$1.6 Million Investment Spurs $3.4 Million Worth of Projects on the Region’s Greenway Trails
“Any day I can announce a $1.6 million investment in our region’s greenway trails is a great day,” said Andy Thomason, Senior Planner at the Ozarks Transportation Organization (OTO). “The OTO strongly believes a regional, interlinked trail system is vital to the area’s continued growth and economic development” he said. By combining the OTO’s $1.6 million in federal funds with other local and state funds, the region will see nearly $3.4 million in trail projects over the coming years. Efforts to develop, design, and construct trails are all benefited with this regional investment.
“In a first for the OTO”, said Mr. Thomason, “funds have been awarded to Ozark Greenways, Inc. to further its trail development and outreach efforts.” Our Board of Directors recognized the need to make additional investments in the extensive outreach and relationship building that must occur before trails can be constructed.
“The two-year plan proposed by Ozark Greenways represented the best way for the OTO to make a meaningful impact on this often-overlooked aspect of trail development,” said Travis Cossey, Chair of the OTO’s Board of Directors and Planning and Development Director at the City of Nixa. “Mary Kromrey and her staff at Ozark Greenways will be able to maximize the impact of our investment in trail development,” he said.
Five projects received funding from the OTO this spring. In addition to the funds awarded to Ozark Greenways, Battlefield, Ozark, Republic, and Springfield were awarded design and construction funds. Approximately 7,500 linear feet of trail will be constructed in Battlefield, Ozark, and Springfield. Right-of-way acquisition and project design for another nearly 9,000 linear feet of trail also will happen for a trail between Republic and Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield.
“These funds will be used to construct a portion of the Trail of Tears Greenway in Battlefield, construct a portion of the Fassnight Creek Greenway outlined in the Springfield Art Museum’s new master plan, and construct a portion of the Chadwick Flyer Greenway connecting Ozark and Springfield,” said Mr. Thomason. He also said the right-of-way will also be acquired to extend Republic’s Shuyler Creek Greenway to Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield.
The OTO requires recipients of design and construction funds to maintain reasonable progress over the life of their projects. This means projects must communities must be ready to start acquiring any needed right-of-way by the beginning of 2021 and be approved for construction by August 2021. Recipients can, and are encouraged, to move through project development faster.
This investment of $1.6 million is not the end of the Ozarks Transportation Organization’s support of the region’s trail system. Mr Thomason says they will continue to look for opportunities to use their professional and financial resources to advance the development of the trail system.
Ozarks Transportation Organization is your Springfield-regional Metropolitan Planning Organization, or MPO. The MPO is a body of elected and appointed members who work together with local, state and federal elected officials and policy-makers, serving to make funding and planning decisions for transportation within the Springfield, MO region.
Public input is a cornerstone of our operations. To tell us what you think, please email us at email@example.com. Find us on Facebook, or on Twitter @theOTOMPO. Or call, or stop by our office at 2208 W. Chesterfield Boulevard, Suite 101, in beautiful Chesterfield Village.
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