In September, the community at large and residents of the West Central Neighborhood Alliance, Fassnight neighborhood and downtown Springfield shared their vision for the future of the Grant Avenue Parkway project in four virtual public engagement sessions and a community input survey.
Input from the visioning phase will be used to develop a series of preliminary concepts for the project. It is anticipated that these concepts will be presented to the public in November, with another round of engagement to gather public feedback and direction.
“Grant Avenue Parkway is more than just a street project,” said Tim Rosenbury, director of quality of place initiatives for the City of Springfield. “Along with transportation improvements and economic development strategies, quality of life efforts and community revitalization initiatives will also be carefully coordinated alongside the creation of this infrastructure project.”
Funded primarily by a $21 million federal Better Utilizing Investment to Leverage Development (BUILD) grant, the Grant Avenue Parkway will provide major opportunities for improvement in transportation, economic development, quality of life and community revitalization.
The parkway will create an off-street pedestrian and bicycle pathway along Grant Avenue between Sunshine Street and Downtown Springfield. The 3-mile stretch starting at Sunshine Street and ending in a loop downtown via College Street, Boonville Avenue, Mill Street and Main Street, will connect downtown businesses and neighborhoods with the Wonders of Wildlife National Museum and aquarium (WOW) – linking Springfield cultural experiences for both residents and visitors.
“The West Central Neighborhood Alliance couldn’t be more excited about the Grant Avenue Parkway Project,” said West Central Neighborhood Alliance President Caron Parnell. “
The parkway is envisioned to include bike and pedestrian-friendly facilities, traffic-calming improvements, bridge enhancements, utility upgrades, fiber connectivity and intersection improvements, further connecting parks and recreation amenities, neighborhoods and schools, and filling a gap in the Ozark Greenways network.
Every effort is being made to include the entire community in the parkway’s visioning process.
“We are using a variety of methods to ensure those who may be impacted by the project, as well as the community at large, are informed about the project and know how to be involved,” said Director of Public Information & Civic Engagement Cora Scott. “The project website at grantavenueparkway.com is a hub for information and engagement throughout this process. We are also utilizing signage, door hangers and print postcards and surveys to engage those who may not have digital access.”
The City is also in the process of developing a Grant Avenue Corridor Plan to guide development decisions in the neighborhoods and public spaces adjacent to the Grant Avenue Parkway.
As an integral part in the development of the City’s next Comprehensive Plan update, City staff are working closely with Forward SGF planning consultants Houseal Lavigne to develop a targeted plan for the Grant Avenue corridor.
A corridor study will focus on the areas adjacent to Grant Avenue that are generally within 500 feet of the Grant Avenue right of way, as well as Grand Street. The plan will include recommendations and strategies for changes in future land use, redevelopment, neighborhood stabilization, incentives and transportation improvements. Throughout this planning process, regulatory framework strategies will be introduced to help guide the creation of future development and zoning code amendments.
To learn more about planning for the Grant Avenue Corridor, and the relationship to the Forward SGF Comprehensive Plan, visit ForwardSGF.com
Engineering firm CMT and a consultant group comprised of representatives from local and national civil engineering, architecture and planning firms (Burns & McDonnell, CJW, HG Consult, ARC, Houseal Lavigne, OR Colan and Pratt Consulting) have joined forces with the City’s internal team of staff from Public Works, Public Information & Civic Engagement, Planning and Quality of Place Initiatives for the development of the Grant Avenue Parkway project.
The consultant group is tasked with helping the City navigate complicated federal approval processes involved with the grant, completing a corridor analysis, environmental review and risk assessment during the early development stages of the project. CMT will further aid in the development of a request for qualifications for project delivery firms, the facilitation of any right-of-way acquisitions needed for the project and will provide assistance throughout the construction phase.
Two Grant Avenue Parkway advisory teams have also been assembled, representing a wide variety of organizations, demographics and interests. The Community Advisory Team will focus on the potential positive and negative impacts of the project on the community and provide guidance on how it can serve as a community asset and catalyst.
The Technical Advisory Team will provide input on specific technical and engineering aspects of the concept development phase and will assist in identifying community needs, priorities and impacts along the corridor. Both groups held introductory meetings in early September and are expected to meet three more times to provide guidance throughout the initial concept development phase of the project.