As of this morning, construction is officially underway on the final missing piece to create the longest contiguous stretch of Atlanta BeltLine trail to date.
For the second time this month, BeltLine officials, Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens, and other city leaders are expected to toss ceremonial dirt to mark the start of work on another multi-use trail section that should unlock off-street connectivity across multiple neighborhoods.
The 1.3-mile piece in question—the Westside Trail’s Segment 4—runs north to south, directly west of Midtown and downtown, with views to landmarks such as Mercedes-Benz Stadium over the roofs and treetops.
Once finished, it will connect Washington Park up to Bankhead and Historic Westin Heights. It will also create the longest BeltLine section to date—6.5 miles—in conjunction with the rest of the Westside Trail, the connector trail that shoots out of downtown, and the Southside Trail’s first finished segment.
BeltLine officials note that system of trails will open a new corridor for historic Black neighborhoods such as Pittsburgh that stretches around to West Midtown and downtown.
Specifically, the last northern extension of the Westside Trail will start where the current Westside BeltLine ends at Washington Park; from there, it’ll wend north—next to MARTA tracks, Maddox Park, and under Donald Lee Hollowell Parkway—before connecting with trail segments finished in 2021 and 2022.
Atlanta BeltLine Inc. awarded construction of Segment 4 to Astra Group, a Woodstock-based general contracting firm with experience building other sections of the loop and Rodney Cook Sr. Park in Vine City.
The BeltLine previously reported that construction mobilization and trail-clearing work had started a few weeks ago next to Washington Park, near the new segment’s southernmost point.
With its elevated structures and new bridges, the project has been described by BeltLine leaders as especially complex.
Along with bridges and a 14-foot-wide concrete pathway, Segment 4 is expected to include a fiber duct bank, vertical connections to neighborhood streets, security cameras, and lighting, alongside storm drainage and management systems that include green infrastructure.
The final Westside Trail segment is scheduled to open sometime in summer 2025, according to BeltLine officials. (The next paved section of the Southside Trail—slightly shorter at 1.2 miles—is also expected to open that year.)
Clyde Higgs, BeltLine president and CEO, recently said 80 percent of the BeltLine’s 22-mile loop is expected to be either finished or under construction within the next two years.
To date, roughly 16 miles of BeltLine multi-use trails have been built. [CLARIFICATION: 11:34 p.m., March 24: BeltLine officials send the following clarification regarding the previous tally of 16 completed miles they'd specified: "To date, 9.3 miles of the 22-mile BeltLine mainline trail loop are complete. In addition, 10.3 miles of connector trails have been completed that tie directly into current and future segments of the BeltLine mainline trail."]
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