BRANSON, Mo. -- The City of Branson is one step closer toward approving a revitalization project of the downtown area. The plan was approved on Tuesday night at a second reading by the board of aldermen.
CMT Engineering, the engineering firm in charge of the project, is going to move to one of the downtown offices so managers can be closer to city officials while they work on the project.
The project will include digging up the current street and sidewalk to refurbish water pipes and storm drains. Then the city will continue with above-ground landscaping improvements, which will include a new sidewalk and trees. Bus stops will also be renovated to take advantage of the downtown trolley system.
Construction will begin near the intersection of Commercial at College and continue north to Commercial at Main. Officials say they hope to keep the current feel of the already popular downtown area.
"The downtown has always been a core in our community. Every downtown has a history and a life of its own, and we really want to make sure to preserve that history and that vitality and that energy for the future," said Garrett Anderson, the city's Economic Development director.
"The history, I understand, goes back quite a ways. Dick's 5 & 10, I believe, was one of the first stores here. Then, of course, the wonderful waterfront and the shops that they've made down there," said Martha Schauss, who visits the downtown area daily.
Seven to nine months of design will begin soon. Construction of the first phase should be underway by next winter.
When CMT staff members move into their new office downtown, they are going to invite residents to come by and offer their input of how they would like to see downtown redeveloped.