The installation of a downtown storm-water system in Hannibal will require in the weeks ahead the closing of Main Street where it intersects with Bird, Hill and Center streets. The first closing is slated to take place on Monday, May 6.
“We’re going to start on the Bird Street intersection. That will be dug completely up, where we’ll have no through traffic,” said Brian Chaplin, project manager with the city, estimating that the contractor may have to dig from 10 to 12 feet deep at each intersection.
After the Bird Street intersection is finished, work will shift north to Hill. When the installation is completed there, workers will shift south to Center.
The installation of the storm-water systems won’t be done overnight. Chaplin speculated it will take “several weeks” at each site.
“When I say several weeks I’m going to guess we’ll be at the next block within five weeks,” said Chaplin.
According to Mark Rees, city engineer, the storm-water system was a late addition to the project. It was part of the $196,654 construction change order that the City Council approved at its April 2 meeting.
In each block, after the storm-water system is installed, attention will then shift to building new sidewalk. The process of removing the two-tiered sidewalk that was installed in the 300 block of North Main before the project was halted will begin in a “week or two,” according to Chaplin.
“We have to put that storm sewer in that (Bird Street) intersection. Then we’ll move along that side where we’ve already put sidewalk in with this (storm water) trunk line. Then once it’s in, we’ll remove the sidewalk from where we left off to the corner of The Loft (Bird and Main streets). Then we’ll put that (new) sidewalk in. After that we’ll jump over and tear out the other side,” he said.
Chaplin stressed that as much will be done as possible to work with downtown merchants during the weeks ahead.
“We just can’t keep delaying the project any more than it is,” he said.
But there will be delays in order to keep the city’s promise that sidewalk removal or installation will not be going on during any major downtown events. Now storm-water installation must also be factored into the time schedule.
“That (Bird Street intersection) will be buttoned up by Twain on Main if all the plans go right,” said Rees.
There are some with the city who believe that if the river rises again, as it is expected to over the next week, there could be a problem with soil moisture where the intersection pits must be dug. Rees does not agree with that theory.
Page 2 of 2 - “I don’t think seepage will ever be a problem. Not everybody agrees with me on that. Until I see it I don’t anticipate it to be a problem,” he said.