Beltline gets $5 million for Piedmont Park-DeKalb Ave. bike trail

PATH Foundation, Kaiser Permanente pony up cash for Eastside Trail

And it’s legit: Beltline officials expect to begin construction this fall on a bike trail that would connect Piedmont Park to DeKalb Avenue.

Mayor Kasim Reed, city councilmembers and project officials this morning accepted two checks — each for $2.5 million — from Kaiser Permanente and the PATH Foundation on behalf of Sarah and Jim Kennedy at a scorching event along the Beltline’s northeast segment near the Masquerade. A project spokesman says the trail would open to walkers and cyclists next summer.

Nearly two years in the making, the trail project will connect the city’s most iconic greenspace and the Morningside, Ansley Park, Midtown, Poncey-Highland and Old Fourth Ward neighborhoods before ending at DeKalb Avenue. (A Beltline spokesman said plans call for the trail to continue, but the $5 million contribution will only cover the proposed portion.) Work-out stations will be along the trail, so you can finally challenge Councilman Kwanza Hall to a push-up contest.