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Hannibal Courier - Post - Hannibal, MO
  • Proposed Mark Twain Avenue changes draw mixed reviews

  • Members of the public had their first opportunity to view and comment on proposed improvements along Hannibal’s Mark Twain Avenue on Tuesday night during an open meeting at City Hall. Based on the remarks he heard, Brian Haeffner, area engineer with the Missouri Department of Transportation, reaction was mixed.
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  • Members of the public had their first opportunity to view and comment on proposed improvements along Hannibal’s Mark Twain Avenue on Tuesday night during an open meeting at City Hall. Based on the remarks he heard, Brian Haeffner, area engineer with the Missouri Department of Transportation, reaction was mixed.
    “Some folks really like the project and some don’t like the idea of going down to three lanes from five,” he said.
    The lane reduction would take place along Mark Twain Avenue would occur from the overpass at I-72 to the Hannibal Convention and Visitor's Bureau.
    “Folks think we have five lanes today and we ought to keep it,” said Haeffner. “We know there’s not the traffic volume that requires five lanes, but at some point in the future people think if Hannibal grows then they may need five lanes. We don’t project growth by that amount, but you never know what’s going to happen.”
    Among those checking out the plans was Hannibal resident John Lyng. He was not prepared to offer an opinion Tuesday night on the proposal.
    “I haven’t formed one,” he said. “My difficulty is you have a hearing and you don’t get to see what you’re supposed to have an opinion on until you walk into the hearing, and that’s kind of what this is. This is the first I’ve seen it so I really haven’t had a chance to run it through the old brain and think about it, and see whether or not if I have anything that might be positive.”
    Haeffner said MoDOT was interested in everyone’s input.
    “That’s why we’re here tonight, to get that input from the community to find out who is in favor of the project, who is in favor of the whole thing and who is opposed to it,” he said.
    All displays at Tuesday’s meeting can be viewed online at www.modot.org/northeast, or those interested can call 573-248-2490 for customer service to get more information. Those viewing the plans online also have the opportunity to contribute comments.
    Turnout for Tuesday’s event was good.
    “We had a rush right at the beginning and it’s been steady throughout the evening,” said Haeffner.
    While many people are focused on the work that will occur along Mark Twain Avenue, the project will actually extend down Mark Twain Avenue and along Missouri 79/Third Street to Stowell Elementary School on the city’s South Side. The road’s surface along that corridor will be resurfaced, except for the viaduct.
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