$43 million Sanford RiverWalk complete after years of work and vision – FOX 35 Orlando

The Sanford RiverWalk is finally complete. The vision for the trail was laid out back in the 1980s by then Mayor Bettye Smith and has now become a reality.
The Sanford RiverWalk is finally complete. The vision for the trail was laid out back in the 1980s by then-Mayor Bettye Smith and has now become a reality. 
"It’s absolutely beautiful," said Jimmy Galbez. 
Galbez is the owner of Bicikleta Bike Shop in Downtown Sanford. His shop is just a few blocks away from the RiverWalk. His customers bike the trail regularly and Jimmy himself is no stranger to it either.
"I go out there every Wednesday before the sun comes up," said Galbez. "I just saw the sun come up out there. You have to stop and take a picture."
The City of Sanford announced construction on the final portion of the trail is complete. The new 2.4-mile stretch connects Central Florida Regional Hospital to Interstate 4. 
"Over the years, it’s been a lot of people involved in it and a lot of agencies," said Mayor Art Woodruff. 
The RiverWalk is 12 to 14 feet wide and stretches five miles From Mellonville Avenue to I-4 along the banks of Lake Monroe. It connects to Seminole and Volusia County trail System making the RiverWalk the longest shoreline recreational trail in Florida.
MORE NEWS: Fans feeling safe ahead of 'Welcome to Rockville' festival at Daytona International Speedway
"In terms of events, we can do some good marathon running around the lake, bicycle events. Some events are already taking place," said Woodruff. 
Sanford RiverWalk
The final stretch cost nearly $23 million dollars to renovate. Some of the largest expenditures went to rebuilding the seawall spanning the entire length of the lake. 
"It’s money well spent in terms of the number of people that it’s brought down to Sanford, the interest it’s brought into Sanford," said Woodruff. "We couldn’t have found a better economic development plan than doing this."
While the RiverWalk may be complete there is still more work to do. The county has the vision to connect the RiverWalk from Mellonville Avenue out to route 415 that will make a complete loop around Lake Monroe spanning a whopping 26 miles!
Next Monday at 10 am the city will hold an official ribbon-cutting event officially unveiling the trail. 
Watch FOX 35 Orlando for the latest Central Florida news.
This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. ©2021 FOX Television Stations