Cold forecast keeping city's repaving program on 'ice'

The 2018 portion of Hannibal's multi-million dollar street improvement program was supposed to have been underway by now, but it will remain on hold for at least another week, according to Mike McHargue, street department supervisor.

“It was due to start next week, but I just got an email that they are going to push it back another week due to a forecast of cold temperatures,” said McHargue on Thursday morning.

According to the National Weather Service's forecast for next week the high temperature Monday through Thursday is only expected to top out around 50 degrees.

“The warmer it is the longer the asphalt will actually last,” said McHargue regarding the importance temperature has when resurfacing pavement.

The project is now tentatively set to resume on Monday, April 9, weather permitting.

While the date when street milling and overlaying resumes is still anyone's guess, what is known is where the work will resume.

“It will start on Lyon Street,” said McHargue. “The contractor (Bross Construction) will do the entire length of Lyon Street and some of the side streets going off of Lyon.”

The fact the work is starting on Lyon is also weather related, according to McHargue.

“Last year they did the entire length of Church Street and a couple of little side streets. Then the engineer said it was too cold to asphalt and they shut it down at that point. They're just picking up where they left off last year,” he said.

Once work on Lyon Street is completed the project will move across town.

“Then the (asphalting) machine is going to go north of Palmyra Road in the area around the college, Wyaconda and that area right in there. The Lake Apollo area will be after that,” said McHargue, adding that $3.1 million will be spent this summer as part of the city's street program. “At that point we will make a plan as to where it's going next. It may go to the South Side or out in areas around Oakwood. I'm not really sure.”

McHargue is certain that the city's street work will not be going on anywhere near McMaster's Avenue when it is being resurfaced this summer.

“That's why we're out on Palmyra Road now because we don't want to have Palmyra Road partially blocked when Highway 61 is blocked by MoDOT,” said McHargue. “We just want to stay away from MoDOT's project so the citizens of Hannibal won't have to deal with two major roads closed.”

Major thoroughfares won't be all that is upgraded.

“There's a whole host of little side roads that need obvious attention,” said McHargue. “Right now we're just picking and choosing what's a priority … what looks the worst. I'm looking at a few smaller streets that we might be able to do in-house at some point and let Bross, with its equipment, do the more major streets and streets that are harder for us to do.”

Also slated to receive attention from city forces are a few alleys, starting with one that runs between Pine and Olive streets.

“It is a very long alley that's used quite a bit,” said McHargue. “I've gotten some complaints on it and justifiably so. We've decided to pave that entire alley this spring.

“I've identified a couple of other smaller alleys around town that we will try to get to in this budget year. Of course in the next budget year we will have a little money to throw at a few other alleys, ones that are in bad shape that the citizens use quite a bit.”

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