The U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) announced the award of a $25 million Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity (RAISE) grant to the City of Atlanta and Atlanta BeltLine, Inc.

The funds will be used for the construction of a 2.2-mile network of multi-use trails in northeast Atlanta between the Armour/Ottley and Lindbergh areas. This will be the first time the Atlanta BeltLine trail will connect to a MARTA transit station (at Lindbergh Center).

“The Northeast segment of the BeltLine is a huge undertaking, but Atlanta does big and we do it well—and we do it together,” Mayor Andre Dickens said in a press release. “Thanks to Senator [Jon] Ossoff, Senator [Raphael| Warnock, Congresswoman [Nikema] Williams and the Biden Administration, Atlanta now has $25 million in funding—in addition to millions in infrastructure dollars already delivered—for utility, stormwater, accessibility and safety infrastructure for Segment 3 and surrounding connectors.”

Unlike most of the BeltLine corridor, this portion of the Northeast Trail does not follow abandoned railroad lines. It’s also unique in metro Atlanta as the only place where an interstate, state roads and highways, regional rail and bus, and several regional trails converge.

The new BeltLine trail segments will provide safe crossings of existing MARTA heavy rail, Norfolk Southern and CSX freight rail, state highway, and Peachtree Creek. The project will provide pedestrian and cyclist access between the Atlanta BeltLine mainline trail, the Armour/Ottley business district, major employers along Piedmont Road, multi-family residential developments, and regional trails. 

“With the incredible support of the USDOT and our congressional delegation, we’re creating a city that allows people to move within it, creating new access points that lead to jobs, housing, and activities,” said Clyde Higgs, President and CEO of Atlanta BeltLine. Inc. “The BeltLine is creating a vibrant public space and a more equitable city for Atlantans by ensuring mobility and access for all who live and work near the corridor. The construction of the Northeast Trail network is a crucial part of this vision.”  

Construction on the RAISE-funded section of the Northeast Trail mainline and connector trails is anticipated to begin in early 2025. Trail design is currently 60 percent complete. The next community meeting to provide updates on the Northeast Trail will take place on July 27. 

Collin Kelley has been the editor of Atlanta Intown for two decades and has been a journalist and freelance writer for 35 years. He’s also an award-winning poet and novelist.