Tampa Riverwalk Extension through cruise terminal to be reviewed by Port Tampa Bay

riverfront walkway that loops around a park

A major expansion is in the works for the award-winning Tampa Riverwalk. This multi-mile project will be a huge win for cyclists and pedestrians in the Tampa Bay region looking for green alternatives to access their favorite spots across the city. Currently, The Tampa Riverwalk connects the Water Street area of Tampa to Tampa Heights in an end-to-end link between Sparkman Wharf and Armature Works.

The Tampa Port Authority is set to review Riverwalk expansion through a Cruise Terminal that would connect pedestrians and cyclists to the Florida Aquarium. There is some concern the move would be cost prohibitive, and others raised security concerns for cruise line operators – though cruises only run form November-March from the Port. The Florida Aquarium, Tampa Mayor Jane Castor and other leading officials are in favor of the expansion through the cruise terminal as the Riverwalk itself remains an economic boon for the city.

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Regardless of the Cruise terminal expansion proposal, the Riverwalk is alreeady undergoing a massive westward expansion. Tampa City Council executed an agreement July 14 with the U.S. Department of Transportation to take a $24 million grant from 2020 that will extend Tampa’s iconic Riverwalk.

An RFP (request for proposal) for this expansion should be put out before fall of this year. That news was first delivered to the Tampa Bay Business Journal by Tampa Mobility Director Vik Bhide. Contracts will not only be bid out for design-build and administrative consulting services but also for new green infrastructure in the form of resilient shorelines.

If all goes according to plan, then the project could be completed by 2026. The Riverwalk Extension will provide a major boost to West Tampa, and North Hyde Park.

Officials have stated that the Tampa Riverwalk Project begins at Platt Street and Bayshore Boulevard, across the Publix (243 Bayshore Boulevard). The system then proceeds under the Brorein Street Bridge, moves along the Hillsborough River and connects to the University Tampa.

This new system is also expected to connect with the new Rome Yard Development. The mixed-use redevelopment will include 17,000 sq. ft. of commercial space, a job training center, and over 30,000 sq. ft. of amenity spaces.

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The total project will cost about $30 million. The remaining $6 million in local funding will come from a local option gas tax.

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