The City of Springfield is asking the community to help set the vision for the upcoming Grant Avenue Parkway corridor improvement project and corridor plan. A city-wide public input survey is set to launch Sept. 1 with a series of virtual public visioning workshops scheduled throughout the month of September.
A community-wide virtual project kickoff and visioning workshop is planned 6-7 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 3, followed by a series of events targeting impacted neighborhoods along the corridor:
- West Central Neighborhood Workshop (Grand Street to College Street) – 6-7 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 9
- Downtown Workshop – 6-7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 17
- Fassnight Neighborhood Workshop (Sunshine Street to Grand Street) – 6-7 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 23.
All four virtual workshops will be livestreamed from grantavenueparkway.com and the City’s Facebook page. Workshops will be recorded and broadcast on the City’s cable channels – Mediacom channel 15.1 and 80 and AT&T Uverse channel 99 at noon on Wednesdays and 8 p.m. on Saturdays during September.
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 3-mile stretch of “parkway” will create an attractive corridor connecting vibrant Downtown Springfield to the Wonders of Wildlife National Museum and Aquarium, with various neighborhoods, parks, Ozark Greenway connections and other amenities in between.
Input from neighborhoods, residents and stakeholders along the route as well as the community-at-large will be used to provide guidance to subject matter experts completing the upcoming preliminary concept phase for the project. Beyond design consideration for the parkway, input received from these events will guide the development of the Grant Avenue Corridor Plan.
“Despite the challenges of COVID-19, we are ready to bring the community together in this effort,” says Director of Public Information and Civic Engagement Cora Scott. “Maybe not physically, but we’ve assembled a variety of virtual, interactive tools that we’ll use to engage the diverse body of stakeholders along the route.”
To participate and learn more, the public is encouraged to visit grantavenueparkway.com.
About the Grant Avenue Parkway Project
The Grant Avenue Parkway will create an off-street pedestrian and bicycle pathway along Grant Avenue between Sunshine Street and Downtown Springfield. The 3-mile stretch 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 Parkway route will further connect parks and recreation amenities, neighborhoods, schools, and fill a vital gap in the Ozark Greenways trail network.
The Parkway will start at Sunshine Street and end in a loop downtown via College Street, Boonville Avenue, Mill Street and Main Street. The route is envisioned to include bike and pedestrian friendly facilities, various traffic-calming improvements, bridge enhancements, utility upgrades, fiber connectivity and additional crossing and intersection improvements.
The City will be tackling this corridor improvement project with four improvement goals in mind: Transportation, Economic Development, Quality of Life and Community Revitalization.
“This is a multi-dimensional project,” explains Quality of Place Director Tim Rosenbury. “We’re not only looking at transportation improvements along this corridor, but we’re taking a very holistic approach – also diving into business and job opportunities, quality of life improvements and the overall wellbeing of existing neighborhoods.”
The City recently contracted a project consultant group led by engineering firm CMT to join forces with the City’s internal team in the development of the Grant Avenue Parkway federal BUILD grant-funded project.
The consultant group is made up of representatives from a variety of local and national civil engineering, architecture and planning firms, including CMT, Burns & McDonnell, CJW, HG Consult, ARC, Houseal Lavigne, OR Colan and Pratt Consulting.
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.
About the Grant Avenue Corridor Plan
As an integral part of the development of the city’s Comprehensive Plan update, city staff will be working closely with Forward SGF planning consultants Houseal Lavigne to develop a targeted plan for the Grant Avenue corridor.
The Corridor Study will focus on those 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. Through 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