Tampa’s Riverwalk To Double In Size, Connect West Communities With Downtown


Tampa Riverwalk expands

Catherine Hawley reports.

TAMPA, Fla.A project is in the works to extend the popular Tampa Riverwalk along the west side of the Hillsborough River, and connect neighborhoods with miles of protected paths people can walk, bike or scoot on.

The city of Tampa’s West River Build Grant Project will give more people a reason to ditch their cars.

“Because we’re going to be expanding not only the Riverwalk, but also our low-stress, walk-bike network,” explained Brandie Miklus, Tampa’s infrastructure, and mobility program coordinator.

The plans call for a continuous pathway hugging the west-side waterline of the Hillsborough River mirroring the existing Riverwalk on the east. Spotty sections of the trail already exist, so this project builds the missing links.

“The Riverwalk is so popular, it is phenomenal, we are so excited to expand the river walk with this project,” Miklus said.

However, this design goes further, to safely link the neighborhoods west of downtown and create a 12.2-mile path connecting more communities.

Most of the planned six-mile project will happen on city streets, keeping folks walking, running, biking or scooting separated from car traffic with protected bike lanes added to sections of Rome Avenue and West Platt Street.

PREVIOUS Tampa Riverwalk to expand to west side of waterway

“Not only does it connect to the green spine and it connects to Bayshore Boulevard, but it also will connect to Rome Yard, that’s a really exciting mixed-use redevelopment project,” explained Miklus.

Enhanced flashing pedestrian crossings at major roadways, sidewalk upgrades, new lighting, even restoring some native shorelines are also slated to happen.  The project’s driving force is safety. 

“Reinforces our commitment to vision zero, which is a goal to get to zero deaths and serious injuries on our roadways,” Miklus said.

A $24-million-dollar grant from the Federal Highway Administration will pay for about 80% of the project, with the city covering the rest of the cost.

The West River Build Grant Project is set to go out for contractor bids this summer, with construction starting in 2024, and the project is expected to be complete by the end of 2026.

LINK: Learn more about the Riverwalk expansion here

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