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Gauging Atlanta's Excitement for a Gigantic Westside Park

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[The Bellwood Quarry site in 2008, largely as it appears today.]
[The Bellwood Quarry site in 2008, largely as it appears today.]

Due west of Midtown, Atlanta's largest green space — a planned 300-acre expanse more than 30 percent bigger than Piedmont Park — could hug a 400-foot-deep quagmire one day. But first things first. The city-owned Bellwood Quarry, long a source of pretty granite, needs to be filled with Chattahoochee River water to function as a backup water supply, which would serve Atlantans for at least 30 days in the event of a drought or catastrophe. Last week, the city council took a major step toward making that happen, approving $270 million to bore a five-mile-long, 10-foot-wide tunnel from the river, to the Westside's water treatment plant, and then to the quarry, all 200 feet underground, WSB-TV reports. The reservoir's first phase could be finished in 18 months; it's expected to take two weeks to fill the quarry with 2.5 billion gallons of water. This new lake would be the centerpiece of the Big Kahuna of Beltline green spaces, Westside Reservoir Park, a collection of meadows, hiking and biking trails and some active uses such as baseball fields. So huge is the park project, Beltline leaders have recently said it could take 15 years to finish. But with the quarry finally slated for what seems like sure-fire progress, we couldn't help wondering how Atlantans feel right now.


Poll results

· Former rock quarry to become new reservoir [WSB-TV]
· Bellwood Quarry Will Eventually Be Atlanta's Biggest Park [WABE]
· 2008 Beltline study [PDF]