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Economy & Business

First phase of highway corridor makeover in Branson underway

BRANSON, Mo. (AP) - The first phase of a makeover of a 5-mile stretch of highway in Branson could be finished by Memorial Day.

The Joplin Globe (http://bit.ly/2hLDtUI ) reports the construction aims to alleviate traffic congestion along West Highway 76 by creating a wider, continuous pedestrian walkway in the area, which includes Branson's entertainment district.

The construction is part of Project Branson, a coalition representing more than 20 area businesses. The group's goal is to create a walkable, unbroken chain of attractions, restaurants, theaters and retail shops.

The revitalization is expected to cost $80 million, funded through a partnership with the city and by business owners along the corridor. It could take eight years to complete.

City officials say the revitalization is forecast to increase sales by $1.4 billion over the next 20 years.

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Information from: The Joplin (Mo.) Globe, http://www.joplinglobe.com

(Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)