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Beltline Keeps Mum while Reviewing Extension Proposals

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The Beltline's Southside Trail — the 14-foot-wide strip of concrete/pipe-dream that would connect the Eastside Trail to the Westside Trail — reached another benchmark last week. Granted, it's not a physical benchmark. That part is still a ways off. But the gears of bureaucracy are turning, slowly, as always, and we've ventured to pick up the scraps in hopes of piecing together a slightly clearer picture.

In September, Atlanta Beltline Inc. released a Request for Qualifications seeking proposals from companies to design and oversee the construction of the pathway, and the deadline for submissions ended last week — Nov. 12, to be exact. Following the deadline, the project entered the open procurement, during which Beltline officials have said they can't discuss proceedings. The same goes for the Eastside Trail extension bids, which were turned in over a month ago and sequestered behind a closed-door selection process. But, a few things can be gleaned from documents that were already made public.

According to the RFQ, the procurement process should end sometime in December, and everyone could then move on to bigger and better things. The number of companies that completed proposals isn't available, but all groups planning to submit were required to attend a pre-bid meeting. Just over 20 representatives attended the meeting, and of those just two, Pond and Co. and Kimley-Horn, have had significant involvement in other Beltline projects.

The Beltline still doesn't own the Southside Trail corridor. CSX Corp., whose trains ceased using the route last year, does. The Beltline hopes to acquire the necessary Southside Trail land by 2018, using a mix of federal, tax allocation district (TAD) and private funds. The winning group will have to do "non-invasive testing" for the first 12 to 18 months of the project. Sounds like a blast.

· Hurray! Beltline Seeks Designers for 4-Mile 'Southside Trail' [Curbed]