You’ve heard of the “bridge to nowhere.” Now meet Atlanta’s bridge for no one.
In anticipation of hosting this year’s Super Bowl at the brand new Mercedes-Benz Stadium, the city of Atlanta spent more than $23 million to build a pedestrian bridge linking the stadium to the nearby Vine City public transit station, allowing fans to cross a busy street without needing a crosswalk. The bridge was originally supposed to cost about $13 million—already pretty pricey for a simple pedestrian crossing over a four-lane road—but city officials approved an extra $10 million in funding last year to ensure the project would be finished in time for the big game, which kicks off Sunday evening.
The serpentine bridge—decked out with dazzling, customizable LED lights and wrapped with diamond-shaped aluminum panels—did indeed get finished in time for the Super Bowl.
But it won’t be used by the vast majority of the expected 80,000 people heading to the game on Sunday. Because of it’s location adjacent to the stadium, the bridge has been deemed a security risk and will be closed to everyone except credentialed staff and media, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported this week.
Fans heading to the Super Bowl will have to enter through various security check-points well outside of the stadium grounds. That means anyone arriving at the Vine City station on the other side of the $23 million pedestrian bridge will get to admire a very expensive piece of public art as they cross the street the old fashioned way—though the bridge will be “open for attendees to exit at the conclusion of the game,” the Atlanta Falcons told the paper.