FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
As part of the Springfield Art Museum Master Plan, construction of stormwater improvements to Fassnight Creek are planned to begin this summer along Brookside Drive, roughly between National Avenue and Kings Avenue.
The project will restore this section of Fassnight Creek to a naturalized channel for the benefit of flood mitigation, water quality and creation of urban wildlife habitat. Construction will involve the removal of approximately 1,000 linear feet of existing concrete channel, studied by master plan consultant BNIM and determined to be completed after 1930s-era Works Progress Administration (WPA) improvements were made. The project design will intentionally incorporate naturalized pools and more than 200 native Missouri plantings.
The stormwater project will impact three bridges currently providing vehicle access over Fassnight Creek.
Two bridges connecting Art Museum grounds to Brookside Drive will be replaced with pedestrian bridges. Vehicle access to the museum parking lot will then be redirected to Bennett Street.
In order to facilitate the necessary stormwater capacity to bring the area out of the flood plain, the third bridge at Kings Avenue will be removed and Kings Avenue closed to traffic at Bennett Street.
“The Kings Avenue bridge acts as a stormwater bottleneck, backing the flow of water up into Art Museum grounds,” explains Public Works project manager Kirkland Preston. “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.”
Carrying on average 400 cars per day, this stretch of Kings Avenue is also classified as a low-volume roadway with around one-sixth the daily traffic as surrounding streets, added Preston.
“Stormwater improvements are the first step in the realization of the Art Museum’s Master Plan,” says Art Museum Director Nick Nelson. “The removal of the property from the floodplain will allow us to continue operating as an AAM Accredited art museum and will also help us move forward improving the building and grounds to increase the Museum’s presence and value in the community.”
The project is currently out for bid and is expected to be awarded to a construction contractor in July. Construction is expected to begin late this summer and is expected to last nine to 12 months.
Funding for the Fassnight Creek Stormwater Improvement Project will be provided in part by a Missouri Department of Natural Resources Stormwater grant, a federal Environmental Protection Agency 319 grant and a Missouri Conservation Department native planting grant. The remainder will be provided by ¼-cent Capital Improvements Sales Tax reinvestment funds.
Future trail and recreation improvements
In conjunction with the stormwater project, transportation and recreation opportunities to Phelps Grove Park and the Art Museum will be improved through the construction of a new multi-use trail connection, planned to begin in fall 2021. The connection will begin at Clay Avenue, continue east through Phelps Grove Park and end at Brookside Drive, directly south of the Art Museum main entrance. The new 1,650-linear-foot path will include a bike repair station, ADA ramps and will connect to shared bike lanes along Brookside Drive via a new three-span bicycle and pedestrian bridge.
The trail project will be funded through federal Transportation Alternative Program (TAP) grants with the City funding a 20% match through the 1/8-cent Transportation Sales Tax.
“This trail project will begin construction following the completion of a separate stretch of trail further to the west, from Jefferson Avenue to Clay Avenue,” explains Public Works project manager Joe Hamp. “When all is complete, this section of trail will stretch from the Art Museum to Phelps Grove Park to Parkview High School and Fassnight Park and will ultimately connect up with the future Grant Avenue Parkway BUILD grant project.”
Virtual Information Session
The City hosted a virtual information session on the Fassnight Stormwater Improvement Project on May 19 with participants tuning in via Facebook live and livestream. View a recording of the session and learn more as the project progresses by visiting springfieldmo.gov/SAMstormwater. Questions and comments can be submitted through the site via an online comment card, available through June 5.
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For more information, contact Communication Coordinator Kristen Milam at 573-819-3713 or [email protected].