By MAGGIE MENDERSKI
Herald-Whig Staff Writer
HANNIBAL, Mo, -- A redesign for the Main Street sidewalk has eliminated the need for a split-level sidewalk.
The Hannibal City Council on Tuesday approved a change order on the project to address downtown merchant concerns regarding safety and walking space with a split-level sidewalk.
In late November, the city halted the sidewalk work after Bleigh Construction employees already had poured 15 to 20 feet of new sidewalk on the west side in the second block of Main Street. The 12-foot wide sidewalk had originally been designed with an 8 percent downward slope from the shops toward the street. But the partly poured sidewalk essentially split the sidewalk into two flat surfaces -- one closer to the shops measuring 8 feet wide and the other 4 feet wide, with a 6-inch "step up" between the two.
Architechnics and Meco Engineering redesigned plans to eliminate the need for the step-up in the sidewalk. The plan requires adjusting the street with the flat sidewalk to meet ADA requirements. On Tuesday, the council approved spending $196,654.13 for Bleigh Construction to complete the project.
Bleigh Construction will develop the parking lot at the north end of Main Street as part of the downtown sidewalk project, but the Parks and Recreation Department will fund the parking lot's development. Andy Dorian, director of Parks and Recreation, said $30,000 is budgeted for the improvements.
The Park Board recently voted to create a plan to renovate the entrance to the parking lot. A new information kiosk will promote downtown events, and benches, trees, flowerbeds and a drinking fountain will be added.
"It'll be a dressed-up area," Dorian said. "We're hoping to make it a gathering spot."
Parks and Recreation also has an idea for a new home for Hannibal's Jake Beckley Monument, which had been at the entrance the parking lot. Dorian asked the City Council on Tuesday to support his plan to move the Hannibal baseball legend's monument to a new athletic field being developed at the old Display Center site on Warren Buffet Drive. Dorian said the Park Board also voted to name the new baseball field Beckley Field.