Congresswoman Nikema Williams Announces $208 Million in Investments for the Stitch and BeltLine Connection

(ATLANTA) – Today, Congresswoman Nikema Williams (GA-05) announced $207,645,161 in new federal funding from the Neighborhood Access and Equity Program, a provision based on Congresswoman Williams’ Neighborhood Access and Equity Grants Act which was included in the Inflation Reduction Act. The Stitch will receive $157,645,161with an additional $50,000,000 to connect the Atlanta BeltLine with the Flint River Trail. 

Congresswoman Williams secured the first federal investment in the engineering phase for The Stitch with her Community Project Funding Grant for FY 22. The Stitch also received one of the first grants from the Reconnecting Communities Pilot Program, which was based on legislation written by Congresswoman Williams. Congresswoman Williams has secured more than $70 million to complete and connect the BeltLine, including $25 million in June to connect the BeltLine to Lindbergh Center

The $157,645,161 award for The Stitch will fund phase 1 construction of a planned multi-use 14-acre greenspace over Interstates 75 and 85 that will reconnect north Downtown Atlanta neighborhoods that were divided by the current highway system. Beyond reconnecting these communities, the Stitch will also support new affordable housing and transit-oriented development, improve the overall transportation network in Downtown Atlanta by transforming existing car-oriented streets into complete streets, and enhance a local MARTA rail and regional bus station to improve operations and user experience.

Additionally, $50 million in federal funding will flow to the Atlanta Beltline to Flint River Trail, bridging existing transportation barriers to connect Atlanta’s south side communities, including schools, hospitals, job centers, Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) rail stations, the Beltline, and employment centers. The trail would further connect communities around Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport and would help promote long-term economic growth in the area.  

Congresswoman Nikema Williams (GA-05) said: 

“The Stitch will reclaim a massive part of our city from infrastructure that divided the Black neighborhoods of Buttermilk Bottoms, Bedford Pines, and Sweet Auburn. And with a new connection to the BeltLine, we are increasing pathways to opportunity for communities that have historically been overlooked for federal investments. Reconnecting our communities with a focus on equity is why I passed the legislation that funded these transformational grants. I will keep working with Central Atlanta Progress and the Atlanta Regional Commission to build these visionary projects that serve everyone.” 

House Committee on Transportation & Infrastructure Ranking Member Rick Larsen said: 

“The Neighborhood Access and Equity grants secured by Representative Williams provide game-changing funding to connect communities across Atlanta and eliminate barriers for accessing schools, job centers, and other key aspects of everyday life. Thanks to her leadership, Atlanta residents will benefit from cleaner, greener, safer, and more accessible and equitable infrastructure.”

Senator Reverend Raphael Warnock (D-GA) said:  

“This tremendous federal award for The Stitch is a direct result of the people of Georgia sending Jon Ossoff and I to the Senate, and it’s exactly the kind of investment I had in mind when I championed legislation last Congress to invest in reconnecting communities severed by highway construction. Additionally, the significant funding for the Atlanta Beltline to Flint River Trail and other key infrastructure projects in Georgia will help strengthen communities across the Peach State by improving pedestrian mobility, traffic flow, and bolster local commerce. As a member of the Senate committee that handles transportation policy, I’m going to keep working with my fellow Georgia lawmakers to direct federal support to important infrastructure projects in our state like The Stitch and make them a reality.”

Senator Jon Ossoff (D-GA) said: 

“We are delivering historic resources to upgrade transportation and recreation infrastructure for Georgia families. I thank President Biden, Vice President Harris, Secretary Buttigieg, and Assistant Secretary Coes for their support as we lead Georgia forward, and I commend the City of Atlanta and Atlanta Regional Commission for their successful work bidding for these major awards.”

Mayor of Atlanta Andre Dickens said: 

“Today’s monumental announcement is why effective representation in Washington D.C. matters. Congresswoman Williams alongside Senators Ossoff and Warnock have consistently delivered for the Atlanta community time and again. Thanks to the Biden-Harris Bipartisan Infrastructure Law we have a massive investment into our city. I also want to thank U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg for always being an ally to both the Administration and Atlantans alike. These funds will catalyze the Stitch and the Atlanta BeltLine to Flint River Trail, both long-term investments that will unite our communities and move Atlanta forward.” 

A.J. Robinson, President of Central Atlanta Progress and the Atlanta Downtown Improvement District, and Jack Cebe, Stitch Development Manager, the Atlanta Downtown Improvement District said: 

“This historic $157 million investment in the Stitch by USDOT through the Reconnecting Communities and Neighborhoods grant program will fund the implementation of Phase 1, which includes the creation of up to five acres of new park space above the Downtown Connector, improvements to seven Downtown streets, and enhanced connectivity to the MARTA Civic Center bus and rail station. The Stitch has been a dream of the Downtown Atlanta community for 20 years. With the award of this USDOT funding authorized by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and Inflation Reduction Act, we are now able to make this dream a reality. The Atlanta Downtown Improvement District (ADID) sincerely thanks Senator Jon Ossoff, Senator Raphael Warnock, and Congresswoman Nikema Williams for their advocacy and support of this grant application, and for their continued commitment to advancing the Stitch. ADID is also grateful for the dedication of its implementation partners to the Stitch and their support of this grant request. These partners include Mayor Andre Dickens and the City of Atlanta, Executive Director Anna Roach and the Atlanta Regional Commission, Commissioner Russell McMurry and the Georgia Department of Transportation, and General Manager Collie Greenwood and MARTA.”

Anna Roach, ARC Executive Director and CEO said: 

“This is a tremendous win for the Atlanta region. And importantly, this is what success looks like when we take a regional approach to pursuing federal funding. The transformative partnership and support received from municipalities and community partners in southern metro Atlanta is a shining example of regional collaboration at its finest. We greatly appreciate the steadfast advocacy and support shown by our congressional delegation. They understand the project’s potential to transform the region’s entire southside.”

CONTACT: PressGA05@mail.house.gov 

Congresswoman Nikema Williams proudly serves Georgia’s Fifth Congressional District on the exclusive Financial Services Committee. She is a champion of voting rights and builds on the Fifth District’s legacy as the cradle of the civil rights movement as co-chair of the Congressional Voting Rights Caucus. Congresswoman Williams is committed to closing the racial wealth gap and ensuring the promise of America for all–regardless of your ZIP code or bank account.

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