After two years of community-wide engagement, stakeholder and partner agency coordination and engineering design, construction of roadway improvements along the Grant Avenue Parkway began in May.
The City hosted a construction kickoff ceremony at Parkview High School on May 19 with multiple partner agencies, project team members, neighborhood residents and community members in attendance to celebrate and learn more about what to expect as construction continues.
Construction activities on the parkway began in early May, with streetscape improvements including stormwater and sidewalk improvements taking place along Mill Street between Campbell Avenue and Main Street. At the close of the school year, major construction began along the first section of Parkway route between Ildereen and Catalpa streets. This section is entirely closed to traffic to allow workers to rebuild the roadway quickly during the summer months, reducing traffic impacts to Parkview High School. A detour is posted, guiding traffic around the closure via Ildereen Street, Campbell Avenue and Catalpa Street.
After the summer, construction is planned to proceed along the Parkway route in sections generally from south to north. Section two, from Sunshine Street to Portland Street is expected to begin by this fall or winter. Crews will then proceed to section three, Portland Street to Ildereen, sometime this winter or by next spring. From there, construction will generally proceed section by section northward along the Parkway route. Ben Cummings, construction manager for contractor Radmacher Brothers Excavating Company, shared details at the ceremony.
“To allow as much access as we can to residents and businesses throughout construction, each section of the route will be closed to one-way traffic southbound only while construction takes place,” Cummings explained. “Northbound traffic will be advised to use the marked detours generally guiding traffic to use Campbell Avenue.”
Target start dates for each section and all major road closures and impacts will be communicated as construction progresses. The contractor anticipates working their way through all sections and completing the project sometime in 2024.
“Thank you to the neighborhoods, property owners and residents located adjacent to the Parkway for working with us and envisioning a better place to live and work and play,” says Public Works Director Dan Smith. “And also for your patience as we begin to inject a bit of inconvenience into your daily travel.”
To learn more about construction plans and sign up to receive regular project updates, visit GrantAvenueParkway.com/construction.
Neighborhood revitalization and economic development efforts continue
The City continues working with planning consultants with PGAV to study neighborhood revitalization and economic development tools that could be implemented along the parkway.
The study area encompasses Grant Avenue between Catalpa Street to the south and Olive Street to the north and will examine properties located roughly between Patton Avenue to the east and Douglas Avenue to the west.
The goals of the study are to create resources for economic development and neighborhood revitalization along the Grant Avenue Parkway corridor and into surrounding neighborhoods. The consultant team will look for opportunities to leverage private investment in commercial and residential properties and will identify programs to provide benefits to existing residents.
About the Grant Avenue Parkway project
A qualifications analysis and economic development plan are expected to be finalized this summer with a property owner workshop to be scheduled to help educate property owners on the opportunities and how they can begin the process of applying for available programs.
Funded primarily by a $21 million federal Better Utilizing Investment to Leverage Development (BUILD) grant, the Grant Avenue Parkway will provide major transportation improvements along Grant Avenue in the heart of Springfield.
The project will create a multi-use pedestrian and bicycle pathway along Grant Avenue between Sunshine Street and downtown Springfield. The three-mile stretch will connect downtown businesses and neighborhoods with the Wonders of Wildlife National Museum and Aquarium (WOW). The route is envisioned to include bike and pedestrian friendly facilities, various traffic-calming improvements, bridge enhancements, utility upgrades, fiberoptic internet connectivity and additional crossing and intersection improvements.