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Photos: Atlanta Beltline’s Eastside Trail extension is starting to look real

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For devotees of Atlanta’s “glorified sidewalk,” happy days are near

The Eastside Trail is reconnecting Old Fourth Ward (left) and Inman Park, and this foundational work shows precisely where the multi-use trail will be.
The Eastside Trail is restitching Old Fourth Ward (left) and Inman Park, and this foundational work shows precisely where the multi-use trail will be.
Photos: Josh Green, Curbed Atlanta

A project alternately described by the New York Times as a “glorified sidewalk” and “a staggeringly ambitious engine of urban revitalization” is showing the sort of life Atlantans have craved for years.

The 1.25-mile extension of the Beltline’s popular Eastside Trail is beginning to visibly, undeniably exist. The batch of photos below, snapped this week from Old Fourth Ward to Reynoldstown, proves it.

A much shorter Phase II will take the Eastside Trail to Memorial Drive, once Beltline leaders can round up the necessary dollars. Then this section of the Beltline will be finished.

The Atlanta Beltline Partnership announced earlier this month the Eastside Trail’s southern extension is on track to open late this summer. Recent foundational construction gives the best indication yet as to exactly where it will be, how large it is, and how it will coincide with streets.

Have a look:

Work to remove trees and defunct railroad tracks for more Beltline began here in Reynoldstown last summer. For now, the trail will end at Kirkwood Avenue (where it bends in the distance of this photo). Pending funding, the path will stretch a few blocks farther to Memorial Drive, creating a finished, 3.5-mile Eastside Trail that links to Piedmont Park.
The Eastside Trail crosses Wylie Street in Reynoldstown and takes the corridor’s northernmost sidewalk. A curb designating its boundary has been installed.
The trail extends east-west from Reynoldstown into Cabbagetown, where recent homes have sprung up in anticipation of its arrival.
The Eastside Trail’s width is apparent as it materializes beside a graffiti-strewn wall. The 10-foot-wide concrete path stretches nearly to the former median of Wylie Street. Elsewhere, the trail is four feet wider.
Here the Beltline veers into the Krog Street Tunnel toward Inman Park. The tunnel’s easternmost sidewalk was recently refurbished.
This Beltline-adjacent studio is now renting for $1,750 monthly.
The Edgewood Avenue bridge’s handy pedestrian ramp.
A panorama of construction activity this week looking south from the Edgewood Avenue bridge, which was rebuilt several years ago.
From here, it’s a straight shot to where the trail terminates now at Irwin Street—but by the look of things, not for long.

Meanwhile, on the flipside of Atlanta, the Beltline’s three-mile Westside Trail is also scheduled to open this summer.

So this famed, hypothetical loop just might close during our lifetimes after all.