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Hannibal Courier - Post - Hannibal, MO
  • Mark Twain Avenue to remain five lanes

  • The Missouri Department of Transportation, after receiving what it described as “significant public feedback,” announced Thursday that when design work begins on Mark Twain Avenue in Hannibal it will retain its five-lane configuration.
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  • The Missouri Department of Transportation, after receiving what it described as “significant public feedback,” announced Thursday that when design work begins on Mark Twain Avenue in Hannibal it will retain its five-lane configuration.
    "We appreciate the interest in this project and were glad to have public input to help us make the decision," MoDOT Area Engineer Brian Haeffner said in a media release.
    MoDOT had proposed reducing the thoroughfare from its current five lanes down to three, citing the reduced volume of traffic on the avenue since the old bridge closed on Sept. 16, 2010. The city had supported a four-lane proposal.
    “Four lanes allows for motorist passing, aids traffic management with all the curb cuts and turning movements to-and-from businesses, and greatly helps with events like Folk Life, National Tom Sawyer Days, etc.," wrote Jeff LaGarce, city manager, in a letter in behalf of the mayor and City Council during MoDOT’s comment period on the project earlier this spring.
    Neither LaGarce or Mark Rees, director of public works, could be reached for comment Thursday afternoon regarding MoDOT’s decision to keep Mark Twain Lane at five lanes.
    MoDOT proposed making other changes along the corridor when it came time to resurface it.
    “This section of road is due for resurfacing, yet we wanted to see if there was interest in making other improvements at the same time," said Haeffner.
    All lanes will be resurfaced from just south of Grand Avenue to Stowell Elementary School on Missouri 79, and includes parking spaces along Third Street. Other improvements include upgrading the sidewalk on the south (bluff) side and making the road pedestrian/bicycle friendly.
    According to MoDOT, the existing pavement will be removed and replaced with a new asphalt surface. The resurfacing will not include the Third Street viaduct, the surface of which Haeffner described as still “in good shape.”
    The resurfacing project, which is slated to begin in the summer of 2015, will cost an estimated $1.2 million. While a part of the overall project, the resurfacing and striping of parking spaces along Third Street will be funded by the city.
     

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