Many street signs read Republic Street rather than Republic Road. (Photo by Shannon Cay)

It spans about eight miles of south Springfield and serves as a key east-west passage for drivers every day. It’s named Republic Road.

Or is it?

Legally, what most Springfield residents call “Republic Road” is actually named “Republic Street.” By the end of January 2023, “Republic Street” will likely be put to rest once and for all, and everyone will continue calling it Republic Road anyway.

Under Springfield ordinance, the Planning and Zoning Commission has authority to recommend name changes for streets to the City Council. Springfield Planning Manager Bob Hosmer explained the name confusion to the commission at a meeting Dec. 15, just before the commission voted 8-0 to recommend an official name change.

“The official name of the roadway is Republic Street, however the corridor is originally known as Republic Road,” Hosmer said. “So the property addresses and road signage in all of the corridor are confusing for emergency services and other agencies and organizations.”

From a western point near Golden Avenue, east past Chesterfield Park, past Leong’s Asian Diner past the Pat Jones YMCA, around the new Glenstone roundabout, through the Luster Avenue hairpin and east still to the Galloway Grill, Republic Road as we know it stretches across southern Springfield.

The Springfield Public Works Department found there are 192 places with addresses on Republic Road, and 123 of them are legally addressed using the suffix “Republic Street.” Address numbers will not change for any of the 192 property owners.

“We’re changing the street name, we’re not changing the addresses or the numbering system,” Hosmer said.

If the City Council approves the renaming, property owners on Republic Road will receive notification from the city by mail. The City Council will take up the matter Jan. 9, and could finalize the official renaming Jan. 23, 2023.

Planning and Zoning Commissioner Betty Ridge added that some of Springfield’s oldest residents probably skip the word “Republic” altogether when referring to the street.

“I would presume that there are a lot of old-timers around here who still call it M Highway,” Ridge said.

The exact cost of the pending name change is unclear, but the Springfield Department of Public Works pledged to replace any street signs that read “St” instead of “Rd” as the suffix.

Rance Burger

Rance Burger is the managing editor for the Daily Citizen. He previously covered local governments from February 2022 to April 2023. He is a graduate of the University of Missouri-Columbia with 15 years experience in journalism. Reach him at or by calling 417-837-3669. Twitter: @RanceBurger More by Rance Burger