Work is expected to start this summer on a section of sidewalk and roadway stretching from the northeast corner of the Neosho Square along East Spring Street.
Business owners along that stretch of roadway, as well as the general public, will have the opportunity to learn more about the upcoming project at a public meeting set for 6 p.m. this evening at the Lampo Center, 500 E. Spring St.
Mike Atkinson, engineer with Allgeier, Martin and Associates, of Joplin, who will be performing the work, is expected to be on hand to answer any questions or concerns about the sidewalk replacement.
The new sidewalk will run from the intersection of Washington Street and Spring Street, going east on Spring Street until the Kansas City Southern Railroad Tracks.
Dana Daniel, the city's director of development services, said the city will also be working to make the new sidewalks ADA accessible by adding handicap access at several locations along Spring Street.
Businesses along that section also have the option to request that their business be made ADA accessible. Though that request does not guarantee the improvements, Daniel said those eligible under the project guidelines could also receive the handicap access.
Daniel said all property owners along that portion of East Spring Street have been mailed letters informing them of the upcoming work and inviting them to the public meeting. The meeting is also open to the general public.
Owners' questions such as how the process will go, what the look of the improvements will be and how disruptions to traffic flow will be handled for the businesses impacted will be addressed at tonight's meeting.
Those business owners who are unable to attend the meeting may contact Daniel at 451-8050.
"The purpose of the sidewalk is to give the public better access to the park," Daniel said, noting that the city plans to one day extend the sidewalk from the railroad tracks up to the Lampo Center.
Daniel said the holdup in that extension is a culvert located between the tracks and the Lampo Center.
The sidewalk replacement is part of a three-part project being funded by two separate Missouri Department of Transportation Grants along with funds from the Missouri Development Finance Board.
The total project cost is estimated at $384,500, while the local match is $9,500.
The project also includes adding overlay asphalt along East Spring Street, from the intersection at Washington Street to White Street. Funding for this portion of the project came from a separate grant than the other two project parts, Daniel said.
The third project comes from the sidewalk grant, and is the addition of a new walking trail, starting behind the Lampo Center, at the northern edge of the adjacent parking lot, winding around the volleyball court, and making its way to the parking lot nearest the helicopter.
Page 2 of 2 - "We hope to do all of this this summer," Daniel said. "This is a benefit to our community. We're excited about it."