Boulevard Tunnel cleanup makes big strides

A cit worker installs and paints new handrails at the Boulevard Tunnel.
A cit worker installs and paints new handrails at the Boulevard Tunnel.

By Collin Kelley
INtown Editor

Last summer, INtown reported on local physician and Cabbagetown resident Nicki Braxley’s efforts to clean up the Boulevard tunnel that runs underneath DeKalb Avenue, the CSX railway and MARTA tracks. Her efforts evolved into the Boulevard Tunnel Initiative (BTI) and received support not only from the community but the city of Atlanta.

Since it’s inception a year ago, Braxley said “we’ve made some great strides and have even bigger plans for the next few months.”
Braxley said in a letter to BTI supporters that new lights were installed in the tunnel in November by Atlanta’s Public Works Department creating a much brighter environment for pedestrians.

Railings along the elevated walkways were also replaced and will be repainted a more vibrant, pleasing color soon.

Braxley said BTI has also signed a contract with Living Walls to have the entire tunnel painted with a large mural. The final muralist is still being sought out, but Living Walls said this will be one of their biggest projects of 2014. Final sketches will be approved by the city, and Living Walls will be covering the cost of the mural (an estimated $10,000).

The mural is expected to be complete by the end of April and BTI is working with Cabbagetown and Old Fourth Ward businesses to host a large block party to celebrate the new mural.

BTI was also awarded a $2,500 grant from NPU-N and the city towards installation of a security camera in the stairwell, which will be linked to the Atlanta Police Department’s network. Braxley said the grant will only cover the cost of one camera, but they will continue to seek donations to buy a camera for the other stairwell.

For more about the project, visit blvdtunl.com.

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