Three companies have submitted construction bids with cost estimates for the planned pedestrian bridge to connect the new SunTrust Park in Cobb County and the Cobb Galleria. The Atlanta Journal announced the decision yesterday.
The cost of the bridge has been estimated by the county at just under $10 million, which is far below the total cost of the project, since it does not include land acquisition or an estimated $3.5 million for retrofitting a parking deck at the Galleria. If the bridge project stays on budget, it will likely run over $14 million. (What project stays on budget?)
As of now, the county plans to pay for part of the project with $5 million from the Cobb Community Improvement District and $4.5 million from a Federal Transit Administration grant. The Atlanta Braves organization will contribute $380,000.
The bridge will not totally eliminate serious parking, traffic, and pedestrian issues. SunTrust Park will seat 41,500 people and have only 6,000 dedicated parking spaces. This is 17 percent less seating compared to Turner Field, but 30 percent less dedicated parking. There are no planned car-less options for reaching the stadium.
The Braves website claims that there is “the potential to utilize existing lots nearby” in conjunction with a shuttle system; however, nearby businesses and offices have objected to use of their lots. Cobb Galleria has 2,000 parking spaces, but it is likely that Galleria events will be in competition for those spots. There is no firm, public plan for providing access to the stadium. Good luck, Braves fans!