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Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue
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Ivan Allen, Jr. Boulevard Opens to Traffic

Monday, October 3, 2005  Contact: Office of Communications 404-651-7774


Provides Direct Link to Georgia Aquarium

ATLANTA – Almost nine months from the day that Governor Perdue and other state and local agency representatives gathered for the official groundbreaking, the Georgia Department of Transportation (DOT) has opened Ivan Allen, Jr. Boulevard to traffic.  The newly constructed roadway, (formerly Jones, Simpson, and Alexander Streets) named for former Atlanta mayor Ivan Allen, Jr., allows smoother movement of east-west traffic through the northern downtown area and provides direct access to the Georgia Aquarium.

“Nine months ago, we gathered at the groundbreaking ceremony for this corridor and dedicated it in memory of a great Georgian, Ivan Allen Jr.,” said Governor Sonny Perdue.  “We committed to finishing the project prior to the opening of the Georgia Aquarium and today traffic is flowing as promised.”

The project was accelerated as part of the Governor's Fast Forward Program. “It was an ambitious schedule and every minute counted,” said DOT Commissioner Harold Linnenkohl.  “I applaud our GDOT construction staff and our contractor, C.W. Matthews, as well as the local utility companies, for the mammoth effort they put forth to successfully complete this project on time and on budget.  A great deal of coordination was required by everyone involved with the project which enabled us to keep it on track.”

“ Atlanta has needed this access for many years. In many respects, it will play a key role in alleviating a number of the transportation concerns we would face as we continue to expand downtown Atlanta ,” said Bernie Marcus, benefactor of the Georgia Aquarium.  “It will make a positive difference for the Georgia Dome, the World Congress Center, Centennial Olympic Park, the Children's Museum, the new World of Coca-Cola and, of course, the Georgia Aquarium when we open on November 23.”

The $13.3 million dollar project is the result of a Central Atlanta Transportation Study sponsored by Central Atlanta Progress.  Funding was provided by GDOT and GRTA through a state bond issue and matching funds were contributed by a City of Atlanta Quality of Life bond issue and the Atlanta Downtown Improvement District.

The project involved converting the one-way sections of Alexander Street into a continuous two-way corridor.  The first phase of this project includes four 11-foot travel lanes, raised medians in some locations to protect dedicated left turn lanes at key intersections, bike lanes, sidewalks and a five-foot landscaped strip on both sides.  The final touches of the project including some striping, signal synchronization and the installation of streetlights will be completed over the next few weeks.

The Governor's Fast Forward Program is a comprehensive six-year, $15.5 billion transportation program that will relieve congestion and spur economic growth by accelerating existing projects.