Design

Northwest Corridor – BeltLine Trail Alignment Study

CSX Freight Corridor – Huff to Armour Rail and NS from Howell Mill to Armour Rail // Subarea 6, 7, 8, 9, 10

The Northwest Trail is a critical quadrant of the Atlanta BeltLine loop connecting from the area of West Marietta and Huff Road over to the Northeast Trail and the Armour-Ottley commercial district and the Lindbergh MARTA station. Atlanta BeltLine, Inc’s (ABI’s) engineering, real estate, and economic development teams collaborated with the PATH Foundation on the alignment study of the Northwest Trail.

The original vision for the Atlanta BeltLine trail depended on acquiring abandoned and under-utilized rail corridors that formed three-quarters of a circle around the urban core of Atlanta. The northwest quadrant of the BeltLine has no such abandoned rail corridor available and, therefore, is one of the most complicated sections to deliver.

The Northwest Trail Feasibility Study was presented to the community on May 12, 2022, with the exception of one segment that required further study. The Northwest Trail Feasibility Study can be downloaded here (15 MB PDF). During a community meeting in August 2022, ABI and PATH announced the full length of prioritized alignments with the Northwest Trail Feasibility Study Addendum.

ABI published a separate Request for Qualifications to study transit alignments, which will be funded through a Federal Transit Authority grant. Submissions are due September 12, 2022.

Atlanta BeltLine Northwest Trail prioritized alignments as of August 30, 2022.
Atlanta BeltLine Northwest Trail prioritized alignments as of August 30, 2022.

Project Status

The Northwest Trail was divided into western and eastern study areas and evaluated based on feasibility of acquiring real estate and ease of construction as well as the quality of the trail user experience, equity, and community feedback. The corridor options were then prioritized by most to least feasible, also taking into consideration the long-term benefits for the surrounding neighborhoods and businesses.

The eastern study area, divided into two segments, focused on connecting the future Northeast Trail in the Amour-Ottley commercial district, through Peachtree Hills, and to the Northside Trail by Bobby Jones Golf Course. Segment 1 will run between Peachtree Park Apartments and Kinsey Court. Segment 2 will run alongside Peachtree Park Drive and Bennett Street to connect with the Northside Trail at Bobby Jones Golf Course.

The western segments of the Northwest Trail alignment begin at the southern end of the Northside Trail in Ardmore Park and will traverse a portion of Tanyard Creek, under I-75, across Northside Drive, alongside the Hemphill Water Treatment Plant and Howell Mill Road to reach the northern end of the Westside Trail at Huff Road and Marietta Boulevard. The corridor has been divided into Segments 3, 4 and 5 for implementation, totaling 2.8 miles.

Below is an update on each of the Segments:

  • Northwest Trail – Segment 1: Survey work and early trail design development is in progress on this segment.
  • Northwest Trail – Segment 2: A community meeting was held on August 30 announcing the selected, prioritized alignment for this segment. Segment 2 had three potential alignments under exploration to connect between Peachtree Park Apartments and the Northside Trail beside Bobby Jones Golf Course. The recommended priority order of study alignments is (listed from highest to lowest priority): Corridor 6, Corridor 5, Corridor 7. Corridor 6, the highest priority corridor, follows along Peachtree Park Drive and alongside Bennett Street. For a full analysis, please download the Northwest Trail Feasibility Study Addendum. A recording of the meeting will be available shortly and you can download the presentation. Segment 2 will now move into design and engineering in October.
  • Northwest Trail – Segment 3: Survey work continues on this segment, between the Hemphill Waterworks and Tanyard Creek Park.
  • Northwest Trail – Segment 4: This segment will move into design and engineering in October.
  • Northwest Trail – Segment 5: Survey work and early trail design development is in progress on this segment.

Project Timeline

Setpember 2020
Reallocation of $2.8 million in FTA funds confirmed with Region IV staff and documented with an amendment
April 2021
PATH Foundation launched trail alignment study; community meetings began in May
September 2021
ABI secured an easement with QTS in the Knight Park/Howell Station neighborhood for future Atlanta BeltLine corridor needs
Nov. 2021 - Feb. 2022
Collect feedback and continue neighborhood engagement on trail alignment study.
January 2022
An additional option, Corridor 7, was added to the study
May 2022
Prioritized alignments presented to community
July 2022
RFQ posted for transit planning study
August 2022
Prioritized alignment announced for Segment 2 (between Corridors 5, 6, and 7)

Last Updated: August 30, 2022