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Driller Mike is long gone—on to his next job, like a salesman traveling from town to town—but his works may be looked upon at Westside Park. Driller Mike was, of course, the nickname of the 400-foot, $11.6 million machine used to bore a five-mile tunnel deep beneath the streets of Atlanta. When the project finished in 2020, water began to flow through the tunnel from the Chattahoochee River, filling the 2.4-billion-gallon quarry at the park’s center.
“When you get below Peachtree Creek, access to the river kind of stops,” says George Dusenbury, a vice president and the Georgia state director of the Trust for Public Land. “Communities in West Atlanta, South Cobb, South Fulton, and Douglas County don’t have the same access that exists in the north.” But that’s about to change, due to a flurry of new plans to expand opportunities to hike, pedal, paddle, and even camp along Atlanta’s iconic river.
In the fall of 2022, Rachel Parish’s public exhibition Emergence installed temporary monuments at Grady Hospital, the Georgia State Capitol, the Tabernacle, and the Gulch—locations closest to four springheads that mark a system of waterways buried beneath downtown Atlanta. It was the start of a multiyear series of artistic works conceived by Flux Projects, dubbed Flow, to explore Atlanta’s complex relationship with water.
Proctor, Tanyard, Clear, and Intrenchment creeks all begin downtown and flow out from the city like spokes—west, north, east, and south. The creeks predate the railroads and highways that have nearly buried them, but their exact sources remain a mystery.
For nearly 30 years, Georgia and two of its neighbors have fought in court over how water from Lake Lanier and Lake Allatoona gets divvied up among the three states. Tensions remain at a rolling boil.
Many DeKalb County residents had a rude awakening this morning when they turned on their showers and faucets to find, well, nothing. Sometime before 4:30 in the morning, a 48-inch transmission water main broke and flooded a section of Buford Highway north of I-285.
Dear Atlanta voters: If you’re wondering if it’s still worth it to trek out to the polls today, consider this: The city’s Municipal Option Sales Tax, or MOST, is also on the ballot today, and if it fails, your water bills could go up by as much as 30 percent, according to Mayor Kasim Reed.