The first step toward linking existing Westside and Eastside trails with paved Beltline pathway could begin in a matter of months.
The course Beltline officials are eyeing would begin at the Westside Trail’s southern terminus and stretch for three-quarters of a mile, to a point near the Interstate 75/85 Connector south of downtown, according to an Atlanta Business Chronicle report this week.
That roughly $16-million piece could begin construction as soon as October, lending Beltline connectivity to the forthcoming Pittsburgh Yards project and neighborhoods such as Capitol View and Pittsburgh.
Bids from contractors could be collected next month, and the first paved Southside Trail section could open in fall 2020, should construction begin as hoped, the newspaper reported.
Materials provided by Beltline officials to Curbed Atlanta indicate federal BUILD Grant funding would be involved in construction, but they hadn’t specified whether that money has been secured.
All told, the Southside Trail will feature 4.5 miles of paved path, swooping from near University Avenue in Adair Park to Ormewood Park.
Planned improvements to Bill Kennedy Way would then provide final connectivity to the in-corridor Eastside Trail, which was officially finished this month.
Construction of the full Southside Trail could cost roughly $70 million, Beltline leaders have said.
Since the City of Atlanta purchased the corridor from longtime owner CSX for $26 million last year, railroad infrastructure has been removed, bridges secured, and stairs and handrails installed to create an interim hiking trail.