After years of planning and discussion, Atlanta’s trek toward the famed Silver Comet Trail has officially begun.

Construction is underway on the first segment of what’s called the Silver Comet Connector, a multi-use trail link that will extend from Atlanta’s postindustrial Upper Westside district toward Cobb County and the 61.5-mile Silver Comet’s Georgia component.

The first section, the Woodall Rail Trail, will follow Woodall Creek—a tributary to Peachtree Creek—through 10 acres of preserved forest land in a part of town exploding with residential development, officials tell Urbanize Atlanta.

At its southernmost point, the Woodall Rail Trail will begin at a future connection with the BeltLine’s Northwest Trail, where Ellsworth Industrial Boulevard meets Elaine Avenue.

From there, it will travel north to the intersection of Chattahoochee Avenue and Chattahoochee Row at The Works, an adaptive-reuse shopping, food, and nightlife destination in Underwood Hills. (Along the way, the trail will pass just to the west of Topgolf Atlanta, or essentially behind the facility). 

Courtesy of PATH Foundation/Upper Westside CID

The goal with the first section of the Silver Comet Connector, a project led by the PATH Foundation, is to preserve the forest and install a safe passage for walking and biking in a part of Atlanta known for lacking sidewalks and parks, according to project heads.

The Woodall Rail Trail will wind through sections of abandoned rail spurs—once part of a huge industrial network—and follow banks of the previously neglected creek. The Upper Westside Community Improvement District has partnered with the city’s Department of Watershed Management to design a bioswale—a vegetated area with special plants and soils—to capture and help clean runoff water from nearby streets before it enters the creek. A Georgia Department of Natural Resources grant helped fund that facet.

Partners on the trail project—PATH Foundation, Groundwork Atlanta, Trees Atlanta, and Upper Westside CID—selected IP Construction to build the Woodall Rail Trail following a public bidding process. (We’ve asked for information on how long the trail will be, and what it’s expected to cost, and we’ll update this story with any additional details.) The construction firm’s schedule calls for opening the trail in the first quarter of 2025.  

Atlanta developer Selig Enterprises, which owns The Works, funded and installed a crosswalk and traffic signal at Southland Circle. That’s intended to keep trail users safer as they cross Chattahoochee Avenue toward the mixed-use district, and vice versa.

Selig is also working with PATH Foundation and Upper Westside CID officials to bring the next Silver Comet Connector section through properties around The Works that front Chattahoochee Avenue alongside Woodall Creek. 

Courtesy of PATH Foundation/Upper Westside CID

The Silver Comet Connector isn’t the only good news in the area for ATL trail enthusiasts.

As finalized in 2022, BeltLine and PATH officials have decided to build the Northwest Trail in five phases, beginning with what’s known as Segment 5, in an effort to connect the Westside up to Buckhead.

That .7-mile section will begin where the Westside Trail currently ends at Huff Road and Marietta Boulevard and travel through Blandtown to a point at English Street and Culpepper Street.

According to BeltLine officials, requisite real estate work for that section is expected to finish this quarter, and a construction bid is scheduled to be posted either this month or next—as soon the properties in question close.

The BeltLine predicts construction on Segment 5 will take 18 months.


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