Atlanta BeltLine Northeast Trail – Segment 1 groundbreaking. Pictured from left to right: Rob Brawner, Executive Director, Atlanta BeltLine Partnership; Michelle Olympiadis, Atlanta Public Schools Board Member, District 3; Solomon Caviness, ATLDOT Commissioner; Alex Wan, City of Atlanta Councilmember, District 6; Kara Bullock, James M. Cox Foundation; Jessie McKellar, James M. Cox Foundation; Mayor Andre Dickens, City of Atlanta; Clyde Higgs, President and CEO, Atlanta BeltLine, Inc.; Dana Barrett, Fulton County Commissioner, District 3; Commissioner Justin Cutler, Atlanta Parks & Recreation; Leah Matthews, Community Member and President of Virginia-Highland Civic Association; Mark Banta, Piedmont Park Conservancy. (Photo by Erin Sintos)

Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens, City Commissioners, elected officials, Atlanta BeltLine leaders, and community members broke ground on Northeast Trail – Segment 1 on Friday, Aug. 4.

The 0.9-mile segment will connect from the existing Eastside Trail and through Piedmont Park. When complete, this segment will provide an alternative to traveling along Monroe Drive, allowing safe access for pedestrians and cyclists between the busy 10th Street and Piedmont Avenue commercial areas.

“This is a big day for Atlanta and Atlantans. We’re moving closer to making the complete BeltLine a reality,” Mayor Andre Dickens said. “Being able to go from Washington Park and ride a bicycle or jog from the Westside all the way to Piedmont Park, people are going to see that soon. Think about the dream of the BeltLine a decade ago and it is coming to fruition. This is the people’s project. It offers us a chance to bring equitable development and mobility and opportunities across the entire city.”

With the new segment underway, 4.6 miles are now under construction on the Atlanta BeltLine mainline loop.

“The Northeast Trail will truly embody the dream of the emerald necklace connecting people directly into Atlanta’s premiere greenspace, Piedmont Park,” said Clyde Higgs, president and CEO of Atlanta BeltLine, Inc. “Creating this avenue to safely navigate between key destinations is another way the BeltLine is rebuilding infrastructure in a way that unites our City.”

The BeltLine is working jointly with ATLDOT to complete additional pedestrian safety improvements at the intersection of 10th and Monroe Drive in conjunction with the trail construction project as it crosses Monroe Drive. The Northeast Trail – Segment 1 project will take 14 months for construction, followed by landscaping.

Trail design and engineering was led by Heath and Lineback. The construction contractor is Reeves Young, who will begin work this month.

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.

“The BeltLine has become an Atlanta destination. It allows visitors staying in other areas to get to Virginia-Highland for all it has to offer. The BeltLine has connected our city in a way that seemed impossible when I first moved here in 2006. It encourages walking and biking, which is what you would expect in a major city. I look forward to this next chapter of the Beltline, and I am excited to see how this next segment will connect Virginia-Highland to other communities and neighborhoods,” said Leah Matthews, President of Virginia-Highland Civic Association.

Atlanta BeltLine, Inc. and the Atlanta BeltLine Partnership are collaborating with multiple partners to start construction on this section of trail. Partners include Atlanta Public Schools, Atlanta Regional Commissioner, City of Atlanta Department of Parks and Recreation, City of Atlanta Department of Transportation, City of Atlanta Department of Watershed Management, Fulton County, Georgia Department of Transportation, Georgia Power, MARTA, Invest Atlanta, Piedmont Park Conservancy, Special Service District investors, Trees Atlanta. U.S. Department of Transportation, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Lead philanthropic support to complete the full BeltLine corridor comes from the Robert W. Woodruff Foundation, Inc. and The James M. Cox Foundation.

Regular updates can be found here for construction progress on Northeast Trail – Segment 1. Design and construction updates on all BeltLine’s active projects can be found here.

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