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City of Tampa moving closer to Downtown Riverwalk expansion

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Posted at 6:55 AM, Jan 08, 2023
and last updated 2023-01-08 06:55:02-05

TAMPA, Fla. — Downtown Tampa's Riverwalk is usually bustling with people like Allie Garcia.

"I've been coming here for as long as I can remember with my Dad. We used to bike this all the way down," she said. "It's nice that it's already connected from Armature. I've been able to bike from there with friends all the way down to Bayshore."

But there's always been something missing from the miles of the walkway; something the City of Tampa's Infrastructure and Mobility Program Coordinator Brandie Miklus now plans to address.

"This exciting project, we will transform the west side of the river. And we'll be able to fill in the gaps," she said.

Last spring, the US Department of Transportation approved a $24 million grant to expand the Riverwalk and link it to more neighborhoods west of Hillsborough River.

This month, the city will begin advertising for a design build contractor.

"What that means is we'll get a team selected to design and construct the project," Miklus explained.

The project isn't just about following the river either.

"It involves, of course, the Riverwalk on the west side, but also a more complete street with protected bike lanes, safer crossings for pedestrians. And then we also have some trail segments that go through Ridgewood Park, and the Tampa Heights Neighborhood Association will be able to benefit from that. Just basically anyone who wants to come down to downtown and experience the river will have a safer way to get here," she said.

Right now, the plan is to have it up and running by Dec. 2026.