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Atlanta Botanical Garden walkway construction to resume

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An image of the "Canopy Walk" planned for Storza Woods. Courtesy Jova, Daniels, Busby and the Atlanta Botanical Garden.

Ten months after a deadly walkway collapse at the Atlanta Botanical Garden, construction of the 600-foot Canopy Walk is set to resume in October.

The “treewalk” is a winding, 40-foot high walkway designed to take visitors on a canopy-level walk through the Garden’s Storza Woods. It’s set to open in May, 2010. It’s part of a $55 million Green Expansion that has already opened a new visitor center, green roof, parking facility, pedestrian path and additional garden. An edible garden and “cascade” garden are to open in 2010, along with the walkway.

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The walkway after the collapse on Dec. 19, 2008. AJC file photo

The walkway is touted by Mary Pat Matheson, the Garden’s executive director, as a “must-see destination for both gardeners and those who simply want to experience nature in the middle of the city.” The project has been on hold since last year, when the walkway collapsed, dropping workers dozens of feet. One man, Angel Chupin, 66, of Marietta, was killed. Eighteen others were injured, and doctors said it was a near-miracle that none were paralyzed. Here are aerial photos from the walkway collapse.

Hardin Construction Company of Atlanta, Williams Erection Company of Smyrna and Southeast Access of Kennesaw were fined by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration for their role in the collapse. The AJC reported this summer that the companies appealed those fines.

Still, the Botanical Garden is pushing forward with the project.

A press release from the Atlanta Botanical Garden this week said garden visitors will notice three phases of the walkway’s construction:

  • A temporary steel support system will be erected to support the permanent structure in early October.
  • Concrete will be poured for the walkway in late 2009.
  • Four large masts will be put in place in early 2010. They’ll be attached to steel cables that suspend the Canopy Walk, and will allow the temporary steel supports to be removed.

Want to go? The Atlanta Botanical Garden is open Tuesday-Sunday with seasonal hours. $12-15, free for members and children younger than 3. 1345 Piedmont Ave. N.E., Atlanta. 404-876-5859,

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24 comments Add your comment

[...] on hold after part of collapsed in December 2008. One man was killed and 18 others were injured. Construction resumed in [...]


October 1st, 2009
10:49 am

Who was Managing this project anyway?? Were they fined as well? Everyone wants to shirk responsibility!


September 30th, 2009
4:41 pm

I’m sure no one would suggest that any amount of money would compensate for loss of life. Worker’s comp is designed to cover medical expenses and provide some wage benefits. I think it was a caring gesture to raise funds and may even have helped the families cope financially until insurance kicked in. We know how long it can take for those checks to arrive.


September 30th, 2009
4:27 pm

I think the treewalk is amazing! I can’t wait until it is finished and I am going to take all my out of town guests to the Botanical Garden to see this unique feature that my city has to offer. I am a travel agent and I send many people all the way to Costa Rica to see similar treewalks. So I am glad I can tell people they can just come to Atlanta now!

Also, I think people are getting Piedmont Park projects cunfused with the Botanical Garden projects. They are not the same. I believe that it is Piedmont Park that is expanding all the way down to Piedmont and Monroe, not the Botanical Garden. I’m pretty sure they are run by different people.