76 Project Gets Underway

Branson TriLakes News
Posted: Friday, May 17, 2013 1:58 pm
By Kris Collins

An $80 million project to revitalize 76 Country Boulevard was unveiled to the public this week.
Stakeholders, business owners and residents attended a presentation on the Spirit of 76 project as the design team presented its plan and process at Clay Cooper Theatre earlier this week. “We want to share with you a project that we believe will have long lasting impact on all of our businesses, our residents and our visitors,” Presley said to the crowd gathered at the theater Tuesday afternoon. “We know we already love Branson, they already love Branson and we always know though there is room for improvement.”

Sabin Yanez, project manager of CFS Engineers, said he was delighted with the turnout of approximately 125 people. “We were absolutely thrilled and excited,” Yanez said. “The turn out was great for afternoon event.”

During the approximately 20-minute presentation, Yanez spoke about the process thus far and what the team will try to accomplish in the future for the projected $80 million project that will make improvements to approximately five miles of the iconic 76 Country Boulevard over the next six years.

So far, the team has been focused on collecting data. The team looked at patterns such as traffic and foot traffic, current land use, scenic views, etc. That information was presented in the lobby of the theater and the presentation was geared toward where the project was going. Yanez highlighted transparency, economic vitality and Ozark heritage as points of importance in the project. Part of the process in that mission is to get public feedback.

To help the team meet as many business owners, stakeholders and residents, the team launched the project website, bransonspriritof76.com, and a social media feedback tool, MindMixer. The website contains project team information, a schedule, events list, and project materials. Yanez said the website and MindMixer will be closely monitored to be as updated as possible. Thomas Morefield, and urban planner on the design team, said MindMixer is a great tool in the team’s mission for public involvement and feedback.

“It helps us understand what the things are that people want more of or the things people have concerns about,” Morefield said. “Another aspect to this is that it’s not just comments that are posted out into the void. We’re monitoring this, we’re responding to the ideas and we have these big-picture, open-ended questions to start, but they’re going to evolve as the project evolves so as we get into detailed design concepts, we’re going to change what’s on here and ask people to tell us what they think again so they’re kind of part of the process every step of the way.”

After the presentation, those who attended filed out into the lobby and took a second glance at some of the project materials and discussed their hopes, concerns and views on the project.

David Call said he believes improvements are needed on 76 Country Boulevard, but he has some concerns about logistics regarding the execution. He does, however, believe the public input tools set in place are a positive aspect to the project.

“I think it’s a good idea and the bulk of the people would probably use it,” Call said of the project website and MindMixer.

Yanez said there a few main points the project team will focus on in the near future while moving on with the project.

“We will continue to manage the MindMixer site,” Yanez said. “We’re working with city planning to have one of their staff that will be watching site very regularly. We want to be very responsive. That will continue our public engagement. We’re going to continue to meet with business owners one-on-one. We will probably do this public comment period at least for a couple of months to give us time to meet with property owners, take those comments and synthesize into those into conceptual designs. Then we’ll come back out and shared what we’ve learned and how affected our solutions.”

Yanez said more concrete information on designs and concepts will be available in the summer. Another public meeting is scheduled for July. Yanez said the first movement on the project would be moving the over-head utilities underground. That process could start in late 2013 or early 2014, he said.

More information on the Spirit of 76 project can be found at bransonspiritof76.com and feedback can be left with the MindMixer application at ideas.bransonspiritof76.com
For more information, visit the Spirit of 76 website at http://bransonspiritof76.com. The Taney County Partnership seeks the involvement of area businesses and individuals to lead the development initiatives of the communities it serves. For more information, please visit contact Jonas Arjes at (417) 334‐4084 ext. 326 or jarjes@taneycountypartnership.com.