The city of Springfield is receiving a nearly $21 million federal BUILD grant to construct the Grant Avenue Parkway which will connect downtown Springfield to the Wonders of Wildlife.
The grant was announced today by U.S. Senator Roy Blunt, who championed the project to the U.S. Department of Transportation.
“The investments we make in our infrastructure directly benefit jobs and the local economy,” Senator Blunt said in a statement. “By connecting Springfield’s parks, museums, and other cultural destinations to the city’s growing downtown district, this project will spur economic development and boost the tourism industry. I was glad to work with the Department of Transportation on this project, and I’m pleased this grant gets it one step closer to being completed.”
The BUILD grant, which stands for Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development, would create a 3.3 mile corridor that in addition to linking downtown & Wonders of Wildlife, would allow revitalization in neighborhoods between the two locations with parks, Greenway connections, and other amenities.
“The City of Springfield is so excited about this transformational news,” Springfield Mayor Ken McClure said in a statement. “This grant will help the City take a giant step forward in carrying out the City Council priorities of Economic Vitality and Quality of Place. We are extremely grateful for the superb congressional support, which has made this grant a reality.”
The Grant Avenue Parkway would be an off-street pedestrian and bicycle pathway along Grant Avenue between Sunshine Street and Walnut Street. The Parkway would fill a gap in the Ozark Greenways rural trail network, and connect schools, parks and recreational events.
The Parkway will include bike lanes, a roundabout at Grant Avenue and Portland Street, and traffic calming improvements to Grant Street. A grade-separated crossing will be placed at Fassnight Creek. There will be utility upgrades along with fiber connectivity improvements and signal improvements.
“This nearly $21 million grant for Springfield’s Grant Avenue Parkway Project will bolster economic growth and tourism in downtown Springfield by providing the means to create a more convenient way for pedestrians and cyclists to travel around the downtown area,” U.S. Rep. Billy Long said in a statement.
The city is required to make a 20 percent funding patch to the federal grant, roughly $5 million. The majority of the matching funds will come from the 1/4 cent capital improvement and 1/8 cent transportation taxes according to Springfield PIO Cora Scott.2019-Project-Narrative