Addition will help ease school-related congestion

In an effort to enhance traffic flow and safety, changes were made a few years ago to the south parking lot at Hannibal High School. Comparable benefits are expected following an upcoming project that will take place where the middle school's north parking lot meets Palmyra Road.

The school district is planning to add a right-turn lane out of the middle school parking lot onto Palmyra Road.

"This additional lane will permit both left-hand and right-hand egress from the lot, as well as ingress from the east and west off of Palmyra Road," explained Rich Stilley, business manager for the Hannibal public school district. "We anticipate a much safer intersection, less congestion and smoother drop-off and pickup times each day."

Stilley presented the proposal to the Hannibal Traffic Committee during its June 7 meeting at City Hall. Committee members supported the plan.

"It will not (negatively) impact Palmyra Road," said Rich Dauma, a committee member representing the Street Department.

"It will improve safety in the parking lot," added Lt. John Zerbonia of the Police Department and a member of the Traffic Committee.

Stilley acknowledged that the successful changes to the traffic flow exiting the high school parking lot factored in the decision to add the new lane on the middle school parking lot at Palmyra Road.

"We have seen the safety benefit with the revised traffic flow at HHS and are constantly striving to implement revisions that make our campuses safer," he said.

This project has been under consideration for over a year, according to Stilley.

He estimated the cost of the project at between $45,000 and $50,000.

To help limit the project's cost the work will be performed by a combination of district staff and an outside contractor.

It is not believed the new turn lane will create a conflict with an existing crosswalk on Palmyra Road.

"If needed we will relocate the crosswalk to assure that students and patrons that utilize the crosswalk are safe," said Stilley.

Because of ongoing work on McMaster's Avenue, the middle school parking lot project will not take place until after the start of the upcoming school year.

"Pirate Pride Drive will be closed from June 18, 2018, until early August with the construction project on McMaster's. Palmyra Road will be our main entrance and exit during this time," said Stilley.

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