The Riverside Arts Market is expected to expand this fall as a result of a $126 million project to expand the Fuller Warren Bridge.
A pond under the bridge will be filled in this summer and turned into a parking lot by Nov. 1, said Odette Struys, spokeswoman for the Florida Department of Transportation.
That parking lot will provide additional room for the market that is held every Saturday at 715 Riverside Ave., said John Silveira, senior manager of the Riverside Arts Market.
Silveira said the market’s vendors will work around the construction.
“We have peaks and valleys throughout the year, and if construction is happening when we don’t have as many vendors there, we might not need to expand over there,” he said. “If it hits us at our peak, we’ll utilize that area as fast as we can.”
Marie Thompson, owner of Marie Thompson’s Fine Art, has been a vendor at the Riverside Arts Market for the past seven years.
“Any expansion for the market will bring in more people, help attract more vendors and possibly improve parking,” she said. “And that could only mean more business for me, so I’m all for it.”
Struys said the Fuller Warren project also includes an additional lane northbound and southbound as well as a shared-use path for pedestrians and cyclists. The path, which will be separated from the southbound lanes by a 10-foot shoulder with a barrier wall and high fence, is intended to better connect San Marco and Riverside.
The bridge project is scheduled to be completed by summer 2020.
“We’re excited about the whole project because it’ll help create a sense of place for the Riverside Arts Market,” Silveira said. “It’ll be incredible.”
Ann Friedman: (904) 359-4619