River levels delay North Street repairs

By Hannibal Courier-Post
Posted: Jul. 1, 2020 9:32 am

HANNIBAL | The level of the Mississippi River in Hannibal continues to hinder the temporary repair of a damaged storm sewer on North Street.

During the June meeting of the Hannibal Board of Public Works Board, Mathew Munzlinger of the HBPW reported that the contractor for the project, Heartland Restoration of Elsberry, had actually been scheduled to commence work on June 15, but the project remained on hold because the river level remained at or above flood stage in Hannibal.

“We need to have the river down around 12 feet so we can get in there and get it done,” Munzlinger said at the most recent meeting of the HBPW Board. “Hopefully toward the end of the month (of June), provided we have no more large rain events like we have had the last couple of weeks, especially north of us, they will be able to get in there and get that repair knocked out.”

Earlier this year Munzlinger reported that since the failure of the North Street storm sewer during a torrential rain in May 2019 there have only been a few times when the river was low enough for access to be gained to the area that was damaged