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The Westside Trail is Roaring Ahead; Eastside, Not so Much

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Nothing is quiet on the western front. Construction on the three-mile, fully funded Westside Trail is blazing ahead — with underground accommodations being laid for future transit — and interest is strong from homebuyers looking to tap into the area's potential, according to a quarterly briefing by Atlanta Beltline officials. One indicator came June 6, when more than 500 current and potential homeowners gathered in Adair Park for a walking tour that showcased available homes near the Westside Trail, officials said. Connecting four parks and four schools, this segment of the Westside Beltline is on schedule to be finished in two years, complete with 14 access points and a new bridge over Martin Luther King Jr. Drive. Meanwhile, on the Eastside, the outlook is a little more vague.

Regarding the long-awaited extension of the Beltline's Eastside Trail from Irwin Street to Memorial Drive, officials offered this: "100% Design. Acquiring necessary easements and putting funding in place."

That sounds like at least some progress from where the extension project stood last October — the design plans have been approved!?!?! — when a consortium of Beltline officials participated in an email Q&A with Curbed. Here's an excerpt:

Curbed: Beltline officials have repeatedly said the Eastside Trail's southern extension — through Cabbagetown and Reynoldstown, to Memorial Drive — will begin this fall. When can we expect to see large machines moving dirt?

Beltline officials: Atlanta BeltLine Inc. is currently reviewing the 100 percent design documents and construction cost estimates we received (earlier this month). After the final plans have gone through the requisite permitting and all funding is confirmed, ABI will bid the project for construction. At this point in time, it is looking like it will be early 2015 before we start moving dirt. The timeline shifted when we refined the design to make for a better trail experience.

Q: Can you briefly give an idea how much this facet of the Beltline project will cost and how it was funded?

A: Once we are through the bidding process, we will be able to disclose the cost estimate. This trail segment will have several funding sources including the City of Atlanta, the Woodruff Foundation and other philanthropic donors.

Like maybe Porsche?

Other interesting news in the Beltline briefing included updates on a 70-unit senior housing project in Reynoldstown, a measure to help ensure that affordable housing exists near the Eastside Trail. Funders for the project, which is under construction and rising, include Mercy Housing, Invest Atlanta and the Beltline, who chipped in more than $1.5 million, officials said. The units are expected to deliver within the next year.

· Atlanta Beltline Quarterly Briefing [ABI]
· Officials: Construction is Not Related to the Eastside Trail [Curbed]