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Photos: Atlanta Beltline construction abounds as 2018 winds down

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Eastside Trail projects promise an uninterrupted Beltline experience from Memorial Drive to Piedmont Park

The missing Eastside Trail link between Edgewood and DeKalb avenues.
The missing Eastside Trail link between Edgewood and DeKalb avenues.

In terms of Atlanta Beltline construction, 2018 might not have been as momentous as 2017, when roughly four miles of fresh paths materialized in the form of the Westside Trail and a one-mile Eastside Trail extension, which brought the Beltline south through Cabbagetown and Reynoldstown.

By comparison, 2018 was a year of filling smaller but crucial Beltline gaps. And preparing for future segments that could alter the city’s functionality and development patterns.

It’s been a historically wet year, but that hasn’t stopped the concrete from flowing at two sites that promise to make the Eastside Trail experience more contiguous and useful for Beltline trekkers, as the below photo essay illustrates.

Elsewhere in 2018, the City of Atlanta purchased for $26 million the future Southside Trail corridor—a 63-acre tapestry of postindustrial and residential terrain—from railroad company CSX. That corridor has since been converted to walking trails, as design work for the paved trail progresses.

Engineering work, community engagement, and other preparations are also moving forward at the Eastside Trail’s opposite end, north of Piedmont Park, where a segment called the “Northeast Trail” could launch full construction in about two years, eventually extending up to MARTA’s Lindbergh station, officials have said.

And in August, the Beltline spent $6.3 million to take control of the last inactive rail corridor in the project’s blueprints—the “Kudzu Line,” a 1.8-mile segment connecting Westside neighborhoods Bankhead, English Avenue, Knight Park, and Howell Station.

But let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

Below is a northward journey, beginning at Memorial Drive, that illustrates where Beltline enthusiasts can expect to be jogging, walking, pedaling, skating, scootering, or dancing into the new year.

As seen from Memorial Drive, this is how the Beltline will greet northbound travelers. The trail will provide access from here to Piedmont Park roughly four miles away, interrupted by only five street crossings.
Concrete installation began last month to take the paved path from its current end at Kirkwood Avenue down to Memorial Drive, which is experiencing transformative residential and commercial growth.
How the trail will snake through Reynoldstown. It’s on schedule to open for public use this winter, while plantings will continue through spring, according to Beltline officials.
Hints of construction can be seen along an old railroad bridge as the Eastside Trail crosses Fulton Terrace. The opposite side of the bridge will provide a Beltline access point.
Abundant signage warning of the dangers of construction.
The finished speed table where the Beltline crosses Kirkwood Avenue. UPDATE: Beltline officials inform us the crosswalk here isn’t finished. When it is, expect a speed table similar to where the Beltline meets Irwin Street.
The Eastside Trail winds through the Edge construction site, a Beltline-straddling mixed-use build between Edgewood and DeKalb avenues. Edge has signed a roster of retail, including Atlanta’s next Shake Shack and Kevin Gillespie’s Cold Beer concept, and its parking deck sports a new nine-story mural, a collaboration between four female artists.
Beltline officials have said this piece is on track to open for public use by early 2019. Its opening would eliminate the need for Beltline patrons to exit and take sidewalks or surface streets to the Krog Street Tunnel to reconnect with the Eastside Trail.
Lest we forget this short but transformative new section of the Eastside Trail in the shadow of Poncey-Highland’s 725 Ponce project, as seen this past weekend. The trail utilizes an existing bridge over North Avenue and is being rerouted between two pillars beneath the office building. The existing trail, at left, will be removed in coming months, and developer New City will install grass and plantings.
Curbed Atlanta