Connecting Communities: Northside Drive Pedestrian Bridge Project by Willmer Engineering

In 2015 the City of Atlanta approved the construction of a pedestrian bridge/ramp over Northside Drive that would connect the Vine City MARTA Station to downtown Atlanta’s $1.5-billion Mercedes-Benz Stadium, and sits adjacent to the Home Depot Backyard site, a green space for tailgating, community events and park recreation. 

Project leaders said this $33-million pedestrian bridge will be as eye-catching as it is functional. The bridge itself is a 1,200-Foot spiral footbridge with three spans supported on drilled caisson foundations with concrete columns and hammerhead caps. Each span of the bridge is supported with AASHTO Bulb Tee girders and a poured in place concrete deck. The bridge also features snakeskin-like covering with state-of-the-art lighting. This curvilinear, ADA-compliant, design provides curated views of surrounding landmarks and the downtown Atlanta skyline. 

Willmer Engineering was selected as a subconsultant to Georgia Bridge & Concrete providing geotechnical engineering for the bridge foundation and the supporting MSE walls, and providing special inspections and construction materials testing. Design includes two separate bridge sections and three MSE walls in total. 

 The alignment of the bridge traverses the MARTA rail tunnels. MARTA would not allow any increased stress on the tunnels, so the bridge approach had to be designed and constructed with minimal impact to their tunnels. Willmer recommended using lightweight geofoam blocks instead of soil to comprise the internal composition of the MSE wall ramp approach to the bridge to minimize the additional pressure on the tunnel. MARTA accepted this creative solution allowing the bridge to be built. 


Atlanta, Georgia


Transportation Infrastructure


Geotechnical Engineering
Construction Materials Testing
Special Inspections



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