On Wednesday November 17, 2021 the City of Atlanta and Atlanta Beltline Inc. were awarded a $16.46 million RAISE grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) for the construction of nearly two miles of the Southside Trail. Spanning from the Southside Trail at Pittsburgh Yards® in southwest Atlanta to Boulevard in the southeast, this segment is another critical step in connecting the Westside and Eastside Trails. The Council for Quality Growth applauds the City of Atlanta and Atlanta Beltline for receiving RAISE grant funds to expand the Southside Trail and supports the completion of the 22-mile Atlanta Beltline trail corridor.
The Atlanta BeltLine Southside Trail supports the USDOT’s priority of reconnecting communities, notably as the corridor stitches together neighborhoods on either side of Interstate 75/85, and across former railroad tracks. It also passes under an active freight railroad and busy vehicular intersection. The corridor will provide a safe route for Atlanta Public Schools students. The RAISE grant funds will help close the funding gap towards completing the 22-mile Atlanta BeltLine multi-use trail loop. The grant will also leverage design and construction funding from the Special Service District (SSD) and the Tax Allocation District (TAD). The grant builds on $4 million in federal funding received earlier this year through the Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC) Transportation Improvement Program (TIP).
For construction planning purposes and to accelerate delivery, the Southside Trail has been divided into segments. The first segment opened to the public in September, connecting the southern end of the Westside Trail to Pittsburgh Yards® on University Avenue. The RAISE grant will support the construction of the next two segments from Pittsburgh Yards to Boulevard.
The Atlanta Beltline has created jobs, spurred economic activity, and improved quality of life, and we need to bring its benefits to all the neighborhoods it was promised to connect. With nearly $8 billion in private redevelopment, more than 6,000 businesses, and approximately 111,000 residents within a half-mile of the project, ABI is heavily focused on affordability for small businesses, homeowners, and renters. Upon completion of the Southside Trail, users will be able to travel on ten miles of paved Atlanta BeltLine trail from Washington Park west of downtown to Piedmont Park northeast of downtown.