From the City of Sanford
Starting Tuesday morning January 19, Seminole Blvd. will re-open to through traffic in Sanford, after being closed for several weeks due to construction on the Riverwalk Trail and Roadway project. The roadway portion of the Riverwalk project is complete except for the resurfacing. Over the next several months residents can expect lane closures for the additional roadwork.
The good news is that the Riverwalk project is 60% finished. The final portion of the project will be adding all the trail amenities, which will include:
- two scenic overlooks,
- trail lighting,
- benches, and
- decorative roadway lighting.
Expect to see work on the trail amenities over the next year, though, as the completion of the Riverwalk project is projected to be finished by December 2021.
The Riverwalk is a major investment in Sanford’s public realm, and the project capitalizes on Sanford’s unique downtown location on Lake Monroe. It will serve local residents and regional visitors and function as another draw for the downtown area. In addition, the Riverwalk acts as a green connection to local parks and to regional trail systems.
Vision process and citizens input for the Riverwalk project
During the public involvement phase of the City’s vision process for development of downtown Sanford, and prior to the design workshop or beginning work on the Riverwalk project, interviews, questionnaires, and photographs yielded input from residents and citizen-based themes that were vital in developing the Downtown Plan.
The vision the came together for Downtown Sanford sees the City as a vibrant, diverse place. It is a vision that involves a mixed use area that maintains the quality and character of its historic buildings and parks, while providing opportunity for urban living and business enterprise. The end goal is for residents and business owners to take pride in maintaining their properties and coordinating community activities.
Some key elements that stemmed from Sanford residents’ input included to:
• Increase and diversify neighborhood-serving businesses
• Coordinate operating hours so neighborhood serving business are open in the evening
• Provide shaded areas Downtown, along the Riverwalk, and in the Marina
• Remove sports fields from Fort Mellon Park
• Reduce the amount of land devoted to parking lots
• Maintain public and private properties at a high standard
• Improve the appearance of City Hall and the Seminole County Courthouse
• Maintain the scale and character of Downtown buildings
• Reestablish high quality public spaces and maintain them
• Introduce residential and mix-use development Downtown and along the water
• Make the marina more accessible and hospitable to the public
• Link 1st Street to the Riverwalk and Lake Monroe
• Bring back a bandshell
• Restore brick streetscapes
The overall hope of the City is that downtown Sanford will be an attractive place to visit and do business, that visitors will be drawn to the downtown area by captivating images and signs on the highways, at the train stations, and in the airport, and that downtown Sanford will be a local, regional, national, and international destination.
The construction and renovation of Riverwalk goes a long way in fulfilling this vision, along with its proximity to Lake Monroe and the St. John’s River, and the City’s programmed events, historic buildings, and vital neighborhoods.