Ahoy! An opening date for the Eastside Trail Gateway is in sight! Beltline spokeswoman Jenny Odom says an official ribbon-cutting is scheduled for the morning of Aug. 22, meaning the Gateway — a winding path connecting the Eastside Trail to Historic Fourth Ward Park — is two weeks from being a usable reality. Officials promise to release more specifics soon, but here's a couple of tidbits in the meantime: 1) The path's gentle slope (less than 5 percent) means it will be ADA compliant, even without handrails. 2) Recently planted tree-lings "will eventually grow into a dense canopy to provide shade cover," Odom says. The best part about the project, though? It's a bellwether for what's to come.
In the foreseeable future, the Beltline will be directly connected to the Old Fourth Ward and Poncey-Highland areas in pretty convenient ways. A more friendly transition between the Eastside Trail and Murder Kroger has been in the hopper for months. In June, the Beltline and Ponce City Market announced they were teaming up to build "North Avenue Plaza," a bench-laden and bike-friendly chill spot between the two projects. It's supposed to be ready to roll by next spring, and backhoes seem to be working overtime there lately. Throw in the Gateway and direct link to PCM, and it means you'll soon be able to jump off and on the Eastside Trail like The Connector at midnight. Even without the direct link to Ponce, and a somewhat hazardous connection at Ralph McGill Boulevard, you'd have to say the trail's connectivity is pretty strong at that point.
— By Curbed Atlanta contributor Tyler Estep