The Atlanta BeltLine has received a $600,000 grant from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to help clean up former industrial sites, known as “brownfields,” along the northeast corridor from Monroe Drive to Buford Highway.
According to BeltLine officials, there are approximately 1,100 acres of former industrial sites along the 22-mile BeltLine loop around Atlanta.
Project Senior Civil Engineer Catherine Owens said clean-up efforts on the BeltLine have been successful. She cited the Eastside Trail as an example. The EPA revolving loan fund provided $850,000, which helped pay to remove approximately 1,700 tons of contaminated soil from areas along 2.25 miles on the Eastside Trail.
Owens said the process is now serving as a model for the rest of the 22-mile corridor, including the Historic Fourth Ward Park, which saw 17 acres of industrial wasteland converted into recreational green space for a neighborhood.
The BeltLine project is currently focused on the Eastside Trail expansion from its current terminus at Irwin Street in the Old Fourth Ward to Reynoldstown and Glenwood Park.
The BeltLine temporarily will use the Krog Street tunnel – known for its graffiti and appearances in films and music videos – as a connection for pedestrians and bikes while a solution for crossing the CSX rail yard is finalized.