On the last day of 2012, the Atlanta BeltLine acquired 0.76 acres adjacent to The Masquerade nightclub from The Trust for Public Land that will connect the recently opened Eastside Trail with Historic Fourth Ward Park. Funding for the acquisition came from private donations to the Atlanta BeltLine Partnership Capital Campaign. This “Gateway” connection, when completed, will  link  park to the rest of the Atlanta BeltLine, which connects to Piedmont Park and the Freedom Park Trail leading to the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library complex.

Design is now underway for the Gateway connection between the Eastside Trail and Historic Fourth Ward Park. The rendering above shows the greenspace connecting to the park from North Angier Avenue, which runs alongside The Masquerade and park area.  The BeltLine entered into a contract with Tunnell – Spangler – Walsh & Associates for the design of the Gateway in December. Construction is expected to begin later in 2013 with completion in 2014.

On Saturday, Jan. 12 at 9:30 a.m. Mayor Kasim Reed will lead the groundbreaking for the BeltLine Southwest Connector Trail next to Beecher Hills Elementary School. This new one-mile spur trail will be part of the 33-mile network of BeltLine trails, and will eventually connect to the 22-mile loop in the Westview neighborhood in southwest Atlanta. The spur trail winds through a stretch of woods, originating at the existing Lionel Hampton Trail and emerging onto Westwood Avenue. With connections between the Beecher Hills and Westwood Terrace neighborhoods, the trail will allow for improved access to Beecher Hills Elementary School.

The PATH Foundation is managing the design and construction and has already started clearing ground for the project. The Atlanta BeltLine Southwest Connector Trail is funded by City of Atlanta Park Improvement Bonds along with $200,000 from the PATH Foundation. The Department of Watershed Management provided a critical easement for the trail.

For more about all the latest developments, visit beltline.org.

Collin Kelley

Collin Kelley has been the editor of Atlanta Intown for two decades and has been a journalist and freelance writer for 35 years. He’s also an award-winning poet and novelist.