FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
An iconic symbol on historic Commercial Street that has been closed for several years for safety reasons, will be repaired thanks to $8 million appropriated in the state’s fiscal year 2024 budget. Gov. Mike Parson approved the budget June 30.
For years, this historic railroad bridge provided safe passage to pedestrians in north Springfield over 13 highly trafficked rail lines and has been closed since 2016. The City has worked diligently to facilitate reopening with significant coordination and input from the community. The necessary improvements will be done in a way to allow for continued commerce along the BNSF rail lines along Commercial Street.
“Restoring the footbridge and plaza will promote growth of a vibrant commercial district within the City and serve as a vital multimodal connector to benefit citizens of Springfield and its visitors to provide safer routes and access points,” said Mayor Ken McClure
The budget also includes $4 million for capital renovations at Hammons Field. The upgrades are necessary for the home of the Double-A Springfield Cardinals to meet Major League Baseball-mandated facility requirements. When the City announced announced the field purchase, it committed $4 million toward these upgrades. Now, state funds will cover the cost.
“It is no secret that tourism drives Missouri forward and provides a benefit and boon to state revenue, and we believe this project only strengthens Springfield as tourist destination for the state,” McClure said. “The City is working closely with the Springfield Cardinals to improve the facilities, as well as identifying opportunities to improve the visitor experience and remain competitive.”
Springfield area legislators sought the funding, working with a record state surplus – efforts the Mayor says he and his colleagues on City Council are most thankful.
“We are very grateful for the support of Governor Parson, and the work of Senator Lincoln Hough, chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee; Reps. Bill Owen, Betsy Fogle and Stephanie Hein; members of the House Appropriations Committee, and the rest of our delegation who supported Springfield area projects. We are pleased that the Jefferson Avenue Footbridge will be brought back to life connecting Commercial Street with the Moon City creative district to its north and that we can proceed with the required improvements to Hammons Field,” McClure concluded.
# # #
For more information, contact Cora Scott at 417-380-3352 or [email protected].