The strip is an icon of Branson. The bright lights and signs of the shows and hotels are sources of excitement for many visitors. But 76 Country Music Boulevard can also be a frustration for drivers when traffic backs up.
“For several years, 90 percent of the people who come here come by car. We are just trying to give them an avenue that, once you get here, get out and explore and enjoy,’” said Sabin Yamez, project manager for the "Spirit of 76" project.
Plans to revamp the strip are well underway. The proposal is to give the corridor a fresh looks with lots of new landscaping, lighting, and wider sidewalks.
“We want to make sure that we, for the future, develop that emotional connection with the tourists when they have an emotional expectation,” said Gail Meyer, vice president of operations for Meyer Hotels Branson.
The community got a glimpse into the future of 76 at a special meeting on Tuesday evening. Colorful drawings gave a hint of things to come for tourists and business owners.
“This is a great project, it is a huge project, it is exciting,’ Meyer said.
The estimated cost for the Highway 76 project is around $76 million. The city says it will phase that construction out over several years as it comes up with the money. Work could begin by the middle of next year.
Dirt could start turning on the project next year after the final design phase is complete. The highway will showcase themes along the way- like patriotism, faith, nature and, of course, music.
“They [improvements] play into better vacations," said Meyer.