SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3/KSPR) - The City Utilities Electric Department will start relocating and replacing electric lines and structures along Fremont Avenue, between Battlefield Road and Sunset Street. The project is expected to last four weeks. During that time, one southbound lane will be closed in various places as crews work on each electrical pole location. This lane will reopen at night. Local traffic access to businesses and residences will remain open at all times.
Joel Alexander with City Utilities said they are asking drivers to avoid using Fremont if possible. "We are working with high voltage, we are working with electricity, and things can happen, but we certainly want to limit those if we possibly can," said Alexander. Jonathan Peitz with Springfield Public Works said they just need drivers to be aware of their surroundings because there will be closures daily.
Both Alexander and Peitz also talked about how weather can play a role how long this project takes. "The work that City Utilities is doing is going to require a lot of excavation and drilling for the new poles, so the weather could kind of slow that process down a little bit," said Peitz. Joel Alexander said it will be a day by day decision. "Some things we can do even in weather like this, it just depends on what's going on," he said. "When it gets to be more severe weather and more heavier rain and snow that will certainly be a delay, if not even postpone the work for those days."
This is phase one of the Battlefield and Fremont Intersection and Roadway Improvement Project. The project includes widening Fremont Avenue to five lanes between Battlefield and Sunset. Other improvements will also be made at the Battlefield Road and Fremont Avenue intersection, with traffic signal upgrades and additional turn lanes.
Pedestrian improvements will include new sidewalks north and south along Battlefield, east along Fremont and the addition of multi-use path on the west side of Fremont Avenue.
The roadway improvements project, which has an estimated cost of $5 million, is funded through the voter-approved ¼-cent Capital Improvement Sales Tax.