Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, along with leadership from Atlanta Beltline Inc. (ABI), the City of Atlanta and community leaders, broke ground for permanent construction on the first segment of the Atlanta Beltline’s Southside Trail, known as Southside Trail-West. 

Construction is expected to take approximately 12 months to complete, ABI officials said. Work will include a 14-foot-wide concrete trail; trail access at Allene Avenue; a new trail bridge, an ADA-accessible ramp, and pedestrian crossing with a signal at Metropolitan Parkway; lights and security cameras; utility relocations, environmental remediation of the corridor; stormwater infrastructure; granite retaining walls; and full landscaping.

This initial phase of construction will extend the existing Westside Trail south and east to connect four open and emerging job centers – Pittsburgh Yards, Murphy Crossing, the Met, and Lee + White.

The Atlanta Beltline’s southside corridor opened in an interim state in August 2019. In September 2019, ABI posted an Invitation to Bid for a construction contractor to build out this first 0.75-mile segment of the multi-use trail. Astra Group Inc. was announced in December as the selected firm. At that time, utility relocations and final permitting were already underway.

“All Atlantans deserve world-class amenities and public spaces throughout the city,” Bottoms said. “This connecting trail represents our focus on advancing equity and revitalizing our communities. 

“Not only will this enhance the Southside of our city by providing connectivity between our neighborhoods and job centers, but it also supports our vision of One Atlanta,” she added. “I am thrilled to share this with the residents of Southwest Atlanta.”

The Atlanta BeltLine is supporting economic mobility and job growth that combats economic distress by connecting job centers in southwest Atlanta. Residents will have a different way to move through this community to new jobs created at locations like Pittsburgh Yards, Lee + White and other destinations.

“The launch of construction today is another step towards unlocking mobility options along the southside of the Atlanta BeltLine,” said Clyde Higgs, president and CEO of ABI. “We are thrilled to be diligently furthering the connection between east and west while simultaneously building out two other segments of the Atlanta BeltLine trail.”

The Atlanta BeltLine continues to spark affordable housing opportunities along the southside corridor. Some 558 affordable units are slated for construction or in the pipeline within the Tax Allocation District (TAD), one of ABI’s funding mechanisms.

When completed, these affordable units will allow low- and moderate-income families to live near the Atlanta BeltLine and easily access major job centers, cutting down on transportation costs.

Additional units are under construction outside of the TAD, but within walking distance of the corridor within the BeltLine Planning Area. One example is Capitol View Apartments in Adair Park, where renovations are ongoing at an existing affordable housing complex immediately adjacent to the Atlanta BeltLine.

“The communities in south Atlanta are excited and have anticipated this day for a long time,” said Atlanta City Councilmember Joyce Sheperd. “This expansion will bring growth, jobs, and revitalization to south Atlanta. I want to thank the Beltline and the City for your support and the vision that we have worked on for so long in my District.”

(Photo: Courtesy of City of Atlanta)

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