A community-wide virtual kickoff and visioning workshop for the $26-million-dollar Grant Avenue Parkway Project in Springfield will be held Thursday night, September 3, from 6 to 7.
The street improvement project "includes placemaking components such as roundabouts, elevated intersections, pedestrian-friendly crosswalks, enhanced landscaping and a wider trail that connects Wonders of Wildlife to downtown," said Tim Rosenbury, director of Quality of Place Initiatives for the City of Springfield.
The three-mile parkway will run from College St. on the north to Sunshine St. on the south. It will include a route that will go around the site of the Jordan Creek Daylighting project downtown, Rosenbury said. And it will fill a "vital gap" in the Ozark Greenways trail network, according to city officials in a news release.
Rosenbury hopes the improvements will encourage additional investment along Grant Avenue.
The project will be paid for, in part, by a nearly $21 million grant from the Federal Highway Administration through the Missouri Department of Transportation. The BUILD Grant requires a 20 percent local match, which includes services by the city, utility relocations and tax revenues, according to Rosenbury.
BUILD stands for Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development, which Rosenbury said is about economic development spin-off. Since the announcement of the project, he said there's been a lot of interest from the development and landowner communities in property along Grant Avenue.
"This is exactly what this project is about," said Rosenbury. "It's about creating opportunities for further investment."
The kickoff and visioning workship Thursday night will be livestreamed from grantavenueparkway.com and from the city’s Facebook page. Workshops are also planned: for the West Central Neighborhood on September 9, for the downtown area on the 17th and for the Fassnight Neighborhood on the 23rd. Those will also be from 6 to 7 p.m.
"We're going to do this project," said Rosenbury, "but how we do this project is something that people have a stake in, and we sure want to hear from as many members of the public that we can."