South Tampa Greenway
Current plans call for over 14.5 miles of off-road greenway and about 3.75 miles of on-road bike lanes and/or bike routes. Future plans call for trailhead facilities at Al Palonis Park, Gadsden Park and Picnic Island Park.
South Tampa provides opportunities for acquisition of undeveloped land for conservation and recreation. This is the only area left in Tampa with the potential to create a significant corridor of open space. A system of on-road bike lanes and/or bike routes, sidepaths and/or sidewalks are planned where off-road trails are not possible. Feasibility of a mountain biking trail is being studied for the Manhattan Avenue to Picnic Island section where off-road opportunities exist.
The Parks & Recreation Department is working with the AFB to create a trail link along the base fenceline between Bayshore Boulevard to lands west of Dale Mabry, approximately 2.5 miles. The Base moved it's northern boundary fence back approximately 50 feet in most areas. An easement agreement has been secured and the initial phase of the MacDill Trail at Gadsden Park completed in Fall 2005. Environmental permitting is underway on the MacDill Avenue to Bayshore Boulevard segment, and the Gadsden Park to Dale Mabry west section. Construction of the MacDill Avenue to Bayshore Boulevard segment is anticipated in 2006. TECO provided the city a license agreement and will increase the height of the fence around the sub-station.
The State of Florida awarded an $80,000 Recreational Trails Program grant to the City for the construction of a 1.5-mile multi-use trail through Gadsden Park. The citizens of Tampa also participated in funding this section through Community Investment Tax (CIT) funds in the amount of $130,000. The opening of the MacDill Trail has proven a huge success, with many neighborhood and city residents enjoying the trail for walking, jogging, biking, roller blading and improved fishing access to Lake Gadsden. The City has also received two Florida Enterprise Infrastructure Defense grants totaling $693,000 to acquire parcels within the designated "clear-zone" for the AFB. These parcels will also be utilized for greenway trail linkages and will help the City avoid environmentally sensitive areas. The state of Florida also awarded a $60,000 Florida Recreational Development Assistance Program (FRDAP) grant for the MacDill Trail at Gadsden Park.
Through development review activities, private development commitments for both easements and/or trail construction and amenities have been secured for over one mile of trail in South Tampa saving the city taxpayer well over $1.5 million in land acquisition and construction costs. Most of these segments are expected to be in ground by 2009.
The South Tampa Greenway is part of the regional trails system.