Atlanta BeltLine Design and Construction Updates: March 2021

Below you will find recent updates and photos of each of our Atlanta BeltLine projects in construction or design along with links to get more general information about each project. Additionally, you can explore current design and construction projects via map and list view here. These projects play a pivotal role in furthering the Atlanta Beltline vision to be the catalyst for making Atlanta a global beacon for equitable, inclusive, and sustainable city life. 

All upcoming and past public meetings (still being held virtually) can be found at www.beltline.org/meetings. Our second Quarterly Briefing will take place on June 10, 2021 via Zoom and Facebook with a phone call-in option. Click here to catch up on February’s design and construction updates.

map - design and construction update February 2021
The above map shows the status of design and construction projects as of February 2021.

Special Service District (SSD)

On March 15, 2021, the City of Atlanta approved funding towards completion of the 22-mile Atlanta BeltLine multi-use trail loop through the creation of a Special Service District. Completion of the trail is expected to cost approximately $350 million and spur development that will generate new TAD funding and allow ABI to allocate $45 million in additional affordable housing funds, $12 million toward small business support, $12.5 million towards a community retention fund, create 50,000 permanent jobs (20,000 more than originally projected), and up to $150 million targeted to minority-owned companies. More information can be found on www.beltline.org/ssd, including a searchable parcel map and a tax estimator.

Northeast Trail

  • Northeast Trail – Segment 2, Phase I: This portion of the paved, multi-use trail is undergoing final punchlist items before opening to the public. The trail is expected to officially open to the public for us in April.
    Northeast Trail looking north from Montgomery Ferry Road. March 2021.
    Northeast Trail looking north from Montgomery Ferry Road. March 2021. Photo by John Becker.
    Northeast Trail looking down the ramp from Montgomery Ferry Road. March 2021.
    Northeast Trail looking down the ramp from Montgomery Ferry Road. March 2021. Photo by John Becker.
    Northeast Trail behind Ansley Mall looking north. The build-out of this section will take place in phase 2 of this Segment. March 2021.
    Northeast Trail behind Ansley Mall looking north. The build-out of this section will take place in phase 2 of this Segment. March 2021. Photo by John Becker.

     

  • Northeast Trail – Segment 2, Phase II: Permitting is underway for this section (1.2 miles between Westminster Drive and Mayson Street). The drawings are at 90% complete and work is in progress to confirm budgets and bring the drawings to 100% complete.
  • Northeast Trail – Segments 3-6: Several potential alignments for Segment 3 are under review by Norfolk Southern Railway.
  • Details on each Northeast Trail segment can be found in our design and construction updates section: Segment 1Segment 2Segments 3-6.

Eastside Trail

  • Historic Fourth Ward Park access point: The new stairs and elevator constructed by New City are on track to open in mid-April, re-opening the access point between the Eastside Trail and Historic Fourth Ward Park.
  • Chimney Swift Towers: ABI is partnering with the Audubon Society to install towers to house Chimney Swifts in two locations: near Ford Factory Lofts on the Eastside Trail and near Murphy Crossing on the Westside Trail. Chimney Swifts are bird species with a diminishing habitat. Each column is 12-15 feet tall and mimics the Chimney Swifts’ nesting areas of hollowed out logs or chimneys. They are expected to be installed this month.
  • Shoulder expansion: The width of the Eastside Trail will increase to 18 feet with the addition of 2-foot-wide soft shoulders on either side of the path. The purpose of the new shoulder work is to minimize erosion issues. Once work begins, it will start at Irwin Street and go north to Monroe Drive. It is anticipated to take 5 months.
  • Storm drainage: In order to address storm water drainage where Drewry Street deadends into the trail, ABI will need to close to trail for a few days and route trail users on a temporary mulch path around the site. Work will take a month or more and we will be sure to keep the community informed.

