HANNIBAL, Mo. -- The Missouri Department of Transportation is alerting motorists to be prepared for a prolonged traffic mess in Hannibal during 2018.
MoDOT will hold a public meeting on Tuesday, July 25, at the agency's district office in Hannibal to outline plans to resurface U.S. 61 (McMaster's Avenue) from its intersection with Mo. 168 (Palmyra Road) all the way south to Warren Barrett Drive -- a process that will begin in the spring and require about six months to complete.
The meeting will be 4 to 6 p.m. with a 15-minute formal presentation at 5 p.m. Visitors will be able to ask questions and view maps and displays of the proposed work zone.
MoDOT said the $6.5 million project will involve more than simply resurfacing the busy thoroughfare, which carries the Avenue of the Saints through one of the busiest parts of Hannibal. MoDOT also will be upgrading intersections and driveway entrances along the route. In addition, it will install curbs and sidewalks in certain locations.
MoDOT said the biggest impact on motorists will involve traffic shifts and the temporary inability to make left turns at two key locations -- the U.S. 61/I-72 interchange and the intersection of U.S. 61, Stardust Drive and Pirate Pride Drive, which will be inaccessible from June 18 to Aug. 6 of next year.
"The resurfacing part of the project is relatively straightforward, but it's the additional improvements that will create impacts to area residents, businesses and drivers," Brian Haeffner, MoDOT's area engineer, said in a press release.
Haeffner said MoDOT officials are planning to work with local businesses and area residents who will be affected by the construction work.
"We expect most of the work to take place overnight, which will be safer for workers and drivers," he said.
Haeffner said plans call for upgrading all driveway entrances and sidewalks on the east side of U.S. 61 between the Stardust Drive/Pirate Pride Drive intersection and the I-72 interchange to make them more accessible to people with disabilities.
New sidewalks also will be installed on the west side of U.S. 61 from Commerce Bank to Long John Silver's.
"This was an opportunity to create a safer movement for pedestrians who regularly walk along the road," Haeffner said.
"About 26,000 vehicles travel along this stretch of road, and while there is not an estimate on the number of pedestrians who use the sidewalk system, with the schools and businesses on opposite sides, it is frequently used."
Contractors are expected to submit bids for the construction work in December.