Springfield’s Grant Avenue Parkway project moving forward

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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — The vision for a $26.2 million Grant Avenue Parkway will become clear in 2021.

Springfield City Council members heard from Tim Rosenbury, Director of Quality of Place Initiatives for the city, during the council lunch on Tuesday, January 19. Crawford, Murphy and Tilly from the consultant firm also shared updates at the meeting.

More than 1,500 people have shared their opinions on the project with the city. City officials are planning more opportunities for engagement soon.

The focus of the 3-mile stretch of trail will be to improve pedestrian safety and traffic flow, bring economic development opportunities and revitalize the communities between downtown Springfield and Wonders of Wildlife.

“This is more than a street project,” Rosenbury told council members, “It’s a collaborative effort across city departments.”

The next steps in the project are zoning changes to make way for development along the parkway, and selecting a team to design and build the project.

The Grant Avenue Parkway is being done with a “Design/Build” process, which is a new experience for the city. This means instead of coming up with a design, and then taking bids, the city will ask firms to submit a design, as well as plans to carry it out.

This process is set to begin in April, with a competition between designs in June. The goal is to have a plan selected by September of 2021.

As many as 15 properties could be displaced as the project advances. Representatives from Crawford, Murphy, and Tilly say the goal is to keep that number as low as possible.

Priorities for the Grant Avenue Parkway are making strong connections to schools and parks along the route and making travel along the 3-mile stretch safer and more inviting for those who are biking and walking. Another priority is improving traffic at Sunshine Street and Grant Avenue, and creating a welcoming corridor there, near Bass Pro Shops.

The city is using a BUILD grant from the federal government to finance most of the Grant Avenue Parkway project. The grant is for nearly $21 million.

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