Southside Trail

  • Southside Trail Segment 1: The pedestrian bridge over Metropolitan Avenue was installed in late February, with the placement of the steel beams completed in a single day. Pouring of the concrete trail began this month and is well underway over the Metropolitan Parkway bridge to Pittsburgh Yards. Construction is slated to be complete along this 0.8-mile section by summer 2021. A Southwest + Southeast Study Group meeting took place on March 25 with updates on construction, the United Avenue bridge, utility relocation, and brownfield remediation. Download the presentation here and watch the Facebook Live broadcast here. 
  • Southside Trail – Segments 2, 3, 4, 5:  With the passage of the Special Service District (SSD), the remaining phases of the Southside Trail will be moving into construction procurement, followed by construction mobilization in 2022 / 2023. The 90% engineering drawings are complete. In order to bring the drawings to 100% complete, review comments and budget evaluation will be ongoing for the next few months. Work on Segments 4 and 5 (between Boulevard and Glenwood Avenue) is expected to be bid in the summer of 2021, with construction mobilizing in early 2022. Segments 2 and 3 (between Pittsburgh Yards and Boulevard) will follow as these segments include federal funding. The current bid date for Segments 2 and 3 is expected in fall of 2022.
  • Brownfield remediation: Thanks to a Brownfield Clean-Up grant from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), remediation work will take place on Segments 2 and 3. Remediation includes the removal of arsenic-impacted soils. The project extents may expand to Segments 4 and 5 if funding allows. ABI anticipates clean-up activities to begin this summer and take 4-6 months. The trail will remain open and only be closed in spots where work is taking place. The draft Analysis of Brownfield Cleanup Alternatives can be viewed here.
  • United Avenue bridge: With this portion of the trail expected to go into construction in 2022, which will require closure of full segments of the trail, the decision has been made to hold off on installing a temporary pedestrian bridge and, instead, build the permanent bridge as part of construction. Please see this blog post for detour options to navigate the trail around the stairs.
  • Utility relocation: Utilities must be relocated along Segments 2-5, one of the major steps in preparation for construction. Work will get underway this summer and is expected to take 6-8 months.
  • Details on each Southside Trail segment can be found in our design and construction updates section: Segment 1 (West Segment) and Segments 2, 3, 4, and 5.
    Installation of pedestrian bridge over Metropolitan Parkway. March 2021. Photo by Astra Group.
    Installation of pedestrian bridge over Metropolitan Parkway. March 2021. Photo by Astra Group.
    Installation of pedestrian bridge over Metropolitan Parkway. March 2021. Photo by Astra Group.
    Installation of pedestrian bridge over Metropolitan Parkway. March 2021. Photo by Astra Group.
    The new pedestrian bridge under construction. March 2021. Photo by John Becker.
    The new pedestrian bridge under construction. March 2021. Photo by John Becker.
    Southside Trail concrete just east of the Metropolitan bridge. March 2021. Photo by John Becker.
    Southside Trail concrete just east of the Metropolitan bridge. March 2021. Photo by John Becker.
    Southside Trail looking east towards Pittsburgh Yards with fresh concrete. March 2021. Photo by John Becker.
    Southside Trail looking east towards Pittsburgh Yards with fresh concrete. March 2021. Photo by John Becker.

    Southside Trail in between Manford Road and University Avenue (Pittsburgh Yards). March 2021. Photo by John Becker.
    Southside Trail in between Manford Road and University Avenue (Pittsburgh Yards). March 2021. Photo by John Becker.

Bill Kennedy Way

  • Construction work is underway on the Bill Kennedy Way bridge over I-20. This is the final part of the interim safety improvements and is intended to be completed in two phases to ensure that traffic flow is maintained at all times. The project will include an 8-foot trail on the eastern side of the bridge that will be protected by a 2-foot, 8-inch concrete barrier wall.  This new section of trail will connect the north and south trail segments at each end of the bridge. More details on timing and traffic flow can be found here. Additionally, concrete planters have been placed on the buffers between Faith and Glenwood Avenues. A Southeast Study Group meeting was held on March 18. Download the presentation here and watch the Facebook Live broadcast here.
    Construction underway on Bill Kennedy Way over I-20. March 2021.
    Construction underway on Bill Kennedy Way over I-20. March 2021.

