Tampa's Riverwalk Expansion Moving Forward

TAMPA, Fla. — It’s a game changer for downtown Tampa.

The city of Tampa is moving forward with plans to add six more miles to Tampa’s Riverwalk and surrounding area to safely connect nearby neighborhoods west of downtown.

What You Need To Know

  • City of Tampa plans to add six more miles of the downtown Riverwalk 

  • Addition will be on west side of river

  • Project will cost roughly $30 million; completed by the end of 2026

This summer, the city plans to select a contractor. Once the contractor has been chosen the design will begin in 2023 and the project will be substantially completed by the end of 2026.

The project will cost roughly $30 million.

According to a city spokesperson, 80 percent of the project will be paid for by the U.S. Department of Transportation under their Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development (BUILD) Transportation Discretionary Grant Program. The remaining funds will come from state and local sources.

Initial plans show that the bulk of the improvements will be on the west side of the Hillsborough River.

The remaining gaps in the riverwalk will be constructed to create a continuous running and biking path. In addition, safer sidewalks and protected bike lanes will be constructed in surrounding neighborhoods to connect them with downtown Tampa.

Here’s a look at the plan for the expanded Tampa Riverwalk and surrounding areas @BN9

– 12.2 continues miles when completed

– Fills gaps in existing riverwalk

– Adds safe sidewalks, protected bike lanes in some neighborhoods

– Mostly completed by 2026 pic.twitter.com/HyAC9FPA1E

— Angie Angers (@angie_angers) April 1, 2022

These improvements will directly impact the University of Tampa, Tampa Preparatory School, Howard W. Blake High School, Stewart Middle School, and Dr. Martin Luther King Recreation Center.  Over-water crossings will also be constructed at the Platt Street Bridge, Brorein Street Bridge, and Kennedy Blvd Bridge.

“This project is going to connect to the already existing lanes that people walk and bike on already, such as Bayshore and the green spine,” explained Brandie Miklus who is overseeing the project.

Walking and biking paths will also be constructed to include North Franklin Street, Hyde Park, North Hyde Park, West Tampa, Riverside Heights, Bowman Heights, and Ridgewood Park in order to create the 12.2 mile loop.

It’s a much needed improvement for businesses like The Lab Coffee, which attracts a lot of walkers and bicyclists with no safe way to get to the shop.

“It makes me happy because this neighborhood was historically under appreciated,” said co-owner Jason Barnett.

The bulk of the construction is expected to be completed by late 2026. ​

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