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The Missouri Department of Transportation has kicked off the U.S. 61 Expressway Environmental Impact Statement Re-evaluation study.
“While this is a different study than the one completed in 1996, we will still be using some of the same data, so we are not starting completely over,” said Paula Gough, MoDOT Northeast District engineer.
“Development and land use patterns have changed, and new technology has been introduced, so we need to reevaluate the four options presented at that time.
“The previous study presented solutions to traffic congestion, delay, and safety on U.S. 61 through Hannibal and evaluated four roadway alternatives.
Gough said the new study will have the similar goals, even though it has been twenty-five years since the completion of the previous study.
The re-evaluation will factor each alternative’s ability to meet the purpose and need for the project, natural, and socio-economic environmental impacts, engineering criteria, cost, and constructability.
“These factors, in addition to public input, will help determine if there is a feasible alternative to move forward into further project development,” Gough said.
Gough stressed there is no current funding for the design and construction of the project; the $500,000 funding is for the study only.
The proposed project is focused on improving safety, congestion, and mobility for the City of Hannibal and regional area.
In addition, it is intended to reduce heavy truck conflicts on U.S. 61 through Hannibal.
“In 2008 and 2009, we initiated some public involvement efforts as an opportunity to consider funding some of the engineering of the actual project,” Gough said.
As part of our current planning process, Updating the Hannibal Expressway Study was identified as part of the 2021 High Priority Unfunded Road & Bridge Needs list.
As part of the project, there will be a robust public involvement program, including the re-establishment of a citizens advisory group, and MoDOT will host public meetings to gather input from key stakeholders and the public.
Those interested in following the project can sign up for project email updates, find the latest materials, and submit questions and comments directly to the project team through the project web page at U.S. Route 61 Expressway EIS Re-evaluation Study | Missouri Department of Transportation (modot.org).
“We expect the study to conclude by the end of 2023,” Gough said.