BeltLine patrons who’ve trickled down the Eastside Trail from Reynoldstown through Glenwood Park have enjoyed a safer passage since protected bike lanes were installed last year—with one glaring gap being the bridge over Interstate 20.

That’s set to change, beginning Tuesday, as Atlanta BeltLine Inc. starts construction on interim safety improvements on Bill Kennedy Way that will serve to separate pedestrians and bicyclists from traffic, eliminating curbs and a tight bridge sidewalk that, as is, forces users into close proximity with each other and cars.

Last summer, the BeltLine replaced parking spaces and planters south of I-20 with in-street trail lanes connecting to all points in Glenwood Park, next to a wide concrete buffer.

The trail's existing barrier, as seen in November. Josh Green/Urbanize Atlanta

The Georgia Department of Transportation recently granted permission to Reeves Construction Company, the BeltLine’s contractor, to finish the job—or at least the first phase of it.   

To fill the last remaining Eastside Trail void, BeltLine officials said today work will happen in two phases, with the first beginning this week and finishing April 2, pending weather delays.

Approaching the narrow sidewalk over Interstate 20 where protected BeltLine lanes currently end. Josh Green/Urbanize Atlanta

On Bill Kennedy Way, expect an eight-foot-wide trail to be installed on the bridge’s east side, connecting north and south trail segments, protected from traffic by a nearly three-foot concrete barrier.

The bridge’s westernmost sidewalk will temporarily be closed as traffic lanes are shifted, but the other sidewalk is expected to remain open during phase one, officials said.

Construction will happen on weekdays from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., with minor traffic delays expected.

A schedule for the second phase of BeltLine improvements over the bridge has yet to be determined. The safety fixes carry an “interim” status because—eventually—plans call for a separate BeltLine pedestrian bridge spanning the interstate.

Atlanta BeltLine Inc.

Meanwhile, the remainder of concrete planters along Bill Kennedy Way are expected to be installed over the next month, with Trees Atlanta providing plantings.  

Pedestrian lights at Glenwood and Faith avenues are in final approvals with the City of Atlanta and should be working soon, according to BeltLine leaders.

• BeltLine's Southside Trail is getting a new bridge, eyeing summer debut (Urbanize Atlanta)