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Eastside Trail Construction Close Up
posted in Eastside Trail, Progress, Trails, Transit // 12/20/11

This past Friday, several of us ventured out of the office and onto the Eastside Trail construction site to get a look at how it’s coming along. The PATH Foundation, our partner and construction manager, and the Astra Group, the contractor, have been pretty busy. We started at 10th and Monroe and headed south. Here’s what we saw:

North end of the corridor, just south of 10th and Monroe

Heading south, we passed a newly shored-up slope adjacent to Midtown Promenade. In early fall, this part of the corridor collapsed during a torrential storm. The cause: an old, unused sewer pipe that had not turned up on any suveys, only to be discovered after the collapse of a hillside. Good times. Either way, it’s all good now.

Hill sloping down the corridor towards Midtown Promenade. This newly secured slope caused some problems a few months back when it collapsed due to the existence of a previously unknown, unused sewer pipe. All good now.

Continuing down towards Greenwood Pl, we saw some great examples of the new retaining walls that have been installed.

Retaining wall near Greenwood Pl. Retaining walls are necessary to preserve the structural integrity of the corridor and preserve right of way for transit.

This part of the corridor has a great view of Ponce City Market (formerly City Hall East) and Midtown.

On the corridor looking south at Greenwood Pl. Great view of Ponce City Market on the right, and a new retaining wall on the left, next to where the trail will run.

After crossing the Ponce bridge, crews are finishing the retaining walls facing the Ford Factory Lofts, and you get a good view of where the Atlanta BeltLine will connect to Ponce City Market.

This is about where the bridge will be built connecting the corridor to Ponce City Market.

You get great views of the city crossing North Avenue on a nice wide bridge. Looking west on North Ave you can see where a new transit line might link the Atlanta BeltLine to the Midtown business district and MARTA’s North Ave station.

Transit coming off the corridor might turn onto North Ave, connecting into Midtown. If the 2012 Transportation Referendum passes, this could happen in the next few years.

The walk from North Ave to Ralph McGill takes one through perhaps the widest part of the corridor, overlooking Historic Fourth Ward Park.

View of the park from the corridor.

Now, right next to this overlook is where the retaining wall samples live (for now).

Yup. This is what the retaining walls look like.

What we affectionately call Three Tree Hill (which really has more than three trees on it, but we won’t go there now) will be a dramatic vista point along the corridor. Right now, it’s home to a tree swing (not part of the construction).

View of Three Tree Hill, and a swing, from the corridor.

The work at Ralph McGill is pretty dramatic. If you visited this spot previously, you might not recognize it. The foundations for the new bridge are nearing completion, and as you will see, there are large holes on both sides of the bridge where the foundations are under construction.

The north side of the Ralph McGill bridge.

This is the south side of the bridge. The large whole is where the foundation is getting poured.

Just before arriving at the Skatepark, we came across this amazing old piece of rail that was uncovered as part of the construction. We’re saving it and will reintroduce it at some point in the future as some kind of public art.

This is a really cool old piece of rail that was uncovered during construction. Don't worry, it will be saved.

Winding our way under Freedom Parkway, we reached the part of the corridor that touches Inman Park Village. Here you can see there is still a large hole where the utility duct is still exposed, with additional pvc piping off to the right.

This is where the trail will link up with the Freedom Park/Stone Mountain trail.

Proceeding south to Highland, the corridor is really starting to take shape and resemble what it will eventually look like.

This is where Highland Ave crosses the corridor.

This is roughly what it will look like fully built out with transit.

Winding our way south, the retaining wall next to Rathbun’s Steak is in.

Seat wall next to Rathbun's Steak

And here’s another dramatic transformation of the corridor approaching Irwin Street. As you can see, we’re making the usable corridor significantly wider here to accommodate the trail and future transit.

This gully will be filled in so the corridor is level. The trail will be built immediately adjacent to the wall on the left.

And thus ends our tour. As previously mentioned, the trail construction will end at Irwin St for now, until the Edgewood Ave bridge is replaced, at which point the trail construction will resume to DeKalb Ave.

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