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Bradenton Announces Riverwalk Expansion

Map of the planned Riverwalk expansion
City of Bradenton
City of Bradenton
Bradenton Announces Riverwalk Expansion.

The city of Tampa completed its Riverwalk project in 2016. Now neighboring Bradenton will be expanding its own downtown Riverwalk.

The hope is to draw in tourists and revitalize the area. It’s a costly expansion, but city officials say it’s worth it.   

“Our best guess is the estimate of a design firm…it is between $6.5 to $7 million dollars,” said Bradenton Communications Coordinator Jeannie Roberts.

The expansion aims to bring residents and tourists to the Manatee River waterfront to relax and take in the scenery as well as generate increased revenue for the area.

“Our residents are very excited about the expansion. We’re built on the river and this is our opportunity to share with our residents the history of the area, the natural beauty of the river, the natural science of the river, and it is a focal point of our community to bring all these things together,” said Roberts.

Roberts said funding for the expansion would come from several different public funds already in place.

“We have been budgeting for this very thing. We’ve budgeted part of our half cent sales tax funds for this, part of it will be coming from impact fees from building, and also from community redevelopment funds,” said Roberts.

The Riverwalk expansion will be broken into four phases with the first phase being Mineral Springs Park. Roberts asks that residents be patient.

“It’s going to be several years by the time it all gets done because it’s being done in four phases but it’s going to be so exciting because when the first phase is done, then everybody will start looking forward to the second phase,” said Roberts.

Jeffrey Smith is a WUSF/USF Zimmerman School digital news intern for summer 2019.
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