Paving of South Main Street go proceed this fall.

Although the removal of the existing surface and the re-asphalting of Main Street is expected to be the shortest facet of the Hannibal Downtown Sidewalk and Paving Project that's now under way, it's conceivable the wait for all the work to wrap up next year could be less than anticipated.

Mark Rees, city engineer, indicated late last week that the project's contractor, Bleigh Construction, does not have to wait until all the installation of curb, gutter and sidewalk is installed to begin doing any street upgrades on Main south of Broadway since no sidewalk replacement is planned in that area.

"They do not have to wait for the sidewalk work to be completed there. They can go ahead and start on the south end of Main Street," said Rees.

Rees added, however, that he will not be pressuring Bleigh to start the pavement work on South Main.

"I typically leave it to the contractor to set their own schedule," he said. "I try not to push."

While no new sidewalk, gutter or curb is slated to be installed on South Main, according to Rees some new handicapped areas must be poured where the sidewalk meets the street before the milling of the old surface and the application of the new asphalt overlay can commence.

On Friday, Brian Chaplin, project manager for the city, reported that none of the new handicap access points on South Main have as yet been put in place.

Still, Chaplin is optimistic that pavement work on South Main could be seen this year.

"They're thinking about laying it this year," he said. "I think there's a good chance it will be done."