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 Lindbergh MARTA station. Atlanta BeltLine, Inc’s (ABI’s) engineering and real estate teams has spent over a year working 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.

Seven corridor options were identified 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.

Within the western study area, Corridor 2 is the prioritized option, and the corridor has been divided into three segments for implementation: Segments 3, 4, and 5. This trail alignment begins at the northern end of the Westside Trail at Huff Road and Marietta Boulevard and traverses across the Hemphill Water Treatment Plant and Howell Mill Road, across Northside Drive, under I-75, and along a portion of Tanyard Creek until it meets the southern end of the Northside Trail in Ardmore Park. The trail length as proposed would be 2.8 miles.

The eastern study area has three identified corridors – Corridors 5, 6, and 7 which are divided into two segments: Segment 1 and Segment 2. For the timing of this feasibility study and report, a final prioritization has not been determined for Segment 2 of Corridors 5, 6 and 7. The study prioritized Segment 1, where all three corridors overlap between Peachtree Park Apartments and Kinsey Court. However, further study and community engagement will take place to determine the feasibility priority for the portion of Segment 2 where the corridors do not overlap. The trail lengths for the eastern corridors range from 1.5 to 1.7 miles in total.

Corridor 2 Segments 3 and 5, and the Segment 1 of Corridors 5, 6, and 7, between Peachtree Park Apartments and Kinsey Court, will move into design and engineering. A determination on the alignment of Segment 2 is expected this summer.

The Northwest Trail Feasibility Study was presented to the community on May 12, 2022. Download the Northwest Trail Feasibility Study (PDF-15 MB).

ABI will publish a separate Request for Qualifications to study transit alignments, which will be funded through a Federal Transit Authority grant.

Northwest Trail Study segments map as of May 12, 2022
Northwest Trail Study prioritized alignments map with segments as of May 12, 2022.
Northwest Trail Feasibility Study as of February 2022
Rendering of the Atlanta BeltLine Westside Trail along Marietta Boulevard looking south.
Rendering of the Atlanta BeltLine Westside Trail along Marietta Boulevard looking south.

Project Status

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
September 2021
ABI secured an easement with QTS in the Knight Park/Howell Station neighborhood for future Atlanta BeltLine corridor needs
Nov - Jan 2022
Collect feedback and continue neighborhood engagement on trail alignment study.
February 2022
Expected finalization of trail alignment study
May 2022
Present preferences on alignments to community
Post RFQ for Transit Work (contingent upon FTA transfer of funding)

Last Updated: April 29, 2022