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Hannibal Courier - Post - Hannibal, MO
  • City, MoDOT close to right-of-way agreement for Mark Twain Avenue

  • It appears the city of Hannibal and Missouri Department of Transportation are close to an agreement regarding the upkeep of Mark Twain Avenue, and the hillside that looms over the five-lane roadway.
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  • It appears the city of Hannibal and Missouri Department of Transportation are close to an agreement regarding the upkeep of Mark Twain Avenue, and the hillside that looms over the five-lane roadway.
    During Tuesday night’s meeting of the City Council, a resolution regarding the right-of-way was approved. City Manager Jeff LaGarce described the resolution as an “expression of intent” that “does not bind the city if protective language cannot be agreed upon.”
    According to the proposal, the city will accept the thoroughfare’s right-of-way, while MoDOT will continue to be responsible for all hillside collapses and any permanent stabilization issues. The state will continue to plow snow in the winter and fill potholes, according to the city manager.
    The ongoing negotiation stems from a discovery made by MoDOT last year. As it was performing property research, in anticipation of proposed upgrades along Mark Twain Avenue, the state learned it does not own all the right-of-way along the street. MoDOT found it only owns from the center line south to the hillside. The right of-way north of the center line belongs to the city.
    When advised of the situation in January the City Council expressed reservations in regard to accepting the right-of-way. One of the Council’s primary concerns was the steep hillside on the south side of the Avenue, and the potential for landslides in that area.
    “Collapses can be removed; however, the largest and most-expensive challenge is re-stabilizing the remaining hillside. That can be very expensive,” wrote LaGarce in a memo to the Council, citing the permanent closing of a section of a popular walking trail in Riverview Park following a hillside collapse last May.
    After learning of the Council’s concerns in January, MoDOT began drafting a preliminary agreement that would see the city accept the Avenue’s right-of-way while MoDOT would continue to be responsible for the hillside.
    The resolution of intent, approved by the Council Tuesday night, was done at MoDOT’s request.
    According to LaGarce, the agreement is now in the hands of MoDOT’s legal review committee.
     
     

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