Grant will pay for majority of project

A major sidewalk project along Palmyra Road in Hannibal, started almost a half decade ago, will be completed.

Jeff LaGarce, Hannibal city manager, said during Tuesday night's city council meeting that the project has been awarded a $297,000 grant through the Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP).

TAP, which is administered by the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT), provides up to $400,000, at 80/20 funding, for the construction of transportation alternative projects, which includes sidewalks.

All totaled, LaGarce expects the project will cost approximately $340,000, which is more than he expected.

"It will be a good addition," Mayor James Hark said. "I would like to have new sidewalks everywhere. You have to start somewhere."

The new section of sidewalk will extend from Bay Avenue to the entrance to Riverview Park.

"It's a good thing for our school district, not to mention we have a lot of people who utilize that area to walk," Hark said.

The initial installation of 3,700 feet of sidewalk and about 1,000 feet of retaining wall took place in 2014.

"Essentially we have half a project," Hark said. "We are just finishing up what they weren't able to in 2014 for whatever reasons."

It had been hoped that the sidewalk project would be completed by the start of the 2012-13 school year. However, the project was put on hold when the city could not secure all the necessary easements. The final few easements were secured with the help of MoDOT.

To help hold project costs down, it was suggested at city hall that the remaining 1,000 feet of concrete would be installed by street department and parks and recreation department personnel. That plan never gained traction.

The initial phase of the project was also grant funded. The city received a $249,000 Safe Routes to School Program federal grant in July 2011.

LaGarce learned only last week that the city was receiving the TAP grant. The process of seeking the grant started in early October when the council approved a resolution of support for the TAP grant program application and committed to provide a 20 percent match for the project.

"It is nice to see effort produce results," LaGarce said.



danny.henley@courierpost.com