The City of Atlanta will receive an $18 million TIGER V grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation for the development of a 2.5-mile portion of the Atlanta BeltLine in the southwest corridor, Mayor Kasim Reed announced on Monday.
The BeltLine is a $2.8 billion plan to transform a 22-mile railroad corridor that encircles Atlanta into a network of trails, parks, affordable homes and ultimately streetcar lines.
“The Atlanta BeltLine is one of the most transformative projects ever undertaken in our city’s history,” said Reed. “I sincerely appreciate President Barack Obama and U.S. Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx for supporting vital surface transportation projects that will improve mobility and the quality of life for residents in cities across the nation such as Atlanta. This $18 million grant is a tremendous step forward in my administration’s goal to make the vision of the Atlanta BeltLine a reality much sooner.”
The TIGER V grant to be awarded to the city will fund the development of 2.5 miles of the BeltLine corridor – a former freight rail line that has not been in use for nearly 30 years, according to Reed’s office. The project includes the construction of shared use trails, trailheads and access points, and the preservation of the future streetcar transit corridor. It will run from Allene Ave. north to Lawton St., where it will transition to the existing West End Trail for a few blocks, then return to the railcorridor near Ralph Abernathy Boulevard and run north to Lena Street and Washington Park, where it will terminate at the existing Westside Trail, a PATH Foundation trail.
“We are extremely grateful to the U.S. DOT for this opportunity to deliver such a significant part of the Atlanta BeltLine in southwest Atlanta years ahead of schedule,” said Paul Morris, President and CEO of Atlanta BeltLine, Inc. (ABI).
ABI is the implementing entity for the Atlanta BeltLine.
In all, the southwest corridor project includes 16 accessible points of entry with ADA-accessible ramps and stair systems at nine cross-streets, including Ralph David Abernathy Boulevard, Martin Luther King Jr. Drive, Lee Street and Murphy Avenue. It includes a 14-foot wide concrete trail, two foot shoulders and landscaping associated with the greenway corridor. Lighting, utilities, significant retaining wall infrastructure, security cameras and signage also will be constructed as part of the project. Modern streetcar transit is planned for a future stage of this corridor’s development.
The TIGER V grant covers roughly 42 percent of the total project cost, which is estimated at $43 million and includes the cost of right-of-way, design, demolition and construction. The project’s benefits include the creation of a bicycle and pedestrian safe transportation corridor with connections to four local schools, direct access from neighborhoods to four parks and a significant regional quality of life amenity for the area. The Atlanta BeltLine Eastside Trail, which opened in October 2012, has already seen roughly $775 million in private real estate development completed or underway within a half-mile of the project since 2005, Reed’s office said.