Tampa nets $24.7 million federal grant for Palmetto Beach stormwater upgrades

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Florida Construction News staff writer

The City of Tampa has been awarded a $24.7 million federal grant to fund significant stormwater and mobility improvements in the Palmetto Beach area. This initiative, known as the Pathways to Palmetto project, aims to revitalize one of Tampa’s most diverse yet underinvested neighborhoods by enhancing transportation safety and accessibility while boosting resiliency for this vulnerable coastal community.

“Designated in 2012 by the National Park Service as a National Register Historic District, the Palmetto Beach area is home to some of our most vulnerable residents,” said Mayor Jane Castor. “For decades, it has faced serious transportation issues and coastal climate challenges that must be addressed as we work to transform Tampa’s future.

With “this highly competitive federal grant—one of the largest in our city’s history—we will uplift this richly diverse community by improving accessibility, providing flood relief, and conserving waterfront space for future generations.”

The project focuses on Bermuda Boulevard, a two-lane roadway along McKay Bay. Currently, this area faces several challenges, including unmarked street parking, narrow or nonexistent sidewalks, wide travel lanes that encourage high speeds, and a limited landscape buffer between the street and seawall.

Improvements will include:

  • Reconstruction of the seawall
  • Addition of seawall trails
  • Resurfacing and narrowing travel lanes
  • Formalizing on-street parking
  • Upgrading sidewalks
  • Adding pedestrian crossings
  • Planting trees and enhancing green spaces

In addition to the $24.7 million grant, the City of Tampa will contribute approximately $6.1 million to the project. City staff are collaborating with the U.S. Department of Transportation to finalize the grant agreement. Projects of this scale are anticipated to take up to five years to complete.

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