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The Gulch: Consultants line up for contract to rebuild MARTA’s Five Points Station

MARTA, Five Points, homepage

By David Pendered

MARTA has started the process of transforming the Five Points Station into a transportation hub to serve the planned mini city to be built at The Gulch.

The contract to tear down and rebuild the station could prove to be incredibly competitive. The work is being paid for with proceeds of the More MARTA 0.5% sales tax.

The signature atrium at MARTA’s Five Points Station is to be eliminated in the station’s retrofit. Credit: Kelly Jordan

Nearly 120 representatives of the biggest names in facilities and mobility construction attended a March 24 pre-bid conference hosted by MARTA, according to a sign-in sheet. April 19 is the deadline for companies to submit their statement of qualifications. A handful of the companies who sent representatives include:

  • HNTB
  • HOK
  • Integral Consulting Engineering
  • Lord Aeck Sargent
  • Perkins and Will
  • Portman Architects
  • Sizemore Group
  • Smallwood, Reynolds, Stewart, Stewart & Associates, Inc.
  • tvsdesign

The task is enormous. Just two complexities include:

  • The retrofitted station is to provide for Broad Street to be reopened and a span added over the rebuilt station, in order to increase connectivity on the west side of Peachtree Street. Broad Street now ends at the northern end of the station, where it turns from a street into a pedestrian plaza between Marietta Street and the transit station.
  • The station is to remain open during demolition and construction.

The station is to be fully functional by the time of the 2026 FIFA World Cup. The station will be a centerpiece of mobility for the potential crowds if Atlanta is selected as one of U.S. host cities. Atlanta submitted its formal bid for the event in December 2020.

MARTA, Five Points, soccer pitch

MARTA intends reopen the soccer pitch at its Five Points Station after the station’s retrofit. Credit: Kelly Jordan

That was before Major League Baseball withdrew this year’s All Star game from the Braves’ ballpark in Cobb County to protest Georgia’s newly enacted law regarding voting procedures. The future of other major events in the region and state is unclear. The Masters Tournament is continuing this week at Augusta National.

Meanwhile, MARTA confirmed Tuesday that it intends for the soccer field to reopen inside the Five Points Station after construction. MARTA is looking into possible off-site alternatives for play during the construction period.

MARTA has been an enthusiastic supporter of Soccer in the Streets, which provides organized soccer play for youngsters. Transit stations serve as the home base for teams, and the competitive league is slated to resume later this summer as COVID-19 allows. The Five Points Station hosts a StationSoccer pitch, said to be the world’s only soccer field inside a transit station.

MARTA, Five Points, drum, sign

The structure that holds up the canopy and this sign at MARTA’s Five Points Station is embedded in the rock beneath the station. Credit: Kelly Jordan

The major challenge in the retrofitting project is dealing with the massive canopy that covers the structure and is embedded in the rock beneath the station. This is how MARTA described the engineering challenge:

  • “The canopy structural system is comprised of a system of concrete beams in four levels with the Drum being a major structural feature. It is a circular post-tensioned concrete element located at the center of the canopy structure and consists of sixteen individual pieces with a diameter of sixty-eight feet. The entire roof system is supported on four, eight-foot by eight-foot reinforced concrete columns that are socketed into bedrock at the Station’s foundation level below.
  • “The project involves removal of the canopy without impacting the rail and/or bus operations and subsequently the creation of a new structure to support and facilitate the reintroduction of Broad Street as a through street, as well as prepare for a future Transit Oriented Development (“TOD”).
  • “Additionally, MARTA would like to use this opportunity to enhance the Station’s appeal to its patrons and become a positive part of the downtown urban fabric.”
MARTA, Five Points, homepage

Pedestrian entrances to MARTA’s Five Points Station are to be reconfigured during the station’s retrofit. Credit: Kelly Jordan


David Pendered

David Pendered, Managing Editor, is an Atlanta journalist with more than 30 years experience reporting on the region’s urban affairs, from Atlanta City Hall to the state Capitol. Since 2008, he has written for print and digital publications, and advised on media and governmental affairs. Previously, he spent more than 26 years with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and won awards for his coverage of schools and urban development. David graduated from North Carolina State University and was a Western Knight Center Fellow.


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  1. Robert Peppel April 9, 2021 11:48 am

    What happenef to the Intermodal Station that was originally designed back in the 1990’s?Report

  2. DJ Logan June 22, 2021 5:31 am

    Into the future we go! Let’s go Atl!!!Report


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