Redesign plan moves forward for Main Street sidewalks

After months of redesigning and talking to downtown merchants, it looks like Hannibal's downtown sidewalk project is about to get back on track.

The redesign will cost $200,000, but the city could have a way to come up with most of that money without cutting into its budget.

The money could come from the Transportation Development District.

That district was created to pay for some street projects in and around Stardust Lane.

Under state law, the sales tax that is collected from businesses in that area contributes to the TDD. But the tax can't stop being collected on just any day. Collection has to end at the end of a quarter or three month period. It also takes a court order from a judge to end the tax collection. For that reason, the city has some funds left in that TDD account.

"The additional money that was in that Transportation Development District was about $130,000. By law, the city must use that money for some transportation purpose. So one of the things we're looking at is possibly using the additional costs on the downtown sidewalk project, using that Transportation District money for that," Hannibal City Manager Jeff LaGarce said.

The new plan calls for Main Street to be closed one block at a time in hopes of speeding up the project and the new plan calls for no ramps, steps, or rails.

Intersections will be raised to curb height to meet ADA requirements.

"If the normal curb height is about six inches, we're talking about raising the intersection about six inches. So the paved crosswalks go form top of curb to top of curb, without the need for curb cuts," Hannibal City Engineer Mark Rees said.

Once the sidewalks are installed, the last portion of the project calls for Main Street to be milled and a new layer of asphalt laid.

That part of the project will also include portions of North, Hill and Bird Streets that cross Main Street. That milling and asphalt will extend one block off of Main Street on the three above mentioned streets. The asphalt paving will also extend south on Main Street to Warren Barrett Drive.

Rees also said with good weather and no other delays, the project could be completed by the end of this construction season.