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Hannibal to build roundabout

Shinn Lane to become site for roundabout.

Hannibal is growing.

City Manager Jeff LaGarce says more traffic comes through Shinn Lane every day.

That's why a two-lane road will eventually become a roundabout.

LaGarce says after conducting a traffic study on Shinn Lane, crews decided a roundabout would be the safest and most convenient way to handle traffic without blocking emergency access to the hospital.

"It wouldn't stop cars like a signal would because the way a roundabout works is you literally enter the roundabout and drive. There's no interval light that stops you for 20 seconds or 30 or 45 or whatever a traffic signal does," said LaGarce.

Planners worried that a stop light would block entrances to Hannibal Regional Hospital.

"As with any construction including the construction we have going on now, it's kind of a pain and difficult as it's going on but at the end of the day we'll have a nice entrance. It will help us control traffic," said Todd Ahrens, President and CEO of Hannibal Regional Health Systems.

LaGarce thinks a roundabout will be a quick solution to a potential problem down the road.

"I feel very good that 15 years from now we're not going to have a red light. We're not going to have people backed up over the highway bridge waiting for it to turn green and then possibly having to wait two or three cycles just to get through," LaGarce stated.

Even though LaGarce says the roundabout will be self-evident, he says it might take some time getting used to.

"The first time I went through one I wasn't too comfortable and when I came out of it I thought wow that was weird. But as a public official I don't see any alternative. I really think it needs to happen," LaGarce recalled.

This project is still in the planning stages.

If all goes as planned, LaGarce says construction could tentatively begin this April.
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