MARTA: Five Points Station project no longer ‘full steam ahead’

(The Center Square) — Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority’s “full steam ahead” overhaul of its Five Points Station has flamed out — at least for now.

Agency officials said they have paused a roughly $230 million Five Points Station upgrade amid concerns from some advocacy groups and local officials, including Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens.

The move came just days after the agency said the project was “full steam ahead.”

The 18-month-long deconstruction project is part of a larger four-year-long project. Rail service was not expected to be impacted, but street access to the station would close starting July 29.

“While we continue to engage with Mayor Dickens on the Five Points Transformation Project, we are pausing the immediate implementation of service impacts,” the agency said in a statement. “Eight downtown bus routes that were scheduled to relocate this Saturday, July 6, will remain stationed out of Five Points, and customer impacts scheduled for July 29 will be paused.

“As stated previously, design issues and decades of water intrusion have led to damage throughout the station, including to critical electric train control equipment, and the safety of our customers will continue to be our top priority,” the agency added.

The project’s first phase includes razing the concrete canopy, and future phases include constructing a new canopy, establishing a centralized bus hub and reconnecting Broad Street to pedestrian traffic.

“MARTA remains steadfast in our belief that removal and replacement of the canopy is the best option, and one that was approved by our partners at the City of Atlanta,” the agency said. “We pledge to continue working with the Mayor and other stakeholders to deliver these critical infrastructure and safety improvements, enhance the customer experience, and keep Atlanta moving forward as a world-class destination.”