SPRINGFIELD, Mo.-- An old rail yard near downtown Springfield is well on its way to being restored. The area north of College Street between Fort and Grant is well on its way to becoming the west end of Jordan Valley Park, known as the West Meadows.
One truck load at a time, crews are hauling away contaminated soil. "We've had environmental contamination just from all the industrial uses of the former rail yard. Since the turn of the century, there were all kinds of machine shops, paint factories," says Olivia Hough, Senior Planner with the City of Springfield.
The cleanup on the 16 acres donated by BNSF railroad started in 2010. It's part of the vision 2020 plan for Jordan Valley. "We've been very fortunate to receive funding and be able to complete the environmental cleanup in a very accelerated time frame," says Hough.
Jordan Creek has been brought out of its concrete channel and into a more natural corridor. By this summer, Hough says we can even expect grass and trees. "Our vision is really to clean it up, improve the environment, make it an amenity for the public to enjoy with trails, native landscaping, some constructed wetlands," Hough says.
Many believe the completion of the West Meadows will spur development along College Street and also in the West Central Neighborhood. "It has made such a transition in just a short time," says Nancy Dornan of Historic Walnut Street Development.