Aug 17, 2021 • 23M

Exploring Westside Park at Bellwood Quarry

Special Issue: Maps, Photos & Videos

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You will be hearing a lot about Westside Park at Bellwood Quarry, which officially opens this Friday. I have created this special edition of my podcast and newsletter to give my subscribers a head start. I have also included links to dozens of photos, videos and maps that I have taken / recorded / created over the years. Feel free to share this with your friends. Thanks. — Steve Saenz, ATLsherpa

Westside Park At-A-Glance

  • 280 acres (Piedmont Park ~190 acres) making it ATL’s largest public park.

  • Located in NW ATL, just west of Marietta Blvd, just north of Bankhead MARTA station and just SW of Huff Road.

  • Located north and east of Grove Park, just west of Knight Park-Howell Station.

  • Accessible to Atlanta Beltline, Proctor Creek Greenway, Bankhead MARTA station and Quarry Yards (new Microsoft campus).

  • Former site of Bellwood granite quarry last mined by Vulcan Materials.

  • City of Atlanta purchased the property from Fulton County and Vulcan in 2006 for ~$40 million.

  • The property was identified by Alexander Garvin as a “jewel” in his Emerald Necklace Study in 2004 (feasibility study for Atlanta Beltline project). See pages 116-119 for relevant discussion.

  • The former quarry now serves as a water reservoir for the City of Atlanta, holding some 2.4-billion-gallons of H2O.

  • This increased the City’s emergency drinking water supply from its former three days to more than 30 days.

  • To fill the quarry with water, a five-mile underground tunnel was drilled to connect the new reservoir with the Chattahoochee River and the Hemphill Water Treatment Plant.

  • A special tunnel boring machine (TBM), dubbed “Driller Mike” was constructed to create the tunnel.

  • Groundbreaking ceremony was held on 09.06.18.

  • Grand opening will be held on 08.20.21.

Westside Park is located in NW ATL (click on map for love Google Map)

Garvin identified the Bellwood Quarry property as one of the “jewels” in his 2004 Emerald Necklace Study (click on image to download study)

VIDEO: Excellent overview of the water supply project by Dept of Watershed Management

Photos & Videos by ATLsherpa

Interpretive Tour of Bellwood Quarry (2017)
Bellwood Quarry Tunnel Tour: Walking up to the back end of “Driller Mike”

VIDEO: Entering the tunnel on our Bellwood Quarry Tunnel Tour (1 of 10 videos)
VIDEO: Westside Park Groundbreaking Ceremony (09.06.18)
VIDEO: Microsoft: Generational Game-changer (recorded presentation)

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