An Aug. 4 groundbreaking is set for the Atlanta BeltLine’s trail through Piedmont Park, a project that also includes long-awaited bicycle and pedestrian safety changes to the intersection of 10th Street and Monroe Drive.
The project involves building a permanent part of the BeltLine’s Northeast Trail known as “Segment 1,” which has been open as an unpaved route since 2010. It will connect the existing Eastside Trail, which terminates at 10th and Monroe, to Westminster Drive.
Folded into the trail project is the 10th and Monroe project, which includes a raised pedestrian crossing and bike lanes. The safety fixes were driven by the 2016 death of 14-year-old bicyclist Alexia Hyneman, who was killed by a Jeep in the intersection while heading home from the adjacent Midtown (then Grady) High School. The Atlanta Department of Transportation (ATLDOT) says ABI is handling all contracting and construction of the intersection project as part of the overall Northeast Trail work.
“We’re excited to have set a groundbreaking date for that segment on August 4 at 11 a.m.,” said ABI spokesperson Jenny Odom.
ATLDOT says it understands that construction will start in September with a “substantial completion time of 15 months.” ABI’s website lists an approximate completion timeframe of late 2025.
The local Nextdoor social media site already has chatter about possible street closures, detours and parking changes, but ABI and ATLDOT have not made any official announcements of plans. “We’ll be able to share more on timing, schedules and detour routes once we work out construction sequencing details with the contractor,” said Odom.
Also unclear is if or how the project will coordinate with the Atlanta Botanical Garden’s controversial plan to tear down one self-storage facility and replace it with a new one on that segment of the trail. The Garden plans an expansion at Westminster and Piedmont Avenue, part of which includes a new entrance on the Northeast Trail, where a Public Storage facility stands.
In a land-swap deal, Public Storage agreed to give up the Westminster facility in exchange for the Garden building a new one at Monroe and Cooledge Avenue in Virginia-Highland – alongside the Eastside Trail and where the Northeast Trail will connect to it. The self-storage plan was a surprise to the neighborhood and its status is unclear, with the Garden not responding to comment requests.
Odom said that ABI would “continue to coordinate” with the Garden but offered no details.
The July 27 meeting also will include updates on other segments of the Northeast Trail and on a separate ABI project to add bicycle and pedestrian improvements to Ponce de Leon Avenue.
The Northeast Trail’s Segment 2, between Westminster and Mayson Street in Buckhead, is under construction with a completion target of late this year. Segment 3 is a complex route between Mayson and a future Northwest Trail connection at Peachtree Hills, with spurs to the Lindbergh Center MARTA Station and other spots. That segment is still in the design phase and recently got a $25 million federal earmark announced by U.S. Rep. Nikema Williams and U.S. Sens. Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock.
The Ponce streetscape project includes about seven-tenths of a mile of the street between John Lewis Freedom Parkway and Boulevard/Monroe. Among the features are sidewalks, center medians, a bike lane extension, lighting and a ramp to the Eastside Trail. Work started last year and has a target completion timeframe of March 2024, though ABI says it has already been delayed by two months due to weather.