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News covering policy and issues related to city and county governments in the Ozarks.

Sight Line Concerns at Bennett St and Jefferson Ave to Take 6-8 Weeks to Fix

Springfield city officials are revisiting a recently completed project to reduce flooding hazards that turned into a visibility hazard for motorists.

A 42-inch high barrier wall near the intersection of Bennett Street and Jefferson Avenue has become the subject of scrutiny after citizens contacted the city with sight line concerns.

On Tuesday, officials announced they plan to cut down the height of the walls, a project that could take between 6-8 weeks. Costs to lower the wall are unknown at this time, according to the city.

“In discussion with our contractor, they said they could give us a barrier wall with a stone look on both sides if they used a form liner with stain.  They would need to go a height of 42 inches, which we agreed,” said Kirk Juranas, Public Works interim co-director, in a news release.

The change was suggested by the project’s contractor because it provided a stone look on both sides of the bridge. The city says the change did not increase or decrease the cost of the project.

The original wall was to be 30-inches tall with a 12-inch handrail. It was part of phase 2 of the Fassnight Creek Stormwater and Greenway Trail Improvements Project, which included raised streets and new bridges at Bennett Street and Jefferson Avenue to safely pass the 100-year flood.

The $3.8 million project, which opened over the July 4 weekend, included approximately $2.5 million for construction and an additional $1.3 million for design costs and purchase of 15 properties in the floodplain. All properties were acquired voluntarily with no use of eminent domain.

The project is funded by stormwater bonds approved by voters in 2001 and 2004 paid for by the Level Property Tax. Additional funding was provided by the Springfield-Greene County Parks Sales Tax approved by voters in 2006. That tax had a sunset in June 2012.

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