The last time a public meeting was convened regarding the downtown sidewalk project in Hannibal, sentiment ran so negative that the project was halted so it could be redesigned. On Monday, just over three months since the last meeting, the mood was vastly different. And while no formal vote was taken, it seemed the North Main Street merchants, residents and property owners in attendance were satisfied with the new plans.
Councilman Mike Dobson, who presided over Monday’s meeting at city hall, stressed to the approximately 20 members of the public present, that city hall had indeed “listened to you” during the gathering in December.
“We have a good alternative that everyone should be happy with,” said Dobson.
The revised plans feature raised streets in order to do away with two-tiered sidewalks. To eliminate ramps at street corners, elevated intersections will be installed.
Dobson noted that the new intersections will also serve as a traffic-slowing measure on North Main.
An accommodation to those who had wanted the more expensive brick pavers was detailed Monday. According to Dobson, while the crosswalks will be concrete, they will be treated in such a way to give a brick-like appearance.
“That will give an enhanced look to the project,” said the councilman, noting that the process will not add much to the project’s total cost.
Representatives of the city engineer’s office, Architechnics and Bleigh Construction took turns answering an assortment of questions, ranging from storm water drainage concerns, to sidewalk slopes, to a time line for the work, to who will pay for the electricity used during downtown festivals.
When all the questions had been answered, a number of audience members huddled around sidewalk plans on display while Martin Meyer of Architechnics answered questions.
As the meeting wound down, City Manager Jeff LaGarce thanked those in attendance for “hanging with us.”
The revised sidewalk plans still await the blessing of the Missouri Department of Transportation and the State Historic Preservation Office.