Mayor Andre Dickens and Atlanta BeltLine, Inc. Announce Earlier Construction and Completion Timeline for Southside Trail Segments 2 & 3

17.9 miles of continuous trail will be ready for 2026 FIFA World Cup Matches

Map announcing 17.9 miles of continuous paved BeltLine Trail by FIFA 2026

ATLANTA (April 24, 2024) – Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens and Atlanta BeltLine, Inc.’s President & CEO Clyde Higgs announced today that construction will start earlier on the Southside Trail – Segments 2 and 3 and therefore be completed faster. Originally slated to be completed in June 2026, these segments are now set to be finished in the first quarter of 2026, creating 17.9 miles of continuous Atlanta BeltLine paved trail. This includes 16.3 miles of continuous mainline trail and 1.6 miles of the Westside Connector Trail.  

This will be a historic moment for the BeltLine, creating the longest continuous stretch of mainline trail so far. The BeltLine ultimately will extend for 22-miles of mainline trail, connecting more than 45 neighborhoods along former railroad tracks, with an additional 11 miles of connector trails. All 22 miles of mainline trail are expected to be completed in 2030. 

Southside Trail—Segments 2 and 3 will extend 1.9-miles from Pittsburgh Yards® in southwest Atlanta to Boulevard in southeast Atlanta. Once complete, these trail segments will provide safe passage under the 16 lanes of the Interstate 75/85 connector and under an active vehicle and freight rail intersection at McDonough Boulevard. The trail also will connect to several Atlanta Public Schools, including Carver High School and Slater Elementary, and parks including DH Stanton Park. The BeltLine has been working at an unprecedented pace to complete the loop thanks to catalytic local, federal, and philanthropic investments. 

“By accelerating the completion of the longest continuous stretch of the BeltLine trail yet, we are accelerating equal access to economic prosperity and some of the best natural beauty Atlanta has to offer,” said Atlanta Mayor and Atlanta BeltLine, Inc. Board member Andre Dickens. “From our federal and non-profit partners to our engineers and contractors, this has truly been a group project. Thank you to everyone involved in creating safer, healthier and more connected communities in our city.”

The accelerated construction schedule is part of the city’s efforts to prepare for the influx of visitors expected for the eight World Cup soccer matches that will be played in Atlanta in 2026. Each match is akin to hosting a Super Bowl, and organizers say visitors will number in the millions. The BeltLine currently has more than 2 million annual visits.   

When the 16.3 miles of continuous trail is complete, it will connect 36 neighborhoods along the Northwest, Westside, Southside, Eastside and Northeast trails. The mainline and connector trails will provide access to parks and destinations, including Washington Park, Westside Park, and Piedmont Park. Mercedes-Benz Stadium, where the World Cup soccer matches will be played, is 1.6 miles from Washington Park, one of the closest access points to the BeltLine from downtown Atlanta. The Westside BeltLine connector trail is only half a mile from the stadium and ties directly into the BeltLine’s Westside Trail.  

 “We wanted to announce this construction plan as early as possible so that the neighborhoods and small businesses along the trail can maximize the opportunity that FIFA will bring,” said Atlanta BeltLine, Inc.’s President & CEO Clyde Higgs. “This will be a momentous milestone for us. To have more than 16 continuous miles of mainline trail completed of our 22-mile loop will be a gamechanger. People will be able to ride bikes, roll, run, walk, socialize and commute along the completed, continuous trail, allowing Atlantans and visitors to discover historic neighborhoods, BeltLine arts, retailers, businesses and destinations along the way.” 

The majority of funding for the BeltLine comes from public sources, specifically through the BeltLine Tax Allocation District, supported by Atlanta Public Schools (APS), the City of Atlanta, and Fulton County, and the BeltLine Special Service District approved by Atlanta City Council.  

Atlanta BeltLine, Inc. is grateful for support from U.S. Senators Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock, U.S. Congresswoman Williams, U.S. Department of Transportation (U.S. DOT) Secretary Pete Buttigieg, and others for their investment in the Atlanta BeltLine trail and transportation network. Public funding comes from the U.S. DOT, Congressionally Directed Spending, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Brownfields Program, and the Georgia Department of Natural Resources Georgia Outdoor Stewardship Program. Atlanta Regional Commission, Georgia Department of Transportation, and U.S. DOT Federal Highway Administration also provide critical support for project delivery.  

Major philanthropic support for trail construction is led by the Robert W. Woodruff Foundation and the James M. Cox Foundation. Other philanthropic investors include Georgia Power, Kaiser Permanente, Coca-Cola, the Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation, and the Kendeda Fund.  

Supporting graphics, including an animated map, can be downloaded here.



About Atlanta BeltLine, Inc. 

Atlanta BeltLine, Inc.’s vision is to be the catalyst for making Atlanta a global beacon for equitable, inclusive, and sustainable city life. As one of the largest, most wide-ranging urban redevelopment programs in the United States, the Atlanta BeltLine is building a more socially and economically resilient Atlanta with our partner organizations and host communities through job creation, inclusive transportation systems, affordable housing, and public spaces for all. For more information on the Atlanta BeltLine, please visit


Media Contact:

Atlanta BeltLine, Inc. Office of Communications and Media Relations
100 Peachtree Street, NW, Suite 2300, Atlanta, GA 30303

Keona Swindler, Communications & Media Relations Manager
(404) 477-3550,

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