The Missouri Department of Transportation has joined the city of Hannibal in its efforts to secure the easements necessary to proceed with the Palmyra Road sidewalk project.
Brian Chaplin, project manager for the city, welcomes the state’s assistance.
“Absolutely. (MoDOT’s) Bob Manzke contacted me to offer the help and I took him up on the offer to keep things moving,” he said.
“Brian and I are kind of tag teaming the right-of-way negotiations,” said Manzke. “I’m preparing the actual deeds for the easements this week.”
According to Manzke, five of the 11 property easements needed on the east side of Palmyra Road are in hand thus far.
“There are temporary and permanent easements needed along there,” he said. “Brian is going to call some of the remaining ones here in the next week or two to try to follow up from letters that were sent out last fall to see if they would actually donate (land) and sign the deed.”
Progress on the easement front has been slow. In August, city hall reported that just three of the 11 easements were in hand for the federally-funded portion of the project, which will extend roughly 3,000 feet from the north entrance of the middle school parking lot to near Orchard Point.
“It’s slow, but we’re moving,” said Chaplin.
“Those last few easements will be difficult because of residents concerns, or whatever... It’s really good since MoDOT has that expertise to help us out,” said Mark Rees, city engineer. “We were real glad when Bob called and offered that. That helps us out a bunch.”
According to Rees, the clock is ticking for the city to use the $249,000 grant it secured in 2011 through the Safe Routes to School Program.
“He (Manzke) was telling us this is time sensitive and they wanted to be under way,” he said. “We hadn’t asked for reimbursement yet for some of this up-front work. They’re saying to ask for that to get the project from inactive to active.”
“We hope to have this (securing easements) wrapped up in the next month or two so that we can go to final plans, advertise and procure some bids for construction,” said Manzke.
Another section of sidewalk will extend from Orchard Point to the entrance to Riverview Park. The three easements required for that portion of the project have already been secured, according to Chaplin.
The remaining section, that will cost less than $20,000, will be paid for with a combination of city funds and donations from the business community. Rees said in August that manpower from the Parks & Recreation and Street departments will help keep the cost down.
Page 2 of 2 - According to Chaplin, the city’s portion of the project will be installed after work on the 3,000-foot section has begun.
“We’re just waiting to get it under contract and get the project moving. When they get close to the end of their project we’ll start up. That way it will connect to the park like we promised,” he said.
The city initially hoped to have the new sidewalk completed by the start of the 2012-13 school year last August.