The Grant Avenue Parkway will create an off-street pedestrian and bicycle pathway along Grant Avenue between Sunshine Street and College Street, in the heart of Springfield. The 3-mile stretch will connect downtown Springfield with the Wonders of Wildlife National Museum and Aquarium (WOW) – linking authentic Springfield experiences for both residents and visitors. The Parkway route will further connect parks and recreation amenities, neighborhoods, schools, and fill a vital gap in the Ozark Greenways trail network.
The Parkway will start Downtown and end at Sunshine Street, including bike and pedestrian friendly facilities, various traffic-calming improvements, bridge enhancements, utility upgrades, fiber connectivity and additional crossing and intersection improvements.
WOW was voted America’s Best Aquarium and Best New Attraction by USA Today readers. Since opening in September 2017, the estimated $300 million private investment has resulted in significantly increased hotel nights and generated hundreds of thousands of visitors. Downtown Springfield’s renaissance has been slow but steady over the past 20 years. Over one-half billion dollars of public and private investment has been made downtown since 1996. These two destinations generate a tremendous amount of economic activity and are authentic Springfield experiences for both residents and visitors. This project will also alleviate traffic congestion, improve safety and accessibility and reduce environmental concerns.
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The City will receive $20,960,822 to create the Grant Avenue Parkway and is required to provide a 20% local match, roughly $5 million. The project team anticipates the potential for public-private partnerships to aid in making this project truly transformational.