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Under an I-85 bridge, here’s what the Beltline could look like one day

The subject of what goes on under Atlanta’s highway bridges has been cast into the spotlight since a fire started under the I-85 bridge in Buckhead caused the bridge’s collapse on March 30.

At a recent public meeting in south Atlanta, a team from the Atlanta Beltline presented community members with early designs of projects for future development.

The preliminary renderings displayed at the April 24 presentation showed possibilities for parts of the four-mile Southside Trail, which connects the Westside Trail at University Avenue to the Eastside Trail at Memorial Drive. 

One of those sections included the segment that runs under I-75/85 near University Avenue.

Current conditions of the Beltline section that runs under I-75/85 near University Avenue. (Atlanta Beltline)

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A photo of the current conditions under the highway shows a dark, overgrown and litter-strewn area with long-abandoned railroad tracks and graffiti on the concrete.

Cut to renderings that depict a bustling, well-lit space with various seating areas and artistic sculptures hanging under the bridge. Railroad tracks have been replaced with a sidewalk, but graffiti is still visible.

Staff said inspiration for the design came from similar structures in Glasglow and Denmark.  

Don’t get too excited, however. The project has not yet been funded and is at least six years away from implementation, Beltline staff said. 

But for now, you can review the full presentation materials here. They include what could become of the Annie E. Casey site, the vertical connection at Confederate Avenue and the Reynoldstown Stage — a permanent performance area to be located on the Eastside Trail’s southern extension near Memorial Drive.

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A rendering showing what could become of part of the Beltline that runs under I-75/85 near University Avenue. ((Atlanta Beltline))

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Highlights of the Atlanta Beltline being used for fitness (www.accessatlanta.com)

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