Atlanta BeltLine Inc.'s board of directors last week selected lead designers for the BeltLine project and established the basis for future design and construction, the agency announced.
After a competitive bidding process, the directors chose the design team of Chicago-based Perkins+Will and New York-based James Corner Field Operation. The 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 Atlanta. Much of it will be financed with bonds.
"A public space like that envisioned by the BeltLine, with pedestrian-friendly rail transit, trails, green space, and abutting development in one corridor, does not exist today in Atlanta or any other city in the United States," BeltLine president and chief executive officer Brian Leary said. "By creating a design which will integrate all of the BeltLine's components in a comprehensive way, we are building the BeltLine's foundation."
As the design progresses, it will help increase the project's eligibility for federal funds and advance the plans for permanent trails to the point of being "shovel-ready." The scope includes civil and structural engineering, surveys, utilities, streetscapes, landscape design, trails, transit, stations, bridges, tunnels, historic preservation, public art locations, and signage.
The total contract amount for the two design firms is not to exceed $9.5 million.
Four new parks, two permanent trail segments, and nearly eight miles of temporary hiking trails will open in 2010, in addition to the one mile of trail completed in October 2008.