Update: Southside Trail at United Avenue

Atlanta BeltLine, Inc. (ABI) completed an emergency demolition of the southside corridor bridge over United Avenue on Friday, July 10, 2020. The road was reopened to vehicular traffic at that time. The unanticipated removal of the bridge was due to structural damage, including a crack in one of the steel support beams and the bending of several others, likely resulting from trucks that have exceeded the bridge’s height restrictions, striking the overhead bridge structure.

More details can be found here: Travel Advisory: Emergency Bridge Demolition on United Ave SE.

ABI is currently exploring options to install a temporary bridge across United Avenue to reestablish a continuous interim trail. That could take approximately six months.

Southside Trail detour for pedestrians and cyclists

On July 27, 2020, ABI hosted a virtual community meeting to discuss the bridge. The United Avenue presentation can be viewed here with corresponding notes below. The full meeting, including questions and answers from the community, can be viewed in the Southeast Study Group Facebook Live video here.

  • Slide 4: The former United Ave bridge as it was 3 weeks ago. The yellow sign says 12’-4”. The minimum allowed clearance for trucks is 13’-6”. While this is not and will not be a truck route, trucks kept coming along this street with known results.
  • Slide 5: Somehow, drivers managed to hit an interior beam. This image shows that the crack that has been there for several years worsened to extend from the top to the bottom flange.
  • Slide 6: A side view showing that the beam was also warped.
  • Slide 7: Working to protect the existing conduit.
  • Slide 8: Starting by cleaning off the old rail bed.
  • Slide 9: Uncovering the old rail bed. Most of the ballast was relocated on the trail from the Berne Street bridge to south of Ormewood Avenue in order to try and improve the user experience by mixing with the sand. Residents had asked if there was anything we could do to enhance the area and we hope this helps.
  • Slide 10: Removing the concrete edge.
  • Slide 11: After coring holes and cutting the concrete in both directions, pins are set and the piece is lifted off the bridge.
  • Slide 12: Contractor cuts the steel beam, grabs it with the “claw,” and removes it from the bridge.
  • Slide 13: Cutting the steel on the ground into smaller pieces.
  • Slide 14: United Avenue after the demolition.
  • Slide 15: An example of an aluminum truss bridge.
  • Slide 16: An example of a so-called Pratt style truss bridge.

For more information on all of ABI’s public meetings, please visit www.beltline.org/meetings.

United Avenue bridge complete removal over Southside Trail
United Avenue after the completion of the emergency bridge demolition.

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