Plans Underway for Programming and Initial Paving
Atlanta – The 4-mile Atlanta BeltLine Southside Trail is officially open for use in its interim condition. Atlanta BeltLine, Inc. (ABI) and the Atlanta BeltLine Partnership (ABP) are thrilled to connect the Westside and Eastside Trails with mobility options and programming. The unpaved trail remains unpaved but does include regrading of gravel in the former rail corridor, access to 11 public streets, environmental remediation, bolstered bridges, crosswalks in at-grade crossings with appropriate signage and signalization, and lighting in tunnels.
“I am delighted for the opportunity this represents for the residents of south and southwest Atlanta,” said Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms. “Already, in an interim state, the Atlanta BeltLine Southside Trail is having a profound impact on affordable housing, jobs, and the economy in the surrounding communities.”
“Linking the west and east sides of the Atlanta BeltLine is a top priority,” said Clyde Higgs, President and CEO of Atlanta BeltLine, Inc. “We recognize that this connectivity has been highly anticipated by our neighbors along the southern corridor. We are thrilled for this milestone and future construction.”
The unpaved trail is funded through contributions to ABP’s Opening the Corridor capital campaign, including a lead gift from The Coca-Cola Foundation and major contributions from The Home Depot Foundation, The Delta Air Lines Foundation, the Atlanta BeltLine Partnership’s board of directors, and property owners along the BeltLine.
The Partnership is expanding programming along the Interim Southside Trail this fall. Residents and visitors will be able to join free bike and walking tours, free group runs, and new classes through Atlanta’s largest free fitness program. Volunteers can support clean-up and beautification efforts through seasonal All Call Volunteer Days and Adopt the Atlanta BeltLine. Current Southside Trail Adopters include TAF Designs, REI, Raulet Property Partners, Atlanta Community ToolBank, Mercer Street Neighbors, Eventide Brewing, and Jack and Jill of America. Learn more about these programs at beltline.org and by signing up for the Partnership’s monthly e-newsletter.
“The opening of the Southside Unpaved Trail is a major achievement, as neighbors and visitors will now be able to move along 12 continuous miles of paved and unpaved trail from Washington Park to Ansley Park,” said Atlanta BeltLine Partnership Executive Director Rob Brawner. “We are grateful for the many donors and sponsors whose contributions have made it possible to open this section and activate it through a variety of programs.”
In addition to opening the unpaved trail, ABI is working to advance design and real estate acquisition necessary to construct the paved Southside Trail. The entirety of the 4-mile length is scheduled to be shovel-ready by 2020. While construction funding for the full four miles has not been secured, ABI has identified enough local funding to start construction of the westernmost section of the Southside Trail beginning in late 2019.
ABI anticipates publishing a Request for Proposals this fall for a construction team to build out the initial 0.75 miles of the multi-use trail, referred to as Southside Trail – West. The segment runs from the southern terminus of the Westside Trail at University Avenue to the Annie E. Casey Foundation site at Pittsburgh Yards, just west of the I-75/85 overpass. Construction will include a 14-foot-wide concrete trail, ADA access at Allene Avenue and Metropolitan Parkway with appropriate crosswalks and signalization, advanced environmental remediation of the corridor, lights, security cameras, utility relocations, stormwater drainage, retention walls, and full landscaping. Construction of this first segment is slated to begin by the end of 2019 and expected to take approximately 12 months to complete. The construction schedule will be confirmed once a general contractor is hired.
Southside Trail – West was selected as the first segment in a phased approach to construction due to its connection between three open and emerging job centers – Pittsburgh Yards, Murphy Crossing, and Lee + White. While this segment is now open in an interim state, it will close once construction begins on the paved trail.
Read more about the Atlanta BeltLine’s Southside Trail.
The interim Southside Trail will be accessible from the following 11 public streets:
- Glenwood Avenue (ADA accessible)
- Mercer Street
- Lynwood Street
- United Avenue
- Hill Street
- Milton Avenue (ADA accessible)
- Carver High School
- Pryor Road
- Metropolitan Avenue
- Sylvan Road (ADA accessible)