GA Dome neighbors: Stadium construction breaks up neighborhood - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

GA Dome neighbors: Stadium construction breaks up neighborhood

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Tony Torrance recently tried to turn onto Martin Luther King Jr. Drive near the Georgia Dome, but something he did not expect blocked his path.

"We had a sign saying the road was closed," Torrance said.

The intersection, in the footprint, of the Falcons' planned stadium was shut down to pave the way for the billion-dollar sports shrine and the roads leading to it.

The Falcons recently broke ground at MLK and Haynes Street for the new site and shut down a major bridge that connects the neighborhoods around the Georgia Dome to downtown Atlanta.

Torrance now has to drive half a mile out of his way to get to the stores where he likes to shop, taking him more than an hour out of his way.

"That is no good," Torrance said.

People who live in Vine City and English Avenue, the neighborhoods closest to the stadium, packed a City Council committee meeting on Wednesday to complain that neither the city nor the Falcons told the communities construction would begin so soon and close a major thoroughfare.

"We weren't warned. It just happened," Torrance said.

Greg Beadles, the Falcons' executive vice president, said he understood neighbors' worries but he insisted the Falcons followed the rules.

"We've gone through all the normal steps you would go through with the city and everything was approved that's been done so far on this project," Beadles said.

Torrance wants his neighborhood to have more say before any more streets are shut down.

"Talk to the mayor, talk to City Council and make sure they're representing us the right way," Torrance said.

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