[UPDATE, June 25, 2020] : Atlanta Beltline, Inc. expects to begin preliminary work this Friday, June 26th to prepare for the demolition of the United Avenue bridge. The first step is to locate several fiber communication lines that have been identified in the immediate vicinity of the bridge. Starting this Friday, our contractor will be removing soil and uncovering buried utilities on the Southside Trail corridor just west of the United Avenue bridge. If our contractor discovers any fiber lines that travel across the bridge structure itself, they will need to be relocated by the utility provider before demolition work can be scheduled.
To expedite this work and ensure trail user safety, beginning this Friday morning at 6:00 AM the trail crossing at United Ave will be closed until further notice. As the investigative work proceeds, ABI will finalize and publish a schedule for the bridge demolition process.
Please see visit bit.ly/unitedavebridge for the latest project details – as well as new detour maps for trail and road users. Stay tuned for details on our upcoming virtual public meeting to present interim solutions for safe trail connectivity, once a proposal is further developed.
[ORIGINAL POST, June 22, 2020]
The United Ave SE bridge to be removed due to structural damage, resulting in detours for road and trail users, beginning Monday, June 22.
Late last week, Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) staff observed damage to the historic rail bridge over United Avenue SE, currently part of the Atlanta BeltLine interim Southside Trail, and immediately notified Atlanta BeltLine, Inc. (ABI). They found a structural issue with the bridge, including a crack in one of the steel support beams and the bending of several others—likely resulting from of a truck that exceeded the bridge’s height restrictions, striking the overhead bridge structure.
Following the assessment and recommendation of ABI’s consulting structural engineer, as well as discussions with local community leaders, ABI and the City of Atlanta have concluded that a traffic detour is the safest course of action to protect vehicular traffic from any hazard caused should the bridge receive another shock from a truck. United Avenue will be closed on either side of the bridge, beginning Monday, June 22. ABI is planning to remove the bridge as soon as possible. The trail will remain open until shortly before demolition, which is scheduled to begin in the next week or two. It is anticipated that the demolition will be complete and United Avenue reopened in the next two to three weeks.
An Accelerated Timetable
Originally a railroad bridge built in 1914, the demolition of the United Ave SE bridge was already included in the future construction plans for the permanent Atlanta BeltLine Southside Trail. Due to this urgent safety issue, that timetable has been accelerated. As we prepare for bridge removal, ABI is working diligently to finalize an interim design solution that will provide continued connectivity for Southside Trail users. Once an interim solution for trail users is developed, ABI will hold a virtual public meeting to present the proposal.
We will provide more details on our website as they become available. We will also continue to email updates and a detour map, once finalized, as well as details for the upcoming virtual public meeting. If you do not currently receive email updates, but wish to be added to our listserv, please send an email to email@example.com and indicate in which neighborhood you live or work.
In the meantime, community members can direct questions and concerns to the following ABI staff members:
Beth McMillan, Vice President of Planning and Engagement – 404.477.3550
Kim Wilson, Vice President of Design and Construction – 404.477.3576
Kevin Burke, Director of Design – 404.477.3637
24 thoughts on this article. Join the discussion below
Hello, I would like to join the listserv to get updates on the United Ave Bridge project. I tried sending my request to the email address listed above but my mail system said it couldn’t sent anything because that address doesn’t exist. So you might want to check that.
Hi Lisa, we will get you added in to receive updates pertinent to our Southeast Study Group. Thanks! ~Jenny
What is the timeline for replacing the bridge?
We’re anticipating around 6 months to install a temporary bridge.
Little wooden people/bike bridge? Like over Pryor and Metropolitan?
It will be a prefabricated bridge and then lifted into place, so won’t quite be like the ones over Pryor and Metropolitan.
Are there any updates on this, building a safe pathway over i20 and the blocked construction after DH Stanton Park? Please add me to the updates on listserv to get updates on the United Ave Bridge project or anything in the south side trail thanks!
Hi Jason – the I-20 portion of Bill Kennedy Way is in permitting right now and will proceed once we have the permit in hand. Can you clarify on the blocked construction after DH Stanton Park? Over United Avenue, we plan to have a temporary bridge in place in the next several months. We will add you to our mailing list. Thank you! ~Jenny
Hi. I’ve just moved to Pryor Road and I’d like to know if I can use wooden stairs in Pryor Road to access the Westside Trail?
Hi Vitor, you can use the wooden stairs to access the interim Southside Trail, but if you go west towards the Westside Trail, it is closed for construction. To get to the Westside Trail, you’ll need to walk west along University Avenue to where it dead ends into the BeltLine.
Any updates on the completion of the new bridge over United Ave and also any updates on the completion of the southeast beltline? Thank you!
Hi William, our latest design + construction blog post can be found here: https://beltline.org/2021/02/26/atlanta-beltline-design-and-construction-updates-february-2021/. Here is the update on the bridge: “A contract has been executed for fabrication and installation of a new bridge across United Avenue. The work will be completed by a design-build firm and they are currently completing bridge fabrication and foundation drawings. It will take three to four months to complete the bridge project including design, permitting, fabrication and installation. The actual installation of the bridge is expected to take 2-3 days.”
Hi, are you able to provide an updated timeline for when we can expect the new bridge to be installed? Thanks.
The new bridge timeline is tied to construction of Southside Trail-Segment 4. Work on Segments 4 and 5 (between Boulevard and Glenwood Avenue) is expected to be ready to bid in the fall of 2022, contingent upon permitting receipt and the completion of utility relocation work. To stay informed of the latest timeline updates, follow our monthly design and construction updates blog or check out the dedicated Southside Trail construction page: https://beltline.org/2021/03/04/southside-trail-segments-2-3-4-5/.
Meaning the earliest a new bridge will be ready is 2023? Has that always been the case? I thought they were originally going to construct one in late 2020.
That was the original plan, but it made financial sense to build a new bridge as part of permanent trail construction starting next year versus the cost of building a temporary bridge.
Do you think we could add an update to the sign at the actual location the bridge is supposed to be?
We’re working on getting updated signs out in the next couple of weeks. Thank you!
Hello, I am having trouble finding what exactly is included in Segments 1 – 4 of the Southside trail. The kind of mapping I am looking for would highlight what parts of the Southside trail is a part of what segment. At the moment I have no idea what segment my immediate area would be most associated with — this would be helpful information to have. Thanks.
Hi Matthew, you can find a map with the segments here: https://beltline.org/2021/02/26/atlanta-beltline-design-and-construction-updates-february-2021/
Where is the best places to park to walk the Southside trail coming from East of Atlanta?
Hi Bob – while we don’t have any parking lots along the Southside Trail, you may be able to find street parking. There is street parking along Englewood Avenue on the southern edge of Boulevard Crossing Park. Then, you can walk back north on Boulevard until it intersects with the Southside Trail. I hope that helps!
Hello! Where is the best place to get back on the trail if I get off at the missing bridge on Atlanta ave? Are there stairs to get back on the trail across the road?
Hi Mimi – there are stairs either side of the road.