Seeking funds for a 50-foot arch: 'It's a community project'

SPRINGFIELD, Ore. -- A local group is hoping to build an archway across the McKenzie River Highway that is similar to one lost in a flood almost a century ago.

Springfield-resident Thomas Lincoln is one of the group members heading the project that would build a 50-foot archway welcoming people to the city.

"There'll be a marble plaque that lists each community along the McKenzie River corridor going east," said Lincoln. "It would attract tourism it'd put the spotlight on Springfield, Oregon for a change."

Lincoln said in 1920 the Springfield Ladies Civic Club raised money from the community and built an arch over the McKenzie River Highway, helping to put Springfield on the map. Seven years later the arch was swept away in a flood.

Ken Engelman said the group's new design will pay tribute to the original archway.

"It's a community project. People get together and do it on their own, you're not looking at the government to back it, you're doing it as a group," said Engelman.

The Springfield group plans on getting their funding through donations by showing a model of their archway at events like fairs and festivals. The group also made a Kickstarter page to help reach their goal of $2500 for the model archway.

As of Thursday Lincoln said they've raised $690, but Lincoln said he hopes the completed model will help drive contributions.