Atlanta BeltLine Southside Trail Grand Opening

First completed segment of the Southside Trail ties together neighborhoods and job centers

Southside Trail ribbon cutting by John Becker
Southside Trail ribbon cutting. Photo by John Becker.

Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms announced today the opening of the first segment of the Southside Trail. A ribbon cutting celebration took place at Pittsburgh Yards® adjacent to the Atlanta BeltLine. The newly constructed multi-use trail runs 0.8 miles and extends the existing Westside Trail to University Avenue between the Pittsburgh and Capitol View Manor neighborhoods, just west of the I-75/85 overpass.

“This connecting trail represents our focus on equity and revitalization for all our communities,” said Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms. “With the completion of this portion of the project, connectivity between our neighborhoods and job centers is almost complete, advancing our vision of One Atlanta.”

“We intentionally set out to build this segment of the Southside Trail first with community and business development front-of-mind,” said Clyde Higgs, President and CEO of Atlanta BeltLine, Inc. “We are advancing design and construction on the remainder of the loop toward fully realizing the Atlanta BeltLine vision of providing pathways to opportunity and affordability in all geographies.”

Funds from the Special Service District (SSD) – along with TAD, philanthropic, and federal funding – will cover the construction of the remaining segments of the Southside Trail. Construction is expected to commence in the next one to two years.

“I am extremely excited about the opening of the Atlanta BeltLine Southside Trail in District 12,” said Atlanta City Councilmember Joyce Sheperd. “This commitment to the southside of the city has already begun to bring jobs, entrepreneurship and growth. We will continue to build on that. I want to thank the community for their vision and commitment.”

Southside Trail–Segment 1 connect fours open and emerging job centers – Pittsburgh Yards, Murphy Crossing, the Met, and Lee + White. Atlanta BeltLine, Inc. (ABI) has identified and continues to focus on spurring and guiding thoughtful, equitable development in Equity Priority Subareas – areas that appear particularly vulnerable to gentrification and displacement – in west, southwest, and south Atlanta. ABI and the Atlanta BeltLine Partnership (ABP) have launched and are developing key programs to support legacy residents and businesses, such as the Legacy Resident Retention Program that provides grants that cover property tax increases. Additionally, ABI collaborated with business to create the first-ever business association in the area: PACC Rails & Trails Business Association (Pittsburgh, Adair Park, Capitol View, Capitol View Manor).

“Today marks a significant step in realizing the BeltLine vision of a more connected Atlanta, and we greatly appreciate The Home Depot Foundation’s support of this segment,” said Atlanta BeltLine Partnership Executive Director Rob Brawner. “We look forward to continuing to work with our philanthropic partners to help complete the BeltLine and ensure residents can live, work, and thrive in their communities.”

Southside Trail—Segment 1, like other completed segments of the Atlanta BeltLine, features an ADA-accessible concrete trail, granite-clad retaining walls, stormwater management system, fiber duct-banks, lighting, and security cameras. It also includes a new pedestrian bridge over Metropolitan Parkway and two connecting trails at Allene Avenue and Manford Road.  Trees Atlanta will install final landscaping this fall.

Overall, Southside Trail – Segment 1 construction came in under budget. ABI leveraged remaining funds to pave a path connecting Allene Avenue and the Southside Trail. Lights and cameras will be installed along these connections by early 2022.

With more than a half billion dollars of development anticipated south of I-20 and in adjacent BeltLine communities, ABI continues to advance its land acquisition strategy in support of deeper and longer-term affordability as it relates to housing, job creation, small businesses growth, and connectivity. To date, ABI has invested approximately $39 million to purchase roughly 65 acres on five sites around the corridor.

Along the Southside Trail, more than 600 units of affordable housing are under construction or in development. For homeowners and renters around the Atlanta BeltLine, a number of tools, workshops, and resources are available on www.beltline.org/housing and www.beltline.org/empower.

Read more about the Atlanta BeltLine’s Southside Trail on beltline.org. Download a Southside Trail – Segment 1 fact sheet.

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