In November 2014, we broke ground on the Westside Trail and by next fall, we’ll be able to say it’s officially complete. Despite wild weather conditions, unexpected underground infrastructure, and a burst of other development projects demanding resources around the city, we’ve managed to keep the project on track.
With a large portion of the underground infrastructure and retaining walls complete in 2015, we readied the Westside Trail for an exciting, visible milestone in its construction – the pouring of concrete. This year, concrete has been poured on two major portions of the trail: from University Avenue to Allene Avenue and from north of Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive to Lena Street. The latter stretch includes re-constructing the portion of Lionel Hampton Trail that intersects with the trail near Washington Park.
Forging New Connections
Construction of the Westside Trail includes building connectivity to the trail from the adjacent neighborhoods, as well as improving the pedestrian infrastructure when possible. In 2015, the old rail bridge over Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive was removed to make way for a new and improved bridge. The new bridge will accommodate a pedestrian walkway and future transit on the Westside Trail. Construction of the bridge also allowed for improvements to the streetscape below, providing for wider sidewalks and higher traffic clearance under the bridge.
Additionally, the Westside Trail will be built with 14 access points, which will include connections such as ramps and stairs in some areas. Photographed below is an example of such a connection – these are the steps leading up to Lawton Street from the trail.
In November of 2016, several volunteer groups descended on the Westside Trail near the access point from Donnelly Avenue for the first of many cleanups around the future trail. The clean-ups will maintain the portions of the trail that are yet to be paved by clearing out trash and invasive species. This first clean-up was sponsored by Park Pride and the Atlanta BeltLine Partnership.
Over the next few months, you will see construction of many more elements of the trail, including the ramp at Lawton Street, installation of lighting poles, construction of the connection at Donnelly, and connections and improvements around Stafford Park. The trail is due for completion by fall 2017.