Washington, D.C. –– U.S. Senator Reverend Raphael Warnock, Congresswoman Nikema Williams, and U.S. Senator Jon Ossoff secured $16.4 million to accelerate construction of the Atlanta BeltLine.
The project will construct approximately two miles of the Southside Trail component of the Atlanta BeltLine from Pittsburgh Yards to Boulevard Crossing Park.
The funding comes after a sustained push from Sen. Ossoff, who secured a commitment from U.S. Transportation Secretary Buttigieg to work on completing the BeltLine at a U.S. Senate Banking Committee hearing in May and frequently pushed Administration leaders to prioritize the project.
“This $16 million investment in the BeltLine is going to substantially accelerate the project and will help communities all around Metro Atlanta,”Sen. Ossoff said. “When I was campaigning for the Senate, I made promises to deliver resources for the BeltLine, and I’m keeping those promises.”
Since the spring, Senator Warnock has been in constant communication with the Department of Transportation, the City of Atlanta, and ATL BeltLine officials on the need to improve the BeltLine by completing the unpaved, unfinished areas of the Southside trail. During U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Buttigieg’s visit to Atlanta, Senator Warnock spoke with the Secretary and BeltLine officials to advocate for an expeditious path forward to complete construction on the Southside trail.
“When we connect our communities with pedestrian and bike trails, we provide a pathway for residents to enjoy local green spaces and invest in small businesses,” said Senator Reverend Warnock. “We bolster social and economic mobility for hardworking Georgians when we make strong Federal investments in projects like the Atlanta BeltLine, and I look forward to securing more infrastructure investments like this one for other vital transportation projects in Atlanta and across our state.”
“I have worked to secure the resources needed to complete the BeltLine Southside Trail — including submitting a $5,000,000 Member Designated Transportation Project — because this is a project that will truly benefit the people of Georgia’s Fifth Congressional District,” said Congresswoman Williams (GA-05), who is also a member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. “The BeltLine, located entirely in the Fifth Congressional District, is a model for the rest of the country for how to build environmentally friendly infrastructure that connects neighborhoods. I am proud that the Department of Transportation recognizes the hard work being done by the Atlanta BeltLine and I am confident this grant will pave the way to complete the Southside Trail.”
“We are incredibly appreciative to the USDOT and our congressional delegation for the recognition and support of the Atlanta BeltLine,” said Clyde Higgs, President and CEO of Atlanta BeltLine. Inc. “This project is much more than public infrastructure. With people at the forefront, the BeltLine is improving connections to jobs, schools, and opportunities, enhancing equity and mobility, and fostering culture.”
“Thank you to the Biden Administration, the U.S. Department of Transportation, the Atlanta BeltLine, and other leaders for their partnership and investment in this transformative project. With this additional funding, the BeltLine will continue to connect our communities as we work toward our vision of One Atlanta,” Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms said.
In July, Senator Warnock walked and biked the ATL BeltLine with CEO Clyde Higgs and BeltLine Officials and examined how the unfinished trails impact the community. He saw firsthand the dangers Atlanta Public School students faced as they crossed railroads and unfinished trails in their commute to school, heard from business leaders how the development of the Southside trail will maximize their economic output, and spoke with bikers, walkers and joggers on the BeltLine about how their commutes and recreation would be easier on a completed trail. This funding also follows persistent efforts by Senator Warnock to strengthen Federal support for the BeltLine, including securing $5 million for the BeltLine in the first phase of the annual government funding process.
Sens. Warnock and Ossoff have also worked to boost Federal funding for the Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity (RAISE) grant program in the bipartisan infrastructure deal; the Senators fought to include $7.5 billion in funding for RAISE in the bill, which helps funds road, rail, transit and port projects that promise to achieve national objectives.