This week, the Beltline’s Southside Trail was named a recipient of a U.S. Department of Transportation RAISE $16.5 million grant. The funds will be used to improve nearly two miles of trails from its current Pittsburgh Yards location to Grant Park in southwest Atlanta.
The City and Atlanta and Atlanta BeltLine Inc. applied for a USDOT RAISE Grant in July to support the trail’s construction. The Southside Trail supports the USDOT’s goals of reconnecting communities. RAISE Grant funds will also help close the funding gap towards completing the 22-mile Atlanta BeltLine multi-use trail loop. The grant will leverage design and construction funding from the Special Service District (SSD) and the Tax Allocation District (TAD). The grant builds on $4 million in federal funding received earlier this year through the Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC) Transportation Improvement Program (TIP).
“We are incredibly appreciative to the USDOT and our congressional delegation for the recognition and support of the Atlanta BeltLine,” said Clyde Higgs, President, and CEO of Atlanta BeltLine. Inc. “This project is much more than public infrastructure. With people at the forefront, the BeltLine is improving connections to jobs, schools, and opportunities, enhancing equity and mobility, and fostering culture.”
According to the Beltline’s website, the Southside Trail consists of a 14-foot-wide concrete multi-use path extending from the I-75 underpass to Bill Kennedy Way. Broken into several construction segments, the funding received will assist in improving segments 2 and 3. According to City leaders, construction is expected to get underway within approximately two years, following the necessary preparations of brownfield remediation, utility relocation, and securing permits. The 1.9-mile trail will include six ADA-access points, including ramps, lighting, and two enhanced at-grade crossings.
Upon completion of the Southside Trail, users will be able to travel on ten miles of paved Atlanta BeltLine Trail from Washington Park west of downtown to Piedmont Park northeast of downtown. The total cost for the construction of these segments of the Southside Trail is approximately $40 million according to ABI’s website.