By David Pendered

The long-awaited Eastside Trolley Line Trail, east of Little Five Points, is slated to open by Dec. 31, 2022. The date is in a contract with the PATH Foundation pending expected approval Feb. 15 by the Atlanta City Council.

A portion of the Trolley Trail Line precedes the 1996 Atlanta Summer Olympic Games. Credit: Kelly Jordan

The final configuration for the trail has it stretching 1.6 miles through Atlanta’s Reynoldstown, Edgewood and Kirkwood neighborhoods toward an existing PATH trail that extends a block west of Coan Park, according to the legislation.

Some longtime residents have been awaiting this project since before Atlanta hosted the 1996 Olympic Games. PATH opened a portion of the trail in advance of the Olympics and this piece has lumbering along since then.

In 2019, the city council authorized Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms’ administration to purchase a few tracts of land necessary to complete the project. At that time, the city anticipated the trail could be open as early as 2017. A city FAQ page noted:

  • “This 1.3 mile-long project will cost approximately $3 million to complete and could be constructed in 2017 and 2018.”

As currently envisioned, the project will open by the end of 2022 and its construction cost is anticipated to be about $700,000 lower than previously forecast.

The current configuration of the EastLine Trolley Trail extends about 1.6 miles. Credit: Atlanta

The full description of the current project observes:

  • “The East Side Trolley Greenway Trail and Connector project extends approximately 1.6 miles along Mauldin Street, Flat Shoals Avenue, Arkwright Place, Woodine Avenue, and Arizona Avenue.
  • “The trail and encompassing greenspaces will offer the eastside communities a safe and convenient way to access the Atlanta BeltLine Trail. Additional work associated with the project includes minor demolition, clearing and grubbing, erosion control, grading, header curb installation, drainage improvements, signage, tree planting and landscaping.”

The trail still winds along the historic route of the former Atlanta-Decatur Trolley. The construction of this piece of the trail fills in a gap that exists in the old trolley line, which at one time connected Atlanta with the campus of Agnes Scott College, in Decatur.

The Eastside Trolley Trail will follow the route of a former trolley line that linked Atlanta and Decatur. Credit: Kelly Jordan

The PATH Foundation has agreed to build the trail at a price not to exceed $2.3 million. The city is funding the trail with proceeds of the voter-approved sales tax for transportation.

The city retains full authority over the construction plans, and PATH agrees to provide plans to the city in ample time for review. The city agrees to waive all permit fees for lane and sidewalk closures related to the project.

PATH is to retain an ongoing interest in maintaining the trail following its completion.

For the first five years after the trail opens, PATH agrees to provide maintenance “with respect to mowing, blowing, trash pickup, edging, weed control, tree pruning, shrub pruning, weed control, and mulching….”

In addition, PATH is to provide a warranty of two growing seasons for all tree material planted as part of the project.

The council’s Transportation Committee considered the legislation at its Feb. 10 meeting. The measure was approved without discussion. Because of the unanimous consent, the paper is slated to be approved by the council as part of a raft of legislation that also were approved unanimously in committee.

The Eastside Trolley Trail is to connect with an existing PATH trail that extends a block west of Coan Park. Credit: Kelly Jordan
Woodbine Avenue
A portion of Woodbine Avenue is to be retooled into the Eastside Trolley Trail. Credit: Kelly Jordan

David Pendered, Managing Editor, is an Atlanta journalist with more than 30 years experience reporting on the region’s urban affairs, from Atlanta City Hall to the state Capitol. Since 2008, he has written...

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  1. Why does it take forever to build some transportation! I have lived in Atlanta since 1976 and nothing gets done. Other cities have but here never happens. This project will not serve most communities so more cars eveyday and the highways are packed!

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