    Concrete planters are now installed along Bill Kennedy Way. March 2021.
    Concrete planters are now installed along Bill Kennedy Way. March 2021.

Westside Trail

Westside BeltLine Connector

  • The PATH Foundation, in partnership with ABI, has completed this 1.6-mile multi-use trail between Joseph E. Boone Boulevard and Law Street and the Westside BeltLine Connector is officially open!
  • Click here for general Westside BeltLine Connector info and a photo gallery.
    Westside BeltLine Connector ribbon cutting
    Celebrating the opening of the Westside BeltLine Connector with (from left to right) Rob Brawner, Greta deMayo, and Clyde Higgs.
    Looking east towards Downtown and Midtown. March 2021.
    Looking east towards Downtown and Midtown. March 2021.

    Passing north through an old railroad tunnel under Donald Lee Hollowell Parkway. March 2021.
    Passing north through an old railroad tunnel under Donald Lee Hollowell Parkway. March 2021.

Northwest Trail

15 thoughts on this article. Join the discussion below

  1. The Westside Trail description is confusing because it says the Westside Trail segment 3 starts at Brawley. The Westside Beltline Connector which goes across James Brawley Drive already goes another 1/2 mile to the west across Joseph Lowery Boulevard to Law Street to the plaza where it will meet the future Westside Trail segments 3 and 4. The plaza is closest to Law Street and a long way from Brawley. It would be a good idea to stop referring to Brawley as the starting point for Segment 3. The Segment 4 webpage says that segment will go to Wheeler which should probably also be changed to say Law Street.

    1. Hi Philip – you’re right, that was based off previous internal boundaries and I just corrected it as you mentioned. Thank you for that!

    2. How much contiguous trail is there at this point, whether paved or gravel/interim? I want to know what is the farthest I could travel without actually leaving the trail. Is it possible to start at Monroe Dr. and go south then west all the way around to Law St.?

      1. Hi J.P., we have about 10 miles of contiguous trail from the Westside Trail by Washington Park around to the tip of the Northeast Trail where it comes out under I-85. There are additional paved spur trails, but this is mainline trail in a combination of paved and unpaved. Thanks! ~Jenny

    1. Hi Matt – it was open two weeks ago, but still a gravel patch. Was it closed when you were there?

        1. The construction fencing from the Echo Street Development is no longer blocking the tunnel under Donald Lee Hollowell. The path is completely paved except for about 200 feet of gravel extending West from the pavement to intersect Law Street.

    1. Hi Nicole – the work has started with permitting and I’m checking to see if we can get a start date on the road work.

      1. Astra, the construction contractor, started March 15, but at the moment, it’s a lot of pre-construction work, such as shifting traffic. Clearing will start in the next week or two.

  2. With the passage of the Special Service District (SSD), the remaining phases of the Southside Trail will be moving into construction procurement, followed by construction mobilization in 2022 / 2023. The 90% engineering drawings are complete. In order to bring the drawings to 100% complete, review comments and budget evaluation will be ongoing for the next few months. Work on Segments 4 and 5 (between Boulevard and Glenwood Avenue) is expected to be bid in the summer of 2021, with construction mobilizing in early 2022.

    Have any of the neighbors been involved in this planning? Curious to see where access to the beltline will be (for example Delmar Ave SE or Lynnwood St SE)

    1. Hi Danielle – yes, we have hosted many public meetings with the community and we encourage everyone to join us when able. Upcoming and past meetings are listed at http://www.beltline.org/meetings. Currently, there is an connection from Lynnwood. You can see other access points along the interim Southside Trail on our trail map here: https://beltline.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/Atlanta-BeltLine-Trail-Maps-2020-Digital-Edition.pdf
      Thanks!
      Jenny

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