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Eastside Trail Construction Update

The Eastside Trail has been the subject of intense interest, especially among those who live nearby. Here is an update on the construction progress. More photos of construction available here.

Overview:

The first phase of the Eastside Trail, a multiuse trail and linear greenspace running south more than two miles from 10th St. and Monroe Dr., has been under construction since May 2011. The target date for completion of this section of Atlanta BeltLine trail (originally scheduled for early next year) is April 2012. The Eastside Trail, which is funded by a combination of public and private philanthropic sources, will be the first finished section of Atlanta BeltLine trail in the old rail corridor. This will add to the other 3.3 miles of permanent trails already completed outside the corridor and will literally lay the foundation of the project’s transit corridor. Concrete for the trail will likely begin to be poured in January 2012, followed by landscaping, tree, signage and hardscape installation. The corridor is closed to the public until construction is completed. The PATH Foundation is the construction manager, and the contractor is the Astra Group.

As construction has progressed, unanticipated challenges have caused changes to this phase of the project’s scope and schedule. With this update, we want to be sure the public is informed about work on the trail over the past year.

Work completed to date:

Environmental remediation of the 100-year-old former rail corridor was completed in April 2011. During construction from May to mid-November, the corridor was cleared and graded, 70-80 percent of the retaining walls and drainage systems were installed and underground utilities excavation and relocation were completed. In the process, as is typical of property that has been used the same way for decades, unknown conditions were uncovered that required additional time and expenses. (Multiple layers of old railroad infrastructure and previously unidentified underground utilities were discovered, some possibly dating back to the Reconstruction Era.)

Construction of a new bridge at Ralph McGill Blvd. has begun with work on its foundations, which has been complicated by the discovery of rock and higher than expected groundwater tables. Once the pilings for the foundations have been completed, work on the bridge will go relatively quickly.

Work to be completed and scope update:

Reconstruction of the Edgewood Avenue Bridge in coordination with the City of Atlanta has altered the schedule for the southernmost section of the trail, 0.25-miles between Irwin St. and Dekalb Ave. Work on its demolition and reconstruction will proceed from mid-2012 until spring 2014. That section of the trail will be completed when work on the Edgewood Bridge is finished. Stripping the Ponce de Leon Avenue Bridge of lead-based paint, and repairing it, will likely require the partial closing of that State Route.  Once a work plan has been approved by GDOT, Atlanta BeltLine, Inc. (ABI) will work with the contractor to inform the public of any disruptions to traffic on Ponce de Leon.

Tree plantings will be done by Trees Atlanta as individual sections of the corridor are ready.  Trees Atlanta, ABI, PATH and the contractor are coordinating closely to ensure that trees are planted in optimal weather conditions and in a manner that will promote tree health and future growth.

 

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