The Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) is advancing the Five Points Station Transformation Project to the public review process under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).
Five Points Station is the largest and busiest rail station in the MARTA system and the connecting point for all four rail lines, the North/South (Red and Gold) and East/West Lines (Green and Blue) and nine bus routes. As part of the More MARTA Atlanta Program, MARTA and its partners at the city of Atlanta are pursuing a transformation of the Five Points plaza to create a compelling civic space for MARTA customers and the surrounding downtown community.
In March, MARTA presented its board of directors the recommended 9A design concept for the transformation, which includes deconstructing the existing concrete canopy and replacing it with a new canopy that allows for ample light and ventilation.
The State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) determined in April the station is of significant historical importance since it is part of the largest public works project in Atlanta history, the construction of the MARTA system. As a result, the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) determined the NEPA class of action to be an Environmental Assessment and MARTA conducted multiple studies during the past several months centered around the project’s impact on the built environment, specifically the concrete canopy. The MARTA design team worked to refine concept 9A to address some of the city of Atlanta’s concerns about project cost, which received city concurrence in July.
The SHPO determined the project would have an adverse effect on the historic resource, Five Points Station, requiring mitigation. The proposed mitigation measures, which are detailed in the Environmental Assessment, include architectural documentation (in the form of HABS Level 2 photography, written historical descriptive data and digital reproductions of existing drawings) and interpretive panels memorializing the concourse and plaza levels.
The project will now undergo a month of public review of the Environmental Assessment before the FTA will go through the final approval steps, which are expected to be a finding of no significant impact (FONSI) under NEPA. Upon that final determination, MARTA will begin preparing Five Points Station for the construction work.
Skidmore, Owings & Merrill will lead the design of the canopy deconstruction and removal and Skanska Building USA is the Construction Management at Risk contractor that will oversee the project.
In addition to canopy removal and replacement, the station transformation will reconnect Broad Street to pedestrian traffic and incorporate community activities, public art, agriculture, gathering places and other customer amenities.
The Five Points Station Transformation Project will cost approximately $206 million and is funded through the More MARTA Atlanta half-penny sales tax, with $13.8 million from the state of Georgia and a $25 million federal Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity Grant.
The environmental assessment can be found on MARTA’s website.