Infrastructure projects across Atlanta are expected to make headway, enter new planning phases, or full-blown kick off construction this year. Some are small but mighty, some long overdue, but all could be impactful. Which one gets your vote as Atlanta’s top wish list item for 2022?
Here's a quick overview with project updates, followed by the reader poll below:
Eastside Trolley Trail
The PATH Foundation is methodically marching toward its goal of connecting Atlanta by way of, well, paths for cyclists and pedestrians. Thanks to $28 million from 2016’s TSPLOST, the Eastside Trolley Trail section extending from Coan Park (on the border of Edgewood and Kirkwood) to Walthall Street at Arkwright Place in Reynoldstown will kick off in summer 2022, officials tell Urbanize Atlanta. The project includes a road diet for Arkwright Place and Woodbine Avenue, much-needed on-street parking for the section around El Tesoro restaurant, and updates for the 90’s-era signage and striping on existing pieces in this section.
The next segments of the BeltLine’s Southside Trail are set to see construction this year, with utility relocation and brownfield remediation starting in the first quarter and trail construction to follow, BeltLine officials said this month. This section will extend the BeltLine from where it currently ends at Glenwood Avenue and Bill Kennedy Way to the crossing at Boulevard, south of Grant Park. Southside Segment 4 includes restoration of the bridge over United Avenue—a current pain-point for anyone traveling the interim sections of the Southside Trail now. When remediation and utility work nears its end, BeltLine officials will bid out trail construction work, with an aim to finish in mid-2023.
Buckhead’s entry into the highway-capping frenzy just might see some momentum this year. The idea for capping Ga. Highway 400's commuter gulch with greenspace is seeking federal funding (remember that infrastructure bill passed late last year?) and expects to hear in coming weeks whether that dough will be on the way. HUB404 would be a 9-acre, tree-shaded gathering place atop the expressway, spanning a half-mile, and would provide connections to PATH400, Buckhead MARTA station, Lenox Road, and Peachtree Road.
Jackson Street Bridge
The Old Fourth Ward “selfie mecca” is supposedly due to finally get its people-friendly overhaul soon, at last check. (City of Atlanta officials did not respond to our most recent inquiries.) As part of the Department of City Planning’s Placemaking Program, this project reconfigures traffic and bike lanes along Jackson Street to increase safety and vibrancy. The “parklet” on the bridge will be a wide pedestrian area with “interesting seating,” ADA access, an array of plantings in raised planters, and possibly bike racks. Renew Atlanta funds will be used to complete the project, officials have said..
Dekalb Avenue Safety Improvement Project
The Dekalb Avenue Safety Improvement Project (don’t call it a “Complete Street”!) should crawl farther along its roughly four-mile path in 2022. Improvements will include, eventually, the removal of DeKalb Avenue’s controversial “suicide” middle lane, road resurfacing, a few stretches of bike lanes, and sidewalk repairs—as recently detailed by the Atlanta Department of Transportation’s Twitter. Left-turn lanes will also be installed at key places, such as Krog Street and Arizona Avenue. Construction is expected to wrap by fall 2023. We’ll see.
Summerhill Bus Rapid Transit
The Summerhill Bus Rapid Transit line is scheduled to break ground this winter,. per the latest public update from MARTA in October. In a nutshell, bus rapid transit (BRT) is a bus route with exclusive right-of-way for the majority of the route. In this case, it will mean a reconfiguration of Martin Luther King Jr. Drive and Mitchell Street in South Downtown, and Hank Aaron Drive from downtown to its terminus where the BeltLine’s Southside Trail crosses south of Martin Street. This landmark project would be Atlanta’s first BRT line, and it’s scheduled to open in 2024.