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by Patty Cheffey
Marion County will be keeping their same transportation needs list but prioritizing one point.
The commissioners visited with members of MoDOT during their meeting Monday morning to review the 2022 needs and see if there are any changes.
Marion County is keeping the Hannibal Expressway/bypass as the number one priority, although the environmental assessment has taken place on that project.
Kevin Janes with MoDOT noted a consultant is currently compiling information from that study for the group to consider.
They will also be revising information on alternative routes to see if the current selected route is still the best option and what the costs associated with that project could be.
Janes noted there is always other sources of funding, but without a plan in place, it is usually pointless to try to apply for that.
The commissions also kept acceleration and deceleration lanes on various intersections on U.S. 61 on their list, but after Janes said specific locations would be better, prioritized those locations.
Acceleration and deceleration lanes on County Road 425 (also known as the Airport Road), was listed as the first priority, with lanes at County Road 312 (at the pipeline 2.6 miles south of Route 6) and County Road 266 (Leeser Road) as also top priorities.
The commissioners said they would also like to see turn lanes at County Road 361 (at UPS) and at Clear Creek.
Janes noted these types of lanes are usually done when the county does an overlay, and since there has been considerable deterioration on U.S. 61 between Palmyra and Taylor this winter, lanes at County Road 312 might be done this year.
Better shoulders on Route 168 in Marion County, improving U.S. 61 corridor at Palmyra by adding an interchange and adding or improving east side outer road to connect the north and south interchanges and replacing the single lane BNSF railroad underpass at Route E were also listed as needs.
Marion County intermodal needs include expansion at the Hannibal Airport and hiking trails in both Palmyra and Hannibal.
Bids for a replacement bridge on Missouri 79 over Lyon Street and Warren Barrett Drive in Hannibal were rejected, but Janes said that project will be rebid this fall. Details are still being worked out on a temporary bypass around the construction.
In other business Monday, the commissioners learned from Mike Schaefer, county highway supervisor, Veterans Road and West Ely Road had been restriped.
Schaefer also reported sign-up for dust control continues to the end of the month.
The commissioners also asked Ruth Ann Wright, in the absence of Teya Stice, who is recuperating from surgery, to send a letter to the residents of trailers on County Road 365 asking them to remove items on the county’s right-of-way and to not park vehicles on the road as they are creating a traffic hazard.
One person also reported to a commissioner children in that area are playing in the road and with cars parked in the road, those children could easily be hit by traffic, which has to drive around the parked cars.