One stop of the Atlanta Roadgeek Meeting on January 17, 2004 took us to the newly opened 17th Street or Yellow Bridge in the city of Atlanta. Opened on January 5, 2004, the Yellow Bridge carries 17th Street across 21 lanes of freeway near the Interstate 75 & 85 merge below. Construction at a cost of $38 million, the 829 foot span opened partially between a new Exit 84 ramp of Interstate 85 southbound and Williams Street for eastbound motorists. The westbound lanes of the span were not open at the time of the meet due to the unconstructed portion of 17th Street through Atlantic Station to Northside Drive (U.S. 41). That aspect of the project is slated for completion by Summer 2004.1 Included below is a selection of photographs taken from a 20 minute walk along the bridge itself.
Views of the 17th Street Bridge itself
Peering southward toward downtown Atlanta from a point roughly midway along the 17th Street Bridge. Photo taken 01/17/04.
Facing eastward at the end of the 17th Street Bridge and future traffic signal for the Williams Street connector ramp. Photos taken 01/17/04.
17th Street as it meanders toward Spring Street (U.S. 19 & Georgia 9). The westbound lanes remain closed at this time between Williams Street and the bridge itself. Photo taken 01/17/04.
All traffic entering 17th Street from Interstate 85 southbound defaults onto the bridge eastbound. The Downtown Connector path through Atlantic Station is still under construction. The office tower itself is part of Atlantic Station and may open by Spring, allowing for partial access onto 17th Street westbound before Summer. Photos taken 01/17/04.
A wide sidewalk offers pedestrians safety and comfort on both sides of the Yellow Bridge. The protective screen for motorists below utilizes a modern and artistic approach. Photo taken 01/17/04.
Northward facing views from the 17th Street Bridge
The Interstate 75 & 85 southbound mainlines merge together. To the left is the Interstate 85 - Exit 84 ramp departure for 17th Street and Techwood Drive (10th & 14th Streets).
Photos taken 01/17/04.
The northbound carriageway of Interstate 75 crosses over the Interstate 75 HOV lanes. The HOV lanes are granted independent ramps to/from Interstate 85. Photos taken 01/17/04.
Interstate 85 northbound and the Williams Street on-ramp. There is no direct access between Interstate 75 & 85 northbound to the 17th Street Bridge. Photos taken 01/17/04.
Southward facing views from the 17th Street Bridge
Looking to the southwest at the Interstate 75 & 85 partition and the adjacent Williams Street northbound. Interstate 75 & 85 each receive three lanes with a fourth HOV only lane on the Interstate 75 side. Photos taken 01/17/04.
Interstate 85 departs Interstate 75 below as Exit 251. Photo taken 01/17/04.
Several high rises overlook the Interstate 75 & 85 split. Photo taken 01/17/04.
Midway across the Yellow Bridge over the Interstate 75 and 85 median. An HOV ramp for Interstate 85 northbound scoots below, crossing underneath of the northbound Interstate 75 carriageway to the north. Photos taken 01/17/04.
Five lanes of Interstate 85 enter from the left and merge with three lanes of Interstate 75 on the right. The Interstate 75 HOV lane also merges with the Interstate 85 HOV lane to the left. Photos taken 01/17/04.
Interstate 75 & 85 merge to form a 16 lane freeway underneath the 14th Street overpass (U.S. 19 & Georgia 9). The paired Interstates travel a short distance to enter the central business district of the city. Photos taken 01/17/04.
Techwood Drive begins from the Exit 84 off-ramp of Interstate 85 to 10th & 14th Streets. Merging onto the southbound only street is 16th Street below. The intersection in the background (14th Street) occurs with U.S. 19 & Georgia 9. Photo taken 01/17/04.
Interstate 85 Southbound Exit to the 17th Street Bridge
Just before the merge of Interstate 85 southbound onto Interstate 75 southbound is the departure of the Exit 84 off-ramp. The 17th Street element of the exit ramp intersects the west end of the bridge. Photo taken 01/17/04.
The Exit 84 off-ramp splits between 17th Street and Techwood Drive. The 10th & 14th Street element of the ramp utilizes Techwood Drive adjacent to the southbound lanes of Interstate 75 & 85 to the left. Photo taken 01/17/04.
1 - "Wearing its stripes: The new bridge will remain yellow." Atlanta Journal-Constitution, January 5, 2004.