The Atlanta BeltLine Inc. earlier this year kicked off construction on its newest segment — the Westside Trail, a three-mile path with transit infrastructure that runs from Washington Park to Adair Park — neighborhoods originally shaped by stage coaches, streetcars and railroads that now are in need of revitalization. When it’s complete around fall 2017, it will connect four schools, four parks and a dozen neighborhoods in the 30310 ZIP code, one of the hardest hit during the Great Recession.
The Westside Trail is coming to a former CSX Corp. railway that became inactive in 1984. At $43 million, it’s easily one of the most significant investments for southwest Atlanta since MARTA began service there in the early 1980s.
“It is a historic moment that we are building it,” said Atlanta architect and urban planner Ryan Gravel, founding principal at Sixpitch whose master’s thesis in 1999 was the original vision for the Atlanta Beltline, a planned 22-mile loop of former railways that’s being transformed into trails, parks and, one day, transit lines. “There was some skepticism that it would come.”
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