SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — A $1.5 million grant from the federal government will help pay for street and infrastructure improvements on LeCompte Road and Division Street, near the Springfield Underground.

The Springfield Underground is a 3.5 million square foot industrial complex that contains warehouse and storage space. It is mostly utilized by food companies, but stores a variety of items. The entire facility is underground and contains about 3.5 miles of roadway.

The need for change near Springfield Underground

“LeCompte Road serves as one of the main thoroughfares for the industrial, manufacturing, and warehousing land uses east of US 65,” said Springfield Mayor Ken McClure in a news release. “The roadway is not currently designed to accommodate the volume of truck traffic that exists on it today, nor expected to accommodate in the future.”

“One item holding the area back from being developed is the lack of appropriate infrastructure to support it,” McClure said. “In order to stimulate economic development in the area, improvements to LeCompte Road are necessary.”

The grant will help pay to widen LeCompte Road to three lanes near the Springfield Underground, which will allow for more trucks to drive in and out of the facility. LeCompte and Division Street will see improvements under the plan as well, which include new turn lanes on Division Street.

Where the money is coming from

The $1.5 million grant from the U.S. Economic Development Administration will match a $1.6 million investment from the city. That money is coming from Springfield’s 1/8-cent transportation sales tax and the Erlen Group, which formerly did business at the Springfield Underground.

The City of Springfield said the project will create 94 jobs and will generate $28 million in private investment.