The City of Atlanta and Atlanta Beltline, Inc. (ABI) have closed on 1.8 miles of former railroad corridor on Atlanta’s Westside, a stretch of track informally known as “the Kudzu Line.”
The purchase provides land for the mainline corridor, in addition to creating points of contact for potential spur trails that would connect the neighborhoods of Bankhead, English Avenue, Knight Park, and Howell Station, according to a press release Monday.
This piece of the Atlanta Beltline loop will also allow for access to the Bankhead MARTA station, Maddox Park, the future Westside Park at Bellwood Quarry, as well as a future link to the newly-opened Proctor Creek Greenway.
“With each land acquisition, the Atlanta Beltline moves closer to fulfilling its promise to connect and unify the City’s many diverse neighborhoods,” Keisha Lance Bottoms, mayor of the City of Atlanta, said in the release.
“That ambitious goal is the very embodiment of our vision for One Atlanta, a place where every resident can share in the natural beauty and economic wealth of our City, whether it be on foot, on a bicycle, on MARTA or all of the above.”
The $6.3 million purchase was entirely funded by TSPLOST, funds approved by City of Atlanta voters in 2016 for special local transportation projects.
The transaction gives ABI and the City of Atlanta control of approximately 80 percent of the corridor needed to construct the Atlanta BeltLine trail and transit loop.
The remaining 20 percent, on the north/northwest side of the loop, is active railroad and non-railroad properties.
Over the next six months, rails from the property will be removed and ABI will evaluate next steps regarding converting the corridor to an interim trail.
“The public is prohibited from using the corridor until ABI announces that it has been brought to a safe standard,” according to the release.