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For $5M, Beltline buys another Westside rail segment called ‘critical link’

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Corridor could provide a direct path between downtown Atlanta and the city’s largest park

An updated map of trail plans released by Beltline officials today.
An updated map of trail plans released by Beltline officials today. The dotted blue line shows the most recent purchase area. The bold purple section represents the “Kudzu Line” and a planned Beltline section branching north.
Atlanta Beltline Inc.

A land deal has closed that could bring direct Atlanta Beltline accessibility to the doorstep of the Georgia World Congress Center, the rest of downtown Atlanta, and communities such as Vine City and English Avenue.

Beltline officials today announced the purchase of an unused rail corridor that stretches for three-quarters of a mile, beginning across Northside Drive from the GWCC.

Like other recent Beltline acquisitions in the area and across the city’s southside, the $5.1 million purchase was funded by TSPLOST dollars, a measure passed by voters in 2016.

Described by Beltline officials as a “major piece” and “critical link,” the former rail segment—sold to the city by Antioch Baptist Church North Bethursday Development Corporation—extends from Joseph E. Boone Boulevard to Donald Lee Hollowell Parkway.

At that point, it meets a 1.8-mile corridor known as the “Kudzu Line,” which the Beltline purchased for $6.3 million in August.

A closer look at the Kudzu Line (in blue) and its potential spurs.
Atlanta Beltline Inc.

Should plans for both sections materialize, Atlantans could essentially hop on a bike or scooter at Centennial Olympic Park and travel outside of vehicle traffic to under-construction Westside Park at Bellwood Quarry, or vice versa, connecting with Westside neighborhoods such as Bankhead, English Avenue, Knight Park, and Howell Station in between.

Beltline officials are working to buy a few remaining parcels needed to piece together the full corridor. A collaboration with the PATH Foundation to help fund construction is also underway.

“We don’t have a timeline yet for this connecting trail, but are in ongoing conversation with PATH Foundation, one of our partners on this,” Beltline spokeswoman Jenny Odom wrote to Curbed Atlanta in an email.

The Conservation Fund helped facilitate the acquisition, officials noted in a press release.

Mayor Keisha Lance Bottom, in the same release, described the Beltline purchase as helping pave the way “for a more unified and accessible Atlanta” with a “goal of connecting everyone in the city with growth and opportunity.”

This story has been updated to reflect corrected information provided by Atlanta Beltline Inc.