City of Springfield asks for community input on Grant Avenue Parkway project
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - The largest renovation project in Springfield’s history is officially underway. The years -long process to build the Grant Avenue Parkway is beginning with the city asking for help from residents.
That $26-million project will connect Wonders of Wildlife with downtown Springfield in an effort to boost tourism, plus business and residential development. The city will host a series of virtual workshops to get input directly from people who live near Grant Avenue on how they want to see the design unfold. The first meeting is set for Thursday.
“We are really looking forward to new life being breathed into the area,” said Caron Parnell.
Parnell has lived in west-central Springfield for seven years. The city’s massive project revamping Grant Avenue runs right through her part of town.
“I’m really hoping for our neighborhood in west central that it will really help revitalize our neighborhood,” she said.
Parnell said the area has been a bit forgotten, as the city has expanded toward the south. She wants to see it brought back to its glory days. She’s hoping for more residential investments, but also wants people who already live in the neighborhood to keep their homes.
“This parkway will hopefully bring people down here to realize this is a really great place to live,” Parnell said.
Cora Scott says this is potentially the largest infrastructure projects in Springfield’s history. The city is asking for input to find out how members of the community might use the area and what they’d like to see.
“Since it’s more than just replacing a street, it’s about building a quality of place, we want this to be quintessentially Springfield,” Scott said.
Stretching from Sunshine Street to downtown Springfield, the parkway will improve transportation for drivers, bikers and pedestrians. It’s aimed at increasing tourism, but Scott expects the project to also spark other retail and residential development, too.
“In the midst of COVID, I think it gives us great hope that we are building for a bigger future,” Scott said.
Parnell said this project in one of Springfield’s oldest neighborhoods will affect every aspect of the city.
“It’s a ways off but it’s really exciting to think about how it’s going to look and to know I’m a part of that process is really exciting, and anyone who wants to, the community is a part of that process is really cool,” she said.
This is just the first step of the long project process. Community engagement could take a full year, before coming up with design plans. Construction is planned to start in 2022, with expected completion in 2025.
An online survey is available. The virtual input meetings are scheduled for the next few weeks.
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