TAMPA, Fla — The city of Tampa is a step closer to developing the expansion of the Tampa Riverwalk.
The expansion, which is the West River District BUILD Grant project, aims to connect more neighborhoods west of the Hillsborough River to the Tampa Riverwalk, the city said in a news release.
At this point in the process, the city of Tampa is looking for a design-build team or firm to design and construct this nearly 5-mile-long project. The next step would include choosing a contractor and then developing renderings.
City officials plan to coordinate with the community and shape what the expansion will actually look like.
The trail will connect more neighborhoods including West Tampa, Tampa Heights, Bayshore Boulevard, Hyde Park, Riverside Heights, North Franklin Street and Bowman Heights, the city says.
Some additions city leaders are excited about consist of better sidewalks, bike lanes and improved crossing features at major intersections to expand "safer connections in neighborhoods." This will also be helpful to the many schools along the trail, allowing kids to walk more safely to school.
"This project is about more than just following the river, it's about connecting our neighborhoods and making them safer," Mayor Jane Castor said in a statement. "We are thrilled to be able to transform the west side of the river and fill in the gaps. This project will make it safer and more fun for anyone who wants to come to downtown and experience the center of our city, the Hillsborough River."
This project is partially funded by a $24 million grant provided by the U.S. Department of Transportation. The funding was secured by Rep. Kathy Castor through the Federal Highway Administration's Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development (BUILD) grant program.
"The $24M BUILD grant will improve neighborhoods, mobility, and connectivity through 12 miles of multi-modal paths and street improvements," Representative Kathy Castor said in a statement. "I am proud to have championed the City's vision and the positive impact previous grants have had on our hometown."
The Tampa Riverwalk expansion is expected to be completed by December 2026.