Crews this week began installing the first track for Atlanta's new streetcar line, which is slated to open next spring.
When completed, the 2.7-mile streetcar line will connect with MARTA, the city's existing transit system, and the Atlanta BeltLine, a public-private partnership that is building walking paths -- and eventually streetcars -- along abandoned, underused and active railroad right-of-ways. City officials believe the new line will ferry tourists to and from many of the city's popular downtown attractions.
Workers are expected to install one block of track every three to four weeks, according to city officials. When it opens next spring, the initial system will have 12 stops and four electric streetcars.
"The first day of track construction represents a significant milestone for the Atlanta Streetcar," Ed Hrinewski, a projector director for URS Corp., said in a statement.
Once opened, a one-way trip on the new line is expected to take roughly 10 minutes. City officials expect the new system to be popular among visitors interested in going to the city's popular downtown tourist attractions, including the CNN Center, the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site and the Georgia Aquarium.