BRANSON, Mo. - The city of Branson is planning to reveal some ideas today to revitalize its historic downtown.
CMT, the engineering firm working with the city on the project, is holding a public meeting from noon - 2:00 Thursday (an earlier version of this report said the meeting started at 2) at its office on Commercial Street in downtown Branson. Some of the changes they will discuss include new storm sewers, new sidewalks, new trees and more parking.
Another proposed change includes archways near the US 65, Highway 76 overpass that direct visitors to either the entertainment district or the historic downtown district. City officials say the downtown revitalization will help business in historic downtown and at the Branson Landing complement one another.
"One thing we wanted to add was increased connectivity to the Branson Landing. There's kind of a zone in the middle that doesn't entice people to visit, so we're going to improve that," says city engineer David Miller.
"I can't describe enough how big of a deal this is for downtown Branson and really Branson as a whole. If we can improve our downtown district and it all starts with the infrastructure underneath that desperately needs attention -- but along with that we're going to do a facelift of our sidewalks, of our green spaces, going to improve our traffic flow, parking situations so it all comes together," says David Montgomery, co-owner of Dick's 5 & 10 in Downtown Branson.
The CMT design team has a PowerPoint presentation of the proposed changes.
The construction will take several years, that's because they only have enough money in the budget to do so much each year. The city hopes to be able to start bidding the project by Christmas so construction can start by early next year.