[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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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