New gateway signs could be built soon at the western and northern entrances to Springfield.
The city hopes to move forward with the western sign first, City Manager Jim Bodenmiller said, but is still scouting locations. He’s the chairman of the Greater Springfield Moving Forward corridors and gateways committee.
“If not both next year, we’d like to build one next year and another in 2017,” Bodenmiller said.
A $50,000 donation from Speedway will cover about half the cost of both projects. The money will be used for the construction of both signs.
“It will enable us to have the construction piece and the materials piece for both signs,” Bodenmiller said. “That’s tremendous. I’m just so appreciative of Speedway and all of the things they’ve done for our community lately.”
Two gateways have already been completed on both the south and east sides. The first was completed near the Interstate 70 interchange on South Limestone Street, while the eastern edge sign is located at the Springview Government Center on U.S. 40.
The design will likely remain the same on the two planned gateways on the west and north sides, Bodenmiller said.
Another gateway — the downtown Veterans Bridge project — is under construction now and expected to be fully completed in May. The bridge opened to traffic last month and pillars from the former Memorial Hall will be installed this week.
“It’s kind of the gateway into the downtown,” Bodenmiller said.
Right-of-way must be purchased for the two remaining signs, he said, but that could prove challenging. The other two signs are on government property.
“It’s got to be a good strategic location for visibility, but it also has to be a location that’s safe for traffic,” Bodenmiller said. “The western location is probably the most challenging for us.”
Speedway also donated money to build both the accessible playground and the sprayground water park at Snyder Park, which was renamed Speedway Children’s Park earlier this year.
“Many of the projects we’ve done lately wouldn’t be possible without the corporate generosity that we find around here and we’re especially grateful to Speedway,” Bodenmiller said.
The signage will add a “welcoming feel” to those areas of the community, wrote Speedway President Tony Kenney in a letter to the city.
“Speedway sincerely strives to be a contributing member to each community in which we are privileged to be a part of,” Kenney wrote. “We are proud to be able to support your program.”
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