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What road closures to expect in-and-around Bass Pro next week during the World’s Fishing Fair

Published: Mar. 24, 2022 at 6:32 PM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - Make no mistake about it.

Traffic will be a mess in the area around Bass Pro (Campbell and Sunshine) next week when the World’s Fishing Fair runs from March 30-April 3. Bass Pro officials say the event may draw as many as a half-million people and the Springfield Public Works Department has been preparing for the mega-event for the last month.

“If this hits the participation numbers that are projected this will be the biggest event that Springfield has had,” said Joe Hamp, a Senior Designer for Springfield’s Public Works who’s been in charge of the city’s traffic planning for the fair. “We will have people on-sight during the event. We will be monitoring the traffic lights and making adjustments so this is safe and flows as best we can. We want to deal with this like a professional sporting event because we’re going to have a massive amount of cars coming in and out and we’ll have a large amount of pedestrian foot traffic in that area.”

The main thing you need to know is that one of the city’s busiest streets will be closed where it runs in front of the Bass Pro Shops headquarters.

“Campbell Street will be closed from Sunshine to Cherokee,” Hamp said. “That closure will begin on Tuesday night. At approximately 7 p.m. we’ll start shutting down turn-lanes and the full closure should be complete around 10. It will reopen on Sunday night after the event is over.”

Also closed will be roads from Campbell that go into nearby neighborhoods around Bass Pro as the city wants to keep fair traffic out of those neighborhoods and provide better access for emergency vehicles.

All those roads are south of Bass Pro and include Cherokee, McGee, Lindberg and Whiteside Streets.

Residents in those areas can still get to their homes through backstreets but cannot access those roads from Campbell. The city has already sent out parking passes to residents in those areas explaining the reasons why they’re limiting access on those streets.

“Those local neighborhoods will be accessible from other streets,” Hamp explained. “We will do everything we can to keep those neighborhoods safe and free from additional cars. If you have not yet received a parking pass or need more passes we have a helpline which is 417-864-1010.”

Of course one of the biggest problems will be along Sunshine where traffic snarls are already a problem during certain times of the day because cars are trying to get in and out of Chick-fil-A, Starbucks and McDonald’s. If you thought it was bad on a typical day, imagine adding tens of thousands of people to that area wanting to drive-thru the popular food chains.

One of the solutions is that the city will prohibit cars from making left-turns from Sunshine into those establishments during the duration of the fair.

“People looking to access those businesses along that corridor will need to plan ahead so they can make a right-hand turn in-and-out of those businesses,” Hamp said.

There will be other turn-lane restrictions in that area but no streets will be closed north of Sunshine and Campbell.

The best advice for drivers from March 30 - April 3 who normally go through Sunshine and Campbell on their commute?

“If you don’t anticipate being a part of the fair itself and just want to get from the north side to the south side of town, I would suggest that you go to another major thoroughfare,” Hamp said.

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