With the installation now completed of stamped concrete crosswalks at the intersection of Main Street and Broadway, Brian Chaplin, superintendent of the Hannibal Department of Public Works, has the next downtown street project already planned out. The target area for the work is the 100 block of North Fourth Street between City Hall and the east side of Central Park.

With the installation now completed of stamped concrete crosswalks at the intersection of Main Street and Broadway, Brian Chaplin, superintendent of the Hannibal Department of Public Works, has the next downtown street project already planned out. The target area for the work is the 100 block of North Fourth Street between City Hall and the east side of Central Park.

“I’m going to narrow this road (Fourth Street) up and put a right turn lane in, add more trees along the park side, some parking and maybe some new lighting,” said Chaplin. “It’s going to look nice.”

The street’s width is ample to handle being reduced, according to Chaplin.

“The street is really wide which gives me enough room to shrink everything in and put a right turning lane in,” he said. “We’re going to narrow it up by 3 to 4 feet, take the (existing) curb out and put new curb in about 3 to 4 feet further out, put a turning lane in and put in some new trees.”

Is there enough traffic on Fourth Street to warrant a turn lane?

“With this right turning lane we can keep traffic flowing,” said Chaplin.

Two preliminary steps in the project were taken earlier this week when a pair of sycamore trees, located between the sidewalk and existing curb on the east end of the park, were brought down.

“They’re buckling the sidewalk,” explained Andy Dorian during the April 20 meeting of the city’s Park Board. “I hate taking out live trees but they’re buckling the sidewalks and we have all these events (in the park). We really don’t have a choice. They probably weren’t the best tree to plant there 30 or 40 years ago.”

Chaplin says more forethought will go into the selection of trees that are being planted near streets and sidewalks.

“I don’t want any trees that are going to get real big and will blow the sidewalk up,” he said. “I want more of a decorative type tree that’s not going to get as big as cottonwoods that we’re removing all the time because they’re tearing sidewalks up and tearing roads up. We’re thinking it through because I don’t want 10 years from now to be replacing sidewalks, curbs and roads because the (trees’) root systems are blowing these up. We’re going to put the right trees out here eventually.”

New trees may not just to be planted in Central Park.

“Maybe we’ll add some trees to the front of City Hall here,” said Chaplin. “They would spice it up a little bit and make it look nice.”

Reach reporter Danny Henley at danny.henley@courierpost.com