More on the Nelson Street Bridge

According to bridge hunter, the bridge was built in 1906 has been closed to traffic because it is “structurally deficient”.

The west side of this bridge connects with the Castleberry Hill neighborhood. An earlier wooden bridge in the same spot may have been the first such overpass in the city, predating the massive number of viaducts and buildings over the tracks that since defined downtown Atlanta.

A bit of reading of local news articles suggests that the city intended to tear this bridge down after completing renovations/rebuilding of the nearby Mitchell Street. But that was finished in 2012, and here we are three years later and the old bridge is still standing, in use by pedestrians if not by vehicles.

The elephant in the room when discussing the future of this part of Atlanta is whether or not the Multi-Modal Passenger Terminal will ever be built as planned. If the MMPT happens, say goodbye to this whole area as depicted in these photos. These bridges would all be replaced by street-level parks and plazas completely burying the railroad tracks, making it that much harder to watch trains. (If there was a political action committee to promote railfan-friendly architecture and urban planning, I’d give money to it..)

Of course having a big fancy new train station would be fun too, but.. whether or not it’s ever going to happen is a big “if”.

Amtrak doesn’t want to have to run their trains down there because it’s not actually on their route. The freight railroads don’t want passenger trains running down there because they have enough trains already. Considering that commuter rail has been “coming” for the entire 15 years I’ve been in Atlanta, I don’t see any of this happening any time soon, so we may have the urban decay aesthetic to enjoy a while longer.





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