The council voted to name the trail after late councilman Bob Ford.
Port Orange residents can now utilize a new trail at Riverwalk as the city inaugurated the public amenity on Thursday, Dec. 19.
The 940-foot-long trail is part of the Riverwalk project at 3459 S. Ridgewood Ave, and was developed by Halifax River Partners. It consist of a 20-foot-wide paver and concrete walkway with landscaping, lighting and stormwater improvements, along with benches, trash cans and bike racks on its path.
It was also christened the "Robert E. Ford Trailhead" in memory of the late councilman Bob Ford, who died a year ago. His wife, Marilyn Ford, now occupies his spot on the council after she was elected this summer.
“It was [Bob Ford's] vision — a shared vision — that he helped work on along with a lot of other people but he got out in front and pushed for this park," Mayor Don Burnette said. "He pushed for this trail.”
During the ribbon-cutting ceremony, Burnette said that he wants it to be "immensely successful." Over the next year, the land east and west of the trail will remain under construction as the developer builds a permanent parking lot and restaurant, according to the city.
This trail will become part of everyday life in the city, just like Riverwalk Park has since its opening two years ago, he continued, adding that he looks forward to the improvements that will follow.
“The city of Port Orange and its residents are going to travel this path and wear it out, and they’re going to know every inch of it," Burnette said.
Josif Atanasoski, who leads Halifax River Partners, said the project was made possible by support from the Port Orange South Daytona Chamber of Commerce as well as from the city's Community Development Department. It had been a long time coming.
“I know Port Orange had been waiting for the last 20 years for something to happen," he said.