On Wednesday, November 12, history was made on the Atlanta BeltLine Westside Trail. More than 500 community members, elected officials, donors, members of the media, and other Atlanta BeltLine supporters came out to see the first dirt moved on the Westside Trail, marking the beginning of the construction of the $43 million multi-use corridor.
Mayor Reed welcomed the large crowd to the trailhead near Allene Avenue, across from the site of the Urban Farm, and Reverend Gerald Durley opened with a moving invocation that set the mood for the morning. Beginning with Mayor Reed, the lineup of speakers told a powerful story about the potential for transformation in the community and the partnerships that made it possible.
Folks attending the ceremony were able to peruse large renderings of the future of the Westside Trail, including a look at the transit and trail coming to Allene Avenue, right where they were standing. The media also had the opportunity to speak with Mayor Reed and some of the other officials in attendance for the event. Scroll to the bottom for some highlights of the media coverage.
Jamie Kennedy gave remarks on behalf of the James M. Cox Foundation, the leading donor for the Westside Trail with a $5 million contribution. Remarks were also given by Paul Morris, President and CEO of Atlanta BeltLine, Inc., Stacey Key of the Georgia Department of Transportation and Doug Hooker representing the Atlanta Regional Commission, demonstrating the importance of partnerships between various agencies and levels of government. Councilmembers Joyce Sheperd, Cleta Winslow, and Ivory Young were also invited to give remarks.
With the ceremony over, spirits were high as the crowd dispersed, each person taking away a commemorative pin for the occasion.
Find out more and stay up to date on the progress of the Westside Trail as it goes under construction by visiting the Westside Trail construction page. You can also view a full gallery of images from the groundbreaking ceremony here.
Below are links to just a sampling of the media coverage on the Westside Trail groundbreaking.