Two contractors submitted bids

Replacing the Mark Twain Memorial Lighthouse on Cardiff Hill in Hannibal will cost more than expected.

Bids for the project opened earlier this week in Hannibal City Hall. Two bids were received. The low bid of $135,453.71 was submitted by Martin Construction of Eolia. Last May it was reported that the engineer's estimate to rebuild the 54-foot structure was between $30,000-60,000. The Hannibal Parks and Recreation Department's 2017-18 budget contained $75,000 for the project.

"It is over what we originally budgeted, but by the time we put that budget number together, it was long ago, so it was kind of a shot in the dark on what it was going to cost," said Aron Lee, assistant director of the parks department.

Lee said the increased price will not put the project in jeopardy. Funds from another project, such as the Huckleberry Park pond which has been pushed back, could be used to pay for the new lighthouse.

"We will definitely be able to make it work with no issues," Lee said.

During the Feb. 21 meeting of the Hannibal Park Board Andy Dorian, director of the Hannibal Parks and Recreation Department, said he anticipated taking the lighthouse bid before the Hannibal City Council at its Tuesday, March 5, meeting.

If the bid is accepted, a preconstruction meeting between Martin Construction and the parks department would be scheduled. Lee said the project's start date and other issues would be discussed.

"We're looking forward to getting the project started," Lee said.

Dorian said last August that the new lighthouse, "needs to be ready by April 1 of 2019 for the bicentennial."

The current lighthouse has stood atop Cardiff Hill since 1963 after strong winds toppled its predecessor in 1960. It's been more than 20 years since the last major renovation of the lighthouse took place.

In November 2017 the parks department hired MECO Engineering to perform a structural study of the lighthouse. At the April 2018 park board meeting Dorian said the report found that it did "not appear feasible for the lighthouse to be repaired."