Making Route 61 safer near Hannibal High School

A part of Route 61 in Hannibal might get more flashy in the near future.

Local and state agencies are working together to make the intersection safer for students.

The section of Route 61 that passes in front of the public high school is a major concern for a lot of people. About 30,000 to 40,000 cars pass by Hannibal High School everyday.

They also pass by the intersection of McMasters Avenue and Brookside Drive.

"So far, this school year, we've had three accidents before school at that intersection," Brian Haeffner an area engineer with MoDOT said.

In two of the three, people had to be taken to the hospital.

As a result, Hannibal Public Schools decided it needed to make this section of Route 61 safer.

"Well the school came to us with some concerns about safety and traffic congestion at the intersection of Brookside and McMasters and so we've been working with the school and the city to try to come up with different options that might help to improve the intersection," Rich Stilley with Hannibal Public Schools said.

One of the options is putting in a traffic signal.

But, there are two problems.

It could cost at least $750,000 dollars and there has to be at least 1,000 feet between all signals.

Putting another one in that area is cutting it close.

Another option is designating the area as a school zone. Complete with flashing lights and a reduced speed limit.

Both MoDOT and Hannibal Public Schools say safety is their main concern.

"At this point we are looking at options and the options would be to keep our students faculty, staff, the citizens, all the 30,000 to 40,000 vehicles that pass by the high school on a daily basis safe," Haeffner said.

Representatives from MoDOT, the city of Hannibal, the Missouri Highway Patrol and a citizen from the community are working together to come up with a safer route.

They believe they will have an option by the time school ends this year.