SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Another construction project is proposed for a busy Springfield intersection.
The city is hoping to make improvements to National and Division, as well as improve parts of the railroad at the intersection. This could mean longer commutes for drivers and fewer customers for business owners in the area during construction.
“We haven’t totally recovered. We’re still trying to recover.”
Stephen Williams, owner of Crosstown Barbecue, was hit hard by the last construction on Division.
The last construction project cut off access to Crosstown from Glenstone. Now, it will be cut off from the other side at National.
“We just hope that our customers realize that they will be able to come across town to Crosstown Barbecue if they have to, to support us,” Williams said.
Currently, the proposed plan would make safety improvements to the railroad crossing.
“We can’t get to the intersection to a 90, but the idea is to do some minor improvements to kind of help traffic flow through that,” said Martin Gugle, assistant director of Public Works in Springfield. “And we’ll also have some allowances for bikes, some bike facilities through the intersection itself. The trusses will go away and it’ll be a more traditional signal pole mast arm situation. Like any other signal in the city.”
Last time there was construction outside his business, Williams said he had to let go of employees and work 15-hour days himself.
“The only way we really could basically stay in business, though, was to be able to take out a loan, which we didn’t want to have to go in debt to be able to stay in business for something that was just totally out of our control,” Williams said.
Gugle said the project is going to take some time before it gets off the ground. He says there is still some work to be done by the railroad before official construction begins.
“During the work, at this point, we’re going to keep traffic flowing through the intersection both on National and Division,” Gugle said. “The only time there may need to be complete closures is work on the rail itself.”
To keep local businesses afloat during construction, Williams has an idea of how the city can help.
“I think the city should be able to have a construction fund for businesses that are affected by construction,” Williams said. “I mean, there’s no reason why I don’t think they could put that in the budget.”
Crosstown also has a food truck on Campbell and Primrose that they plan to have open all winter during construction if needed. They also have holiday deals where they smoke ham and turkeys for Thanksgiving and Christmas.
“We survived this one before,” Williams said. “Through the grace of God, we’ll survive this one, too.”
Utility work is expected to start next year, with official construction beginning in spring or summer of 2025.