City officials were beaming Monday as the barricades blocking the new section of Stardust Drive in western Hannibal were taken down. Not only were they pleased the project is completed, but it was done ahead of schedule and under budget.
"The original budget for this project with the bond issue was about $1,283,000. That included a bridge and I didn't see any need for a bridge when a box culvert worked just fine. That probably saved us a little bit. Then the bids came in very well, probably due to the economy. Without any major change orders it was brought in about $300,000 under budget," said Mark Rees, city engineer, noting that the funds not spent on Stardust are being used to help pay for other street projects, such as for improvements to Paris Avenue.
"We had one change order, when we had some water lines that weren't where we thought they were going to be. But otherwise this project was almost hiccup free," said Jeff LaGarce, city manager.
Rees and LaGarce agreed the project's contractor, Bleigh Construction, had the road open a month earlier than anticipated.
Among those on hand Monday for the ribbon-cutting ceremony was David Bleigh of Bleigh Ready Mix.
"It is another project, but I'm always proud to have this type of work done in Hannibal," he said. "I think this particular street is going to be a real big asset to people traveling around town, getting from one side to the other."
Bleigh noted that the first 300 feet on the western end of the Stardust project was put in by private developers.
"That probably was the start of the project to get the rest of the road put in," he said.