For Immediate Release
Fassnight Creek Stormwater and Greenway Trail Project Continues
The City of Springfield Department of Public Works has begun work on phase two of the Fassnight Creek Stormwater and Greenway Trail Improvements Project, a multi-purpose project that includes reconstruction of bridges and roadways and floodplain improvements to reduce flooding hazards to motorists and nearby neighborhoods.
Phase two will consist of stormwater improvements, including raised streets and new bridges at Bennett Street and Jefferson Avenue to safely pass the 100-year flood; stream bank stabilization to reduce erosion and protect adjacent properties; a detention basin to improve water quality; and floodplain improvements to reduce flood damages to nearby properties.
The $3.8 million project cost includes a projected $2.5 million for construction and an additional $1.3 million for design costs and purchase of 15 properties in the floodplain. All properties were acquired voluntarily with no use of eminent domain.
The project is funded by stormwater bonds approved by voters in 2001 and 2004 paid for by the Level Property Tax. Additional funding was provided by the Springfield-Greene County Parks Sales Tax approved by voters in 2006. That tax had a sunset in June 2012.
The project continues the successful work of phase one, which was completed last year and included reconstructed bridges where Grant and Campbell cross Fassnight Creek to provide water quality benefits while maintaining the historical appearance of Fassnight Park. The extension of the Fassnight Greenway Trail through the park provides increased opportunity to enjoy the creek. Phase two will further the trail to the east side of Jefferson Avenue, ultimately connecting to Phelps Grove Park with a future phase.
Construction of the bridge and road improvements will impact traffic in the area, as Bennett Street from Jefferson to Utah will be closed from around April 1 through the fall of this year. Jefferson Avenue will be closed for approximately 90 days beginning in the late spring or summer.
Also, construction of these public safety improvements will necessitate the removal of some trees in the area. The City is preserving as many existing trees as possible, and will also improve the overall tree canopy along the future creek corridor.
The City did a preliminary tree canopy analysis in 2010, which was used to guide project design to minimize tree loss. In January, a follow-up tree canopy analysis was completed by a registered consulting arborist, including a review of the initial report and final construction plans. The consultant presented a report to the city and Springfield's Tree City USA Citizen's Advisory Committee.
"We're expect to retain 2/3 of the existing canopy in the 3.2–acre area," explains City Urban Forester Casey Kellner. "Our goal will be to re-plant double the amount of lost canopy that has to be removed beginning in Spring 2014 after the project phase is complete."
In the assessment, certain desirable trees that were in close proximity to planned intensive construction activity were selected for preservation. These trees were assigned a "Do Not Disturb" designation. Orange, vinyl construction fencing will be constructed to indicate a "Tree Protection Area" and signs indicating that are currently being erected.
For more information, contact Todd Wagner, City of Springfield Stormwater Engineer, (417) 864-1901; Casey Kellner, City of Springfield Urban Forester, at (417) 864-1135; or Terry Whaley at Ozark Greenways, (417) 864-2014.