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Trail Gap Funding Moves Forward

In August, the Hillsborough County Commission voted to allocate $1,000,000 to initiate closing the Upper Tampa Bay Trail gap. The funding was part of the FLAG budget reconciliation process whereby commissioners are allotted available money not previously earmarked in the general budget and made available for sponsored projects. This funding item was sponsored by Chair Pat Kemp, who has been a champion of trail expansion throughout the county.

Presently, the trail gap exists between Van Dyke Road just East of Gunn Highway on the North and Peterson Park East of Gunn Highway to the South. The gap closure project has been studied three separate times. Once in 2005,  again in 2015, and most recently in 2020. This funding represents a tremendous opportunity to close the trail gap, which not only provides a way for Keystone residents to move freely without the need for a vehicle, but it would also connect Hillsborough County to Pasco and Pinellas County’s trail systems. Further, it would connect Hillsborough County to Florida’s Coast-to-Coast Trail, linking Florida’s West Coast and East Coast via the paved non-vehicular trail.

There are many needs in Hillsborough County, and KCA understands resources for project funding are limited. This fact makes our community even more grateful and appreciative of this monumental decision. KCA wants to extend special thanks to Chair Kemp for sponsoring this appropriation and Commissioner Hagan for his comments of support and expressed commitment to getting this segment of the trail completed.

We know it took the entire BOCC to make this happen, so our appreciation extends to each Commissioner for prioritizing this funding.

The vision of increasing safe, non-vehicular mobility in our community adds value to the everyday lives of our residents, and we could not be more thankful for the follow-through on this mission. Closing the gap in the trail will directly and positively impact the lives of thousands in our community for years to come. It will create a safe and direct path for children to get to Walker Middle and Hammond Elementary Schools, increase the opportunity for physical exercise, support mental health by getting people outside, and create an economic opportunity for small businesses that cater to trail users.

Thank you for this investment in our community. We appreciate all the hard work of both Commissioners and county staff to get this done.

October 2021
1. Trail Gap Funding Moves Forward
2. Sept 2021 Meeting Minutes
3. The Enviro-Educator: The Bees Knees
4. What does yellow mean in Hillsborough County FL?
5. A Keystone Event: Barns & Beer