The Georgia Department of Transportation and Atlanta BeltLine Inc. last Thursday announced that they entered into a purchase agreement giving Atlanta the option of acquiring a major portion of right of way for the long-planned BeltLine project.

The Atlanta BeltLine is a 25-year, $2.8 billion redevelopment project to provide a network of public parks, multi-use trails, and transit along a historic 22-mile railroad corridor circling downtown. Much of it will be financed with bonds.

Last week’s agreement gives the city exclusive rights to purchase land in the southwest and southeastern sections of the BeltLine.

“By securing the southwest corridor and a portion of the southeast corridor, the BeltLine is now ahead of schedule on right of way acquisition, and controls close to 50% of the BeltLine corridor,” said a statement by Terri Montague, president and chief executive officer of Atlanta BeltLine Inc., the agency overseeing the project’s implementation.

“This agreement will allow ABI to continue transit and trail planning activities and open parts of the corridor up to the public within the next year,” Montague added.

Atlanta BeltLine Inc. was formed by the Atlanta Development Authority to plan and implement the BeltLine in partnership with other public and private organizations, including city departments. More information is available at www.BeltLine.org.

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