Final Phase of Jefferson Streetscape to Begin Soon
Crews will begin construction on Phase I of the Jefferson Streetscape Project in Springfield in the next few weeks. Improvements will be similar to that of Phase II, which was completed first due to immediate needs near where Jefferson intersects Park Central East.
Eric Claussen is the city’s traffic engineer. He says Phase I is a 120-day project that includes work from Water Street to the north side of Phelps Street
“Phase I is going to make the sidewalks ADA accessible, you’re going to have the decorative sidewalk panels, the decorative streetlight posts, new stamp crosswalks at both Water and at Phelps and we’re also putting in storm water improvements on both sides of the street throughout the entire project,” he said.
Per Claussen, the goal is to make a transit system for all modes of transportation at any hour.
This phase of the project costs $1.3 million. $325,000 of that comes from the city’s 1/4-Cent Capital Improvements Sales Tax. The tax already provided $253,836 of the second phase’s $1.16 million price tag.
According to Claussen, the projects are numbered based off when they were bid, not when they are to be completed.
“Phase II occurred first, because of the redevelopment that we saw occurring. We had more of a need closer to the square and Park Central East than what we did to the north at that particular moment,” he said.
He added that many motives go into a streetscape project, and not all of them are based off logistics.
“I like to call the streetscapes like a functional beautification project,” he said. “So we’re taking care of all the federal needs, as far as ADA concerns, but it is really a beautification project to the corridor itself.”
Claussen said that installation of the black, fluted pedestrian lights are an example of a decorative fixture that still serves a purpose. All streetscape projects in Springfield are designed to concurrently provide functionality and to aesthetically please.
Work along Jefferson, Commercial and Grand Street are among ongoing improvement projects by the city.
“I know there is frustration out there amongst drivers, but I can promise that this project will be well worth it when it is all said and done,” he said.
Claussen says collaboration with City Utilities, while necessary in ensuring construction goals, has added more time to the project.
The Jefferson Streetscape project is scheduled for completion in late October or early November. Claussen adds that in the future officials hope to apply similar improvements to Jefferson Street to the south from Park Central East to Walnut.