The Springfield Art Museum’s Master Plan is moving forward with construction of new stormwater improvements aimed at reducing flooding in the area and protecting the Art Museum.
The project will restore a part of Fassnight Creek to a natural channel by removing about 1,000 feet of the existing concrete channel. The new design is aimed at improving water quality and creating an urban wildlife habitat in addition to flood mitigation.
One major change is that two bridges connecting the Art Museum to Brookside Drive will be replaced with pedestrian bridges, and a third bridge at Kings Avenue will be removed, closing it to traffic from Bennett Street.
“The Kings Avenue bridge acts as a stormwater bottleneck, backing the flow of water up into Art Museum grounds,” Public Works project manager Kirkland Preston said in a statement. “Removal of the bridge, thereby providing uninterrupted flow of the open channel, is the best way to provide the necessary capacity to help protect the museum and surrounding properties in times of heavy rain.”
Kings Avenue was found to have one-sixth the amount of traffic as the surrounding streets, leading to the decision to remove the bridge and not replace it.
The contract for the project is out for bid and expected to be awards in July with construction to begin late summer and last for up to one year.
The project will also facilitate the construction of a new trail project that will connect the art museum and Phelps Grove Park to Parkview High School and Fassnight Park, and eventually the new Grant Avenue Parkway.