SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) - Changes are on the way for Downtown Bradenton’s Riverwalk. The city endorsed an expansion plan this week, that it hopes will draw more people to the area, and add to the economy.
The city told ABC7 that not only will the Riverwalk be aesthetically pleasing when finished, it will also be an education.
Jason Mahaffey and his family occasionally take a stroll down Bradenton’s Riverwalk to relax and enjoy the beauty of the water. He says the seven million dollars that will be spent to expand the park is worth it.
“It’s going to get more people down to Bradenton and Downtown Bradenton and get the economy boosted here on this River," Mahaffey said.
The City of Bradenton’s Communication Coordinator Jeanne Roberts says the city took the next step in approving the final design, which includes a game patio, a peninsula on Riverside Drive and a one and a half mile extension of the Riverwalk. It’s a process that took nearly two years.
“Realize Bradenton, the City of Bradenton has gone out an talked to the people because it is the people’s park," Roberts said. "We’ve talked to people about what they want to see there, how they want to feel while they’re on the Riverwalk and what kinds of things they want added to it, so it’s been a long process, but we’re entering the final phase of it.”
Much of the expansion is starting at Mineral Springs Park.
“There are things there that we want to restore and bring back so we can understand the history of that area incorporating natural history and natural science."
The park is the first of four segments of Riverwalk that stretches from Riverside Drive East near to Manatee Memorial Hospital to 14th Street East.
It’s a project that Mahaffey hopes will please residents as well as the tourists that visit the area. “Being able to have the views from the river and have the beauty of the nature down here.”
The city is estimating that the project would run roughly seven million. Much of that is coming from half cent sales tax and park impact fees.