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Hannibal Courier - Post - Hannibal, MO
  • Persistence pays off on intersection project

  • As the U.S. 61 intersection project at Pleasant Street and West Ely Road nears completion, it’s important to note the persistence that it has taken to get the work done.
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  • As the U.S. 61 intersection project at Pleasant Street and West Ely Road nears completion, it’s important to note the persistence that it has taken to get the work done.
    The project had been in the works since January 2009 when Missouri Department of Transportation officials first approached the city and offered to design and construct the intersection improvements if the city would commit its Surface Transportation System funds (around $400,000) and assist with right-of-way acquisition. MoDOT also offered to cover any funding shortfalls that might result.
    The project was originally planned to be designed in 2009 and constructed in 2010, but MoDOT had trouble pushing the project forward. Three different times the state sought to find a contractor who, among other things, would add turn lanes on both West Ely and Pleasant to help ease long-standing traffic congestion issues at U.S. 61.
    In August 2011, MoDOT was surprised when it did not receive a single bid for the project. In April of this year, bids were received, but they were all deemed unacceptable by the Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission because they were higher than engineers’ estimates.
    Finally, on June 6 the highway commission accepted the lone bid received this spring by MoDOT when it sought proposals for a third time. The bid of $1,073,230.64 was submitted by Chester Bross Construction Co. of Hannibal.
    Work, consisting of the installation of a sidewalk, curb and gutter on the east side of U.S. 61, started in mid July. On Aug. 13, access to U.S. 61 from West Ely and Pleasant was cut to motorists so the contractor could extend a box culvert, which runs in front of Walgreens, and add a retaining wall so that a new right-lane turn could be added. The Pleasant Street side of the intersection was also widened to handle a turn lane.
    The contractor had 60 days to complete the final phase of work, but accomplished the task in 45 days.

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