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Phase two of the Fassnight Creek Stormwater and Greenway Trail Improvements Project is underway. As KSMU’s Samuel Crowe reports, the project is designed to reduce flooding hazards to motorists and homeowners in Central Springfield.
Many Springfield residents are well aware of the flood hazards in several parts of the city, and the area adjacent to Fassnight Creek is a prime example. The City completed the $5 million dollar phase one of the project last year, which included construction of a Greenways Trail through Fassnight Park, three new bridges along that trail, and improvements to the creek’s channel. Todd Wagner, principal storm water engineer with the City of Springfield, says phase one improved the flood protection to motorists along Campbell and Grant Avenues.
He says phase two will continue that improved flood protection along Utah Avenue and Bennett Street, all the way to Jefferson Avenue. Contractors will raise and realign Bennett, raise Jefferson, and put in drainage improvements along those streets to keep them drier during heavy rainfall.
“Also, there will be some stream improvements to reduce erosion, some floodplain improvements to reduce flooding through the area, just kind of enlarging the capacity of the floodplain through there. Also, the Greenways Trail will go in, continuing from Campbell on east to Jefferson, and it will actually go under Bennett and under Jefferson,” Wagner said.
About a third of the existing tree canopy in the area will be cut down to make room for construction. Certain trees have been selected for preservation. But Wagner says the city arborist and urban forester have developed a plan to reforest the area after the construction is finished.
“In the long run, you’re going to see a nice, green, park-type of appearance re-emerge from this area. I think the public will really like it once it’s finished and they see it all green again,” Wagner said.
Wagner says Bennett Street from Jefferson to Utah will be closed for the duration of the second phase of the project, and Jefferson will be closed for about three months beginning in late spring.
Phase two of the project will cost an estimated $3.8 million dollars, funded by storm water bonds approved by voters in 2001, and paid for by the Level Property Tax in 2004. Wagner estimates it will take about nine months to complete. He says no time frame has been set for the third and final phase of the project.
Click here for more information on the project.