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Atlanta BeltLine Began Construction On Two New Trail Segments in March

Mon April 03, 2023 - Southeast Edition #8
Atlanta Beltline


(L-R) are Rob Brawner, executive director, Atlanta BeltLine Partnership; Katie Howard, Atlanta Public Schools board member, District 1; Natalie Hall, Fulton County commissioner, District 4; Clyde Higgs, president and CEO, Atlanta BeltLine, Inc.; Mayor Andre Dickens, city of Atlanta; Jason Winston, city of Atlanta councilmember, District 1; Daniel Blackman, regional administrator for EPA’s Southeast Region (Region 4); Abiy Kaltiso, transportation chair South Atlanta for Neighborhood Development (SAND); Matt Westmoreland, city of Atlanta councilmember, Post 2 At Large. (Erin Sintos/Beltline.org photo)
(L-R) are Rob Brawner, executive director, Atlanta BeltLine Partnership; Katie Howard, Atlanta Public Schools board member, District 1; Natalie Hall, Fulton County commissioner, District 4; Clyde Higgs, president and CEO, Atlanta BeltLine, Inc.; Mayor Andre Dickens, city of Atlanta; Jason Winston, city of Atlanta councilmember, District 1; Daniel Blackman, regional administrator for EPA’s Southeast Region (Region 4); Abiy Kaltiso, transportation chair South Atlanta for Neighborhood Development (SAND); Matt Westmoreland, city of Atlanta councilmember, Post 2 At Large. (Erin Sintos/Beltline.org photo)

Work has been moving full steam ahead on the Atlanta BeltLine since a pair of groundbreaking ceremonies occurred in March on two new different segments of the 22-mi. loop.

Surrounded by heavy construction equipment, Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens, Atlanta BeltLine Inc. leaders and other community members helped shovel the first dirt at the site of the BeltLine's Southside Trail on March 13. Known as Segments 4 and 5, the new paved trail will connect the Glenwood Park and Grant Park neighborhoods, from Glenwood Avenue southwest to Boulevard, according to a March 27 online news release from Atlanta Beltline.

"The next expansion of the Southside Trail is a significant move toward a more connected and thriving Atlanta," Dickens explained. "This 1.2-mi. segment will provide safer and more accessible routes for residents, students and visitors alike, linking communities to job centers north and south of Interstate 20."

The Southside Trail expansion will be built to provide nearly 5 mi. of multi-use trail stretching from Piedmont Park to Boulevard and create safer routes to schools for students and families at Parkside Elementary and Maynard Jackson High School.

Later in the month, on March 23, Dickens was joined by many of the same folks from the earlier gathering again to break ground on the 1.3 mi.-long stretch of the Westside Trail connecting Washington Park to Bankhead/Historic Westin Heights.

The Westside Trail — Segment 4 starts at the western boundary of Atlanta's Washington Park neighborhood, founded 100 years ago as a trailblazing Black suburb and the proud home of the city's first greenspace built to provide key recreational amenities for an African American community. The park is seen as a vital part of the Atlanta BeltLine's "emerald necklace," a network of public greenspaces connected by the trail line.

"[Segment 4] is a complicated design that includes elevated structures and bridges, and we expect it to be completed within 2½ years," the Beltline explained in a recent update on its website.

Once Segment 4 is finished, the Westside Trail will be the longest continuous section of paved trail along the BeltLine. People will be able to traverse 6.5 mi. from Pittsburgh Yards in the southwest, to Huff Road in West Midtown, to the northwest, and onto downtown Atlanta — along the way passing through some of the Georgia capital city's most historic neighborhoods.

"With the Westside Trail, we're creating a brighter tomorrow for all who call Atlanta home," noted Clyde Higgs, president and CEO of Atlanta BeltLine Inc. "It's an important part of our 22-mi.-long trail network, and we're excited that our vision is coming to completion. We estimate the BeltLine will be 80 percent completed or under construction in the next two years."

More Beltline Construction Kickoffs Planned Soon

Progress will continue to ramp up with several more groundbreakings slated to take place in 2023, including Northeast Trail — Segment 1. In addition, bids on construction of the final part of the Southside Trail, Segments 2 and 3, will be let this fall.

To date, 9.3 mi. of the BeltLine mainline trail loop are complete. In addition, 10.3 mi. of connector trails have been finished that tie directly into current and future segments of the primary trail.

Construction on the Southside Trail — Segments 4 and 5 are expected to be wrapped up by the spring of 2025, while work to build the Westside Trail — Segment 4 should be complete in the summer of 2025, according to Atlanta Beltline.




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