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Construction on the first segment of the Atlanta BeltLine, Inc’s (ABI) Southside Trail, known as Southside Trail-West, has begun.
The initial portion will extend the existing Westside Trail south and east to connect four open and emerging developments—Pittsburgh Yards, Murphy Crossing, the Met, and Lee + White.
It will take approximately 12 months to complete Southside Trail-West, which broke ground Wednesday.
Work will include a 14-foot-wide concrete trail, trail access at Allene Avenue, a new trail bridge, an ADA-accessible ramp, 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.
After an invitation to bid for a construction contractor was posted by ABI in September 2019, Astra Group, Inc. was announced in December as the selected firm to build out this first 0.75-mile segment of the multi-use trail.
At that time, utility relocations and final permitting were already underway.
“This connecting trail represents our focus on advancing equity and revitalizing our communities,” Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, who led the groundbreaking ceremony, said Wednesday.
“Not only will this enhance the Southside of our city by providing connectivity between our neighborhoods and job centers, it also supports our vision of One Atlanta.”
According to Atlanta City Councilmember Joyce Sheperd, the communities in south Atlanta have anticipated this day for a long time.
“This expansion will bring growth, jobs, and revitalization to south Atlanta,” she said.
As one hedge against displacement, roughly 558 affordable housing units are slated for construction or in the pipeline within the Tax Allocation District (TAD) of the southern corridor, one of ABI’s funding mechanisms.
When completed, these affordable units will allow low- and moderate-income families the option to live and remain 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.
ABI continues to advance design, real estate acquisition, and funding sources necessary to construct the remaining length of the paved Southside Trail.