By Kathy Collins
Residents of the area have lots of places to walk, run and bike. Some areas are owned and maintained by the Tampa Hillsborough Expressway Authority (THEA) (the folks that maintain roads such as the Lee Roy Selmon Expressway). These roads include the Brandon Parkway and now the newest area is the Selmon Greenway.
The Selmon Greenway is a 1.7 mile, 15 foot wide multi-use trail located within and adjacent to the Selmon Expressway right of way. Specifically, it is located in downtown Tampa and stretches from the Hillsborough River to 19th Street and State Road 60 (Adamo Drive). You can view a map of the trail by visiting www.tampa-xway.com/projects/selmongreenway.aspx.
The Selmon Greenway completes a key connection from the Hillsborough River at the Riverwalk to just east of 18th Street. It is a part of a city wide network of trails that includes the Riverwalk, Bayshore Boulevard Linear Park Trail and the MacKay Bay Trail.
According to Susan Chrzan, communications director for the THEA, “The Selmon Greenway is an option to get around town. If residents come to downtown for a Tampa Bay Lightning game, they can walk on the Greenway to restaurants. If they come to the Straz Center for the Performing Arts, they could wall the Riverwalk and then connect to the Greenway. And if there are events in downtown, there are bikes available for rent, and bikes are allowed on the Greenway.”
The Selmon Greenway was officially opened at a ribbon cutting ceremony held in May. Joe Waggoner, THEA’s executive director said, “As residents and visitors enjoy the Selmon Greenway, I hope they have a safe, comfortable experience walking or biking through the heart of downtown Tampa.”
Future plans include developing parks along the many miles of trails. All trails meet the requirements of the Americans with Disability Act (ADA).
THEA is a user-financed public agency led by a board of local citizens. Operating with no tax dollars, THEA develops and owns toll highways, including Lee Roy Selmon Expressway, as well as non-tolled roads, including Brandon Parkway and Meridian Avenue. All tolls collected by THEA are reinvested into projects in Hillsborough County. For more information, visit www.tampa-xway.com.