Westside Trail

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The Atlanta BeltLine

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Southside Trail

A Critical Connection Between East And West

The Southside Trail connects the Westside and Eastside Trails at the southernmost part of the Atlanta BeltLine loop, and will one day be a critical transportation conduit through the south side of Atlanta. This investment in transportation infrastructure will contribute to a more economically inclusive and connected Atlanta.

In March 2018, Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms announced that the Atlanta BeltLine had acquired the 4.5-mile Southside Trail corridor from CSX. Extending from University Avenue to Glenwood Avenue, the acquisition represented the largest single land transaction remaining to close the Atlanta BeltLine loop. Because this old rail line was last used for freight in 2014, significant maintenance has been underway in order to open it as an interim hiking trail. We ask that the public do not use the corridor until the proper precautions have been taken to ensure that it is safe.

Opening the interim trail

The Southside Trail corridor is planned to open as an unpaved interim trail in August 2019. The interim trail includes regrading of the former rail corridor, access to 11 public streets, environmental remediation, bridge handrails, crosswalks in at-grade crossings with appropriate signage and signalization, and lighting in tunnels. The interim trail is funded through contributions to the Atlanta BeltLine Partnership’s Opening the Corridor capital campaign, including a lead gift from The Coca-Cola Foundation.

Launching into construction 

In July 2019, ABI identified funding that will allow for the construction of a 0.75-mile segment of the paved Southside Trail from the southern terminus of the Westside Trail at University Avenue to the Annie E. Casey Foundation site at Pittsburgh Yards, just west of the I-75/85 overpass. This initial stretch of trail was selected due to its connection between three open and emerging job centers – Pittsburgh Yards, Murphy Crossing, and Lee + White. This phased approach allows for an accelerated construction of individual segments while keeping the remaining corridor open in an interim condition for public use while the balance of funding is secured.

Construction will include a 14-foot-wide concrete trail, ADA-accessible access points at Allene Avenue and Metropolitan Parkway with appropriate crosswalks and signalization, environmental remediation of the corridor, lights, security cameras, utility relocations, storm water drainage, retention walls, and full landscaping. Construction of this first segment is slated to begin by the end of 2019 and expected to take approximately 12 months to complete. The construction schedule will be confirmed once a general contractor is hired.

Designing to be shovel-ready

In addition to opening the interim trail, ABI is working to advance design and real estate acquisition necessary to construct the paved Southside Trail. While the Southside Trail – West segment is locally funded, construction funding for the full four miles has not been secured. As soon as additional funds are identified, ABI will then be in a position to procure a contractor to commence construction of the remainder of the paved Southside Trail. ABI expects the full corridor to be shovel-ready by 2020. 

Traversing over I-20

ABI is also partnering with the City of Atlanta and the Georgia Department of Transportation to construct interim improvements along Bill Kennedy Way between Glenwood Avenue and I-20 to provide better temporary facilities for trail users.  These interim improvements include a 10-foot-wide path through the existing I-20 interchange, protected from vehicular traffic by a concrete barrier. Between I-20 and Glenwood Avenue, the continuation of the 10-foot-wide path would be protected from vehicular traffic by a low, planted median. These interim improvements are expected to be open to trail users by mid-2020.

Connecting Communities on the Southside

The future Southside Trail is a 4-mile segment that will connect University Avenue at the southern terminus of the Westside Trail in southwest Atlanta to Glenwood Avenue and Memorial Drive at the southern terminus of the Eastside Trail.

The future of the Southside Trail 

The Southside Trail will be built to the same high standards as the previous Atlanta BeltLine trails and incorporate lessons learned along the way. In addition to the preparations for future transit, public art, and acres and acres of trees and greenery, ABI is connecting with legacy and new businesses to create economic opportunity along the city’s southern crescent.

Pittsburgh Yards

Part of what makes the Atlanta BeltLine such an important infrastructure project is its potential to connect communities with opportunities in an equitable and inclusive way. Pittsburgh Yards is one example of a BeltLine-adjacent development that will bring $40 million of economic impact to Atlanta’s south side. The former Annie E. Casey site at 352 University Avenue represents 31 acres of potential job creation and entrepreneurship. The first phase, slated to open in 2019, will focus on small business spaces and a maker hub.

Chosewood Park Transit-Oriented Development

ABI is underway on a Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) Framework Plan for the Chosewood Park community in Subarea 3. The planning is happening in partnership with the Atlanta Housing (AH) as AH initiates their redevelopment of the former Englewood Manor site in the Chosewood Park community. This process will serve as a catalyst for neighborhood revitalization and the creation of a new Chosewood Park TOD District.

Project Benefits
  • 63 acres of transportation corridor
  • Connects 5 schools
  • Connects 3 parks
  • Connects 18+ neighborhoods
  • Includes 5 bridges
  • Includes 3 overpasses / tunnels
  • Includes 3 at-grade crossings
Check Out the Trail

Are you excited to see the Atlanta BeltLine’s newest trail before it’s ready for the public? Take a bus tour with the Atlanta BeltLine Partnership and you can see it from the comfort of our air-conditioned, ADA-accessible bus!

Southside Trail corridor in 2014 near the Annie E. Casey site. Photo: Christopher T. Martin

Register for Tour