TAMPA, Fla - The Hillsborough River is a popular attraction for those that like to be on the water.
But it has also become a place for people on land to gravitate to as well.
"We love it," said Peter Glaser, who's visiting on business with his wife, Susan. The couple was out for a midday walk before going to meetings.
The Tampa Riverwalk has played a key role in helping to bring activity back to the waterfront in downtown.
Bob McDonaugh, Administrator of Economic Opportunity for the City of Tampa knows that it's not just current Mayor Bob Buckhorn that's been pushing for the completion of Riverwalk.
"This mayor and previous mayors have gotten a lot of feedback from residents who say, 'You know what, we really think that this is an important recreational trail and linkage.' And now, as we have more people living in our urban core, they're looking for more recreational opportunities," explained McDonaugh.
And those opportunities grew this morning as the Tampa City Council approved a construction contract for completion of a key 1600-foot section that will connect the Riverwalk beneath the Kennedy Boulevard bridge.
"This section is really the heart of our downtown," said McDonaugh.
Currently, Riverwalk ends and detours to downtown streets south of Kennedy and then rejoins at Curtis Hixon Park.
The Glaser's, from Oregon, say that a complete Riverwalk is just what this city needs.
"We'd love it even more if we didn't have to jump into the city traffic there to continue on the Riverwalk," said Peter Glaser.
Federal and state grant money has already been secured to pay for the nearly $9-million project that will help define downtown.
Construction on the Kennedy bridge portion of Riverwalk is expected to start in May, with completion due in November of 2014.
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