- Company: Astra Group Inc.
- Industry: General Building
- Location: Atlanta, Georgia
- Expected Completion Date: October 16, 2012
- Project Website
The Atlanta Beltline is an ongoing project that will ultimately connect 45 intown Atlanta neighborhoods through a combination of rail, trail, greenspace and housing. In addition, it will provide first and last mile connectivity for regional transportation in the area. It is being built on an existing 22 mile historic rail corridor that encircles the city of Atlanta, and will eventually offer 33 miles of multi-use trails and pedestrian friendly rail transit. It will also offer 1300 acres of parks and 5600 units of affordable housing. Currently, Astra has completed the Eastside Trail, a 2.25 mile decorative concrete multi-use trail portion of the Beltline. This trail connects Piedmont Park to Inman Park and the Old Fourth Ward, some of Atlanta’s most historic urban locations.
What impact does this project have on America?
The Atlanta Beltline has been recognized as being among the largest, most wide ranging urban redevelopment programs currently underway in the United States. This project is creating 30,000 permanent jobs, in addition to 48,000 one year construction jobs. It provides easier connectivity between urban neighborhoods, giving the city a new framework for growth that is transit oriented. It also provides links to existing transit, making it easier to move in and out of the city. The Beltline brings the city together from a cultural perspective, as well, allowing communities to come together more easily, as well as creating a new venue for public art. Meetings, exercise classes and public walks are held along the trail, making it a gathering place for the community. Atlanta’s Beltline is a community initiative that has created unity even while bringing the city together geographically. The Eastside Trail has won numerous awards, including the Atlanta Urban Design Commission Adaptive Use Award, ARC Developments of Excellence Award, EPA’s Overall Excellence Award for Smart Growth, ACEC State Finalist, CREW Atlanta Impact Award, International Real Estate Federation Grand Prize for Excellence.
What interesting obstacles or unusual circumstances did you overcome to complete the project?
The project is located on portions of old railroad corridor and industrial sites. Some of the areas were contaminated, requiring environmental remediation. In addition, these properties have undergone a physical transformation, now boasting native plantings and ecosystems. The remediated areas also now have increased water quality. These properties, once an eyesore, are now celebrated public amenities, bringing national attention to Atlanta.
What dangers and risks did you encounter, and describe any extraordinary methods used to keep workers safe?
Many of the properties used for development were once associated with urban blight, increased crime rate and overall neglect. In addition, the areas were located in congested parts of downtown. Special attention was required to keep both workers and residents safe during construction. Use of security and traffic control helped to ensure the safety of workers and residents.
How did you leverage new technologies to work faster and reduce waste?
Astra utilized HeavyBid for bidding the work and Heavy Job for keeping the budget and project on track. In addition, use of GPS helps to keep track of progress along the trail.