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Crews will break ground in April for the initial development of the Birthplace of Route 66 Roadside Park in Springfield. As KSMU’s Scott Harvey reports, the city confirmed Thursday they had raised enough money for the project.
$15,000 was the goal to recreate the iconic Red’s Giant Hamburg sign, a major landmark along the Historic Route 66 Highway. The campaign, which launched in October through the Springfield-based crowdfunding site Crowdit, received several large donations, including a $4,125 from the West Central Neighborhood Association and $2,500 from business owners and classic car enthusiasts Guy and Dorothy Mace.
In a release, the city said that the Red’s sign will likely be installed this summer with a ribbon cutting for the park as part of the planned activities around the annual Birthplace of Route 66 Festival in August.
Director of Planning Ralph Rognstad says the entire park, along the College Street stretch of Route 66 between Grant Avenue and Kansas Expressway, is estimated to cost $1 million. While the City will provide funding to implement certain infrastructure improvements, it is leveraging its investment in the project with private donations and other funding sources.
City Manager Greg Burris says officials “hope to make Springfield THE stop along the famed, historic byway.” As the city gauges interest and potential funding, a larger plan to revitalize Historic Route 66 through other parts of Springfield could roll out in phases.