WEBB CITY, Mo. —
City officials are in the beginning stages of a discussion regarding the construction of a tunnel under Highway 171 that would make King Jack Park more accessible to pedestrians from downtown.
Interim City Administrator Carl Francis said the city has authorized an engineering company to create a drawing that would determine if the underpass is an option.
“Right now, it’s just the ‘thinking about it’ stage,” Francis said Friday morning.
Last fall, architecture students from Drury University presented designs for a revitalized King Jack Park, and Mayor John Biggs praised the students’ work and noted that he particularly liked the designs that incorporate downtown into the park.
Francis said Biggs asked him to look into creating a safer way for pedestrians to walk to King Jack Park.
The underpass would connect to existing walking trails, and with the future expansion of King Jack Park, there will be an additional 11 acres that can be utilized as a future park and a “possible fairground-type situation,” Francis said.
The Missouri Department of Transportation is supportive of the city’s efforts to create the walking connection, Francis said, and officials have been in discussion with MoDOT about possible funding for the project. Francis said that until the engineering company determines if it is physically possible, the city won’t know a cost.