SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — Drivers will start to see construction at the intersection of Campbell Avenue and Republic Road on March 13. The construction is a part of the Republic Road Widening Project.
“The funding that’s in this project was approved by voters [in 2016] with the $.08 sales tax,” Springfield Transportation Department Project Manager Andy Haase said. “We’ve had multiple phases up to this point. We kind of saved this one for the last because we knew it would be a big one. It’s a really busy intersection.”
The city plans on closing lanes overnight. But, drivers should expect slower traffic during the day as crews will complete shoulder work.
“What’s happening on Campbell is we’ll have an additional northbound left turn lane and then we’ll also be doing a better integration with James River Freeway, where we’ll be extending those right turn lanes from the on ramp in the off ramp,” Haase said. “If people are wanting to take a right onto Republic Road from James River, they no longer have to try and merge into straight through traffic as well.”
The city will also make sidewalk and storm improvements, along with adding bike lanes. Crews will also add lanes at the traffic signal near the Chase Bank off of Republic Road. Businesses across the street are concerned with the construction will impact their traffic.
“We love this area,” Canna Bliss owner and commercial realtor Jamie Tillman said. “It’s why I bought these buildings is because not only do you have Republic Road and the main intersection down the road, but you also have back access, people being able to see the visibility of your store off James River.”
From other stores, sitting off the highway has helped business.
“We ask people all the time, whenever they say it’s their first time in here, we’re like, how did you find out about us?,” Springfield Acai Bowl Manager Jayden Freeman said. “A lot of people will say that they saw us driving right off of the highway.”
Freeman said spring and summer are usually busy for Springfield Acai Bowl. But with construction, she’s not sure if her store will stay busy.
“Us being busier isn’t going to help the intersection,” Freeman said. “The intersection being worked on is not going to help our business. When I get off work, it’s almost impossible to get through that intersection.”
Springfield Acai Bowl is not the only store in the strip mall off of Republic that relies on spring and summer traffic.
“We have a total of nine small businesses in these three shopping centers,” Tillman said. “This is definitely spring and summer for the restaurants that we have in the shopping centers and the boutiques that we have. This is literally their prime season. Starting at spring break is definitely not the best timing for the business owners.”
The construction is expected to last nine months. Families looking for updates on the project can head to the City of Springfield’s website.