Come 2019, the park that will be debuting at Bellwood Quarry will become the largest in Atlanta. According to plans, the first phase of development will include adding functional greenspace, which will be ready for the public in just two years.
The plans to transform this abandoned granite quarry found to the west of Midtown were reveals years ago. The goal will be to create the largest park in Atlanta and it will even include a lake.
About two years ago, real plans started to emerge for about a 280-acre greenspace at the quarry. Bids were even solicited by the city last year and plans now reveal that Westside Reservoir Park, the first phase, will be ready within two years.
The opening date was announced when the city toured the site for the park. At the touring event, a glimpse into the future as provided as officials showed off potential features of the park, which included a beautiful vista of the Atlanta skyline.
The park will end up featuring an upper and a lower meadow design and public input will help to finalize the plans. Work is already underway to move water from the Hemphill water treatment plant to the Chattahoochee River via the quarry. This will allow about 2 billion gallons of water to be diverted to the quarry site.
When completed, the reservoir will be able to hold about a one month supply of clean water for Atlanta residents. Features of the park will also include playgrounds, walking trails, recreation opportunities and a connection to the Beltline Westside Trail.
While the first phase of the greenspace is expected to be open in just two years, complete development of the site isn’t expected to be done until 2030. When completed, the entire park will cover about 350 acres, which is more than twice the size of Piedmont Park.
One day, the greenspace may include recreational facilities, athletic field, an amphitheater and a 45-acre reservoir. This is all expecting to cost more than $300 million. Here’s a look at the Bellwood Quarry from above.
Filling the Quarry
Before the city can start developing the site, it must fill the Bellwood Quarry with water. The water will come from the Chattahoochee River and will act as a backup water supply for the city. A total of $270 million was approved to bore a five-mile-long tunnel, which will be ten feet wide from the Chattahoochee river to the Westside water treatment plant. Then, it will another 200 feet to the quarry.
Once the tunnel has been completed, it’s expected to take about two weeks for the quarry to fill up with water. It will then become the centerpiece of Westside Reservoir Park, which will begin development shortly after. The entire project could take as long as 15 years to complete, but will be opened to the public in phases.
The Quarry had been in operation for more than a century before it was purchased by the city in 2006. The city has had plans to turn this site into a park ever since and add it to the Atlanta Beltline, which is a 22-mile corridor with trails, parks and transit around the downtown area. It will be protected by The Trust for Public Land, which protects over 3.3 million acres and has completed over 5,400 park and conservation projects.