Division, which has already identified the area for technical assistance.

The total cost is budgeted for $1.8 million, which was previously funded, according to the legislation approved by council.

The timeline calls for the project to be complete in July 2016. Construction could begin as early as October, presuming that preliminary engineering is finished, as planned, by March.

The project is scheduled in the portion of Boone Boulevard that’s located between Northside Drive and Joseph E. Lowery Boulevard.

The legislation says the project includes the following work:

The project is supposed demonstrate the effectiveness of these methods to control stormwater runoff in the English Avenue and Vine City neighborhoods.

These two communities have a long history of problems with flooding during heavy rainstorms. Similar problems exist near Turner Field, and the city is in the process of acquiring a number of properties that typically are flooded during storms.

The description of the Boone Boulevard plan says:

Councilmember Ivory Lee Young, Jr. introduced the funding proposal this month and council approved it without comment Tuesday. The council met Tuesday because the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday fell on Monday.

Incidentally, Boone Boulevard is the relatively new name for the street formally named Simpson Street. Simpson was renamed in 2008 to recognize the civil rights organizer and former minister of Rush Memorial Congregational Church, near the Atlanta University Center.

The city’s money will help implement a proposal that was included in a 2012 report by Park Pride, titled, Proctor Creek/North Avenue Watershed Basin: A Green Infrastructure Project.

Park Pride’s report is a comprehensive evaluation of environmental challenges in the 1,652-acre study area. The report recommends a number of potential solutions to environmental degradation that’s common in the Proctor Creek basin.

The plan’s vision for the Boone Boulevard calls for it to drain stormwater runoff into two future parks, Boone Park East and Boone Park West. The report provides this description of its vision for the Boone Boulevard green infrastructure project: