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Neosho landmark is getting a facelift: Big Spring Park steps project begins

Updated:

NEWS RELEASE ISSUED BY THE CITY OF NEOSHO - PHOTOS COURTESY OF THE CITY OF NEOSHO:

Big SpringPark steps project begins

A Neosho landmark is getting a facelift.

The Neosho Big Spring Park steps project began Friday morning with a concrete overlay on the first of four sections. Other section swill be poured in turn on different dates. The long flight of steps connect BigSpring Hill (Spring Street) to High Street.

Big Spring Hill will be a one-lane street while work is ongoing.  

The steps, built in 1923, have gradually fallen into a state of disrepair over the decades, and have been closed since the fall of 2012 as safety precaution. Prior to the current concrete steps, two sets of wooden stairs existed at that location since at least the 1880s and probably before,according to photographs and newspaper archives.

Hugh Robinson, the Neosho-born aviator probably most famous for inventing the tail-hook still used on aircraft carriers today, and for whom the Neosho airport is named after, once attempted a stunt on the wooden predecessor to the present staircase by riding a self-built motorcycle down from the top. The stunt ended in disaster and Robinson, a youth at the time,was slightly injured.

Since 1923 the Big Spring Park steps have provided local pedestrians a scenic overlook of the park and of downtown Neosho.

Total cost of renovations, including engineering, is$45,865. Neosho-based Construction Services Group has the contract.

In May, third grade students from South Elementary raised$200 toward the project. Their donation was matched by the Neosho Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution.

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