September 16, 2013

News Release

For Immediate Release

City starts work on last two waterways projects funded by 2006 Parks Sales Tax

By spring of 2014, citizens will see needed improvements to two Ozark Greenways trails and waterways systems in south Springfield. Once those projects are complete, the funding source for waterways improvements in Springfield will have essentially dried up, said Todd Wagner, P.E., of the City's Public Works department.

On Sept. 3, Public Works began work on the last two waterways improvement projects funded by the voter-approved county-wide 2006 Parks Sales Tax – the Ward Branch and Nathanael Greene/Close Memorial Park projects. The tax sunset June 30, 2012.

The City can pull funding for future water quality projects from the 1/4-cent Capital Improvements Sales Tax funds, but it's not enough to fund much more than small-scale projects here and there, Wagner said.

One of the charges of the Joint City-County Planning Task Force is to find solutions for the challenge of funding needed water quality projects in the city and county, he added.

Ward Branch

The $1.5 million Ward Branch Stormwater and Greenway Trail Improvements Project, (pdf) a multipurpose project that includes stream bank stabilization to protect road embankments and improve water quality, will continue the development of the Ward Branch Greenway Trail.

The project will extend from Bradford Parkway and Independence on the east end to Republic Road just north of Twin Oaks Country Club on the west end. It will utilize existing structures at National Avenue and James River Freeway for bicycle/pedestrian underpasses. Connections will be made to the Bradford Office Park, Cox Medical Center and the neighborhood west of Cox.

Future work will extend the Ozark Greenways trail to the east to Fremont and to the west to the existing Ward Branch Greenways Trail in Shadowood Subdivision, providing a continuous trail to the Library Center on South Campbell. In addition, it will eventually connect to the Link, a north-south bicycle/pedestrian route connecting other greenway trails, universities and downtown.

Stabilization of the banks of Ward Branch reduces the amount of harmful sediment that washes downstream through neighborhoods, into the James River and eventually to Table Rock Lake.

The project includes a projected $1.3 million for construction and an additional $200,000 for design costs. All properties were acquired voluntarily with no use of eminent domain. Flat Creek Excavating is the contractor for the project.

Nathanael Greene/Close Memorial Park

The $1.1 million Nathanael Greene/Close Memorial Park Spillway Enhancements Improvement Project (pdf) includes stabilization and beautification of the spillway of Lake Drummond to address erosion. The project includes new water features and improvements to the South Creek culvert under Scenic Avenue, and to the South Creek Greenway Trail.

The project cost includes a projected $900,000 for construction and an additional $100,000 for design costs. Hartman Construction is the contractor for the project.

Both the Ward Branch and Nathanael Greene/Close Memorial Park projects involve the removal of a number of trees at each location. 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 had professional tree canopy evaluations at both locations, which were used to guide final project design to minimize tree loss. Trees removed will be replaced at twice the loss rate at these sites or at other locations along Springfield waterways and public properties.

The estimated completion date for both projects is spring 2014.

Other waterways improvement projects completed with 2006 Parks Sales Tax funds are:

For more information, contact: Todd Wagner, Principal Engineer, 417-864-1901 or Cora Scott, Director of Public Information & Civic Engagement at 417-864-1009 or cscott@springfieldmo.gov.

city of springfield

Department of Public Works

840 Boonville Avenue • P.O. Box 8368 • Springfield, MO 65801
417-864-1900 • springfieldmo.gov