Falcons stadium-related construction underway, but some not happy

6:18 AM, Feb 6, 2014   |    comments
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  • Construction on MLK Drive just west of downtown Atlanta
  • Construction on MLK Drive just west of downtown Atlanta

ATLANTA - It's officially underway - the first wave of construction related to the new Atlanta Falcons stadium. It started Monday on Martin Luther King Drive, but some residents and businesses in the area are not happy about it.

Imagine driving down a street that you take all the time, but Monday night, finding it suddenly and without warning, closed. People in the area say they knew MLK would be affected by the stadium, but with construction and what they call a major closure popping up without any notice, they're scared of what might come next.

"We're feeling that this is an attempt to wall us off," said Bishop John Lewis

For Lewis, it's easy to fear the worst for MLK Drive. He says it's not just the surprise construction, but the fact that the city won't tell them what will happen next.

"We want some plans," he said. "We want some concrete plans."

11Alive's Blayne Alexander asked for the city's plans also. They could not supply her with any.

A spokesperson said in a statement that no final decisions have been made on any permanent street closings around the stadium.

Wednesday afternoon, crews could be seen tearing down a portion of the MLK Drive Bridge connecting downtown Atlanta and the neighborhood closer to Northside Drive.

Alexander asked Atlanta City Councilman Michael Julian Bond, "Was this a surprise to the city council?"

"Yes," he said. "It was a surprise to me."

Bond said he ran into the barricades himself while on the way home Monday.

With stadium construction just in the first stages, he is worried what a lack of transparency might mean for the remainder of the project.

"We have made commitments that we'll keep the community abreast. Then to have our own department not even keep us informed as to when it's going to start, it not only compliments confidence from people on the outside, but it undercuts my confidence as well," Bond said.

The Mayor's Office said this was just to start the stadium, and that it does not mean MLK Drive will be split in half. The Council has requested specific plans at Monday's meeting.


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