Departments drafting new flood response plans

Following months of relative quiet in regards to the renovation of the Hannibal riverfront, things could soon heat up.

Andy Dorian, director of the Parks and Recreation Department, said Friday that “any day” the notice of permitting for the project could be issued. The permitting notice will be followed by a 30-day comment period. Any notes on the project that are collected during that time will be incorporated into the plans by project engineer, Klingner & Associates. At that time the revised blueprints will go back to city hall.

“Klingner would like to possibly have something to the City Council by the second meeting in February,” said Dorian during the Jan. 18 Park Board meeting.

Following a second approval of the plans by the Council the project would be set to go out for bid.

“That is the tentative timeline right now and it could change based on the permitting, or Corps’ (of Engineers) notes, or something like that,” said Dorian. “Klingner would love to go out for bid with this in March sometime, but once again that is a tentative timeline that could change.”

While waiting for the permitting process to run its course, other details related to the new riverfront are being addressed.

“From here on out there is an insane amount of work that needs to be done,” Dorian told the Park Board last week.

One of the big question marks being addressed now is what must occur when the Mississippi River is forecast to leave its banks and invade the renovated riverfront.

“What all has to come out when the gates go in?” said Dorian. “When we’re talking about moving gangways you’re talking about big structures … heavy things. Do we float them out? Do we crane them out? How much time do we need?

“We’ve also got trash cans, park benches, picnic tables (to remove). That’s not to mention all the other things we’ve got to go do in our floodplain parks and in the armory.”

Dorian is quick to note that the Parks Department is not the only city entity that must spring into action ahead of a flood, citing Emergency Management, the Street Department and Board of Public Works.

“Everybody’s going to have to have a cohesive plan so when we find out gates are going in we can mobilize and get everything out in quick and timely fashion,” he said. “A lot has got to be done in a very, very quick period of time. We’re working on that (plan).”

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