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The Grant Avenue Connect Parkway plan is included in the city’s adopted capital improvements program.
SBJ file rendering
The Grant Avenue Connect Parkway plan is included in the city’s adopted capital improvements program.

Council adopts 2020 capital improvements program

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Last edited 12:09 p.m., Feb. 25, 2020

Springfield City Council last night unanimously adopted the city’s 2020 capital improvements program, which calls for 137 possible projects that total roughly $109 million in proposed funding this year.

The program offers a strategy for planning and funding the construction, maintenance and replacement for city infrastructure and public facilities for the next six years, said Springfield principal planner Randall Whitman at the meeting.

The proposed initiatives include new construction of streets, parks and stormwater infrastructure, as well as improvements to airport, police and fire facilities. The 2020 CIP projects cost at least $100,000 apiece and are located on city-owned property, according to the bill documents.

“Not all the projects and programs included in the CIP are guaranteed to be undertaken,” Whitman said. “The CIP represents our best intentions but any number of circumstances can prevent some of these projects from moving forward.”

Among the proposed initiatives for 2020 is the Grant Avenue Connect Parkway, for which the city was awarded $21 million in federal grant funding last year. Roughly $5.2 million in city matching funds are required for the project to create a greenway trail system and numerous transportation improvements along a 3.3-mile stretch of Grant Avenue from Sunshine Street north to Walnut Street, according to past Springfield Business Journal reporting.

Other projects recommended this year are infrastructure improvements of the Jefferson Avenue Footbridge; multiple city parking lot enhancements; and the construction of two new fire stations in west Springfield, according to city documents. The 2020 CIP also lists 164 initiatives that are recommended for 2021-25 with a price tag of nearly $426.5 million.

Councilman Matthew Simpson asked if the CIP initiatives would receive feedback from Tim Rosenbury, who is scheduled to start at the city March 2 as the director of quality of place initiatives. Rosenbury is currently a partner at BRP Architects.

City Manager Jason Gage said Rosenbury’s role will depend on what phase the plans are in once he joins the city next month.

“There may be projects that have just been identified that haven’t gone into a design phase,” Gage said. “It could possibly affect the budgeting for it, but we still have an opportunity to look at those for a quality-of-place and experience perspective, and we certainly intend to do that.”

In 2019, the city completed 20 projects totaling nearly $20 million. Work included expansion of a car rental return lot at the airport; the widening of Primrose Street from South Avenue to Kimbrough Avenue; and Grant Beach Park stormwater improvements, according to city documents.

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