TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Tampa Mayor Jane Castor revealed the next steps Tuesday in a project aimed at expanding Tampa’s “crown jewel,” the Tampa Riverwalk.

The expansion plans are part of the West River District BUILD Grant project, which allocated $24 million to expand the Tampa Riverwalk and connect it to more neighborhoods west of the Hillsborough River.

Mayor Castors said the riverwalk, once completed, will offer residents and visitors over 12 miles of continuous sidewalks and bike lanes that will connect a variety of neighborhoods including West Tampa, Tampa Heights, Bayshore Boulevard, Hyde Park, Riverside Heights, North Franklin Street, and Bowman Heights.

(City of Tampa)

“This project is about more than just following the river, it’s about connecting our neighborhoods and making them safer,” Castor said. “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.”

The project is said to feature better sidewalks, bike lanes, and “enhanced crossing features” at major roadways to enable safer connections in neighborhoods that make up the West River area.

Several schools located along the path will also benefit from improved safety features.

“Now we literally will have over 12 miles of connectivity and individuals will be able to see all of the great diversity of our neighborhoods and the culture that defines Tampa as the greatest city in the nation,” Castor said.

The project is expected to be completed by 2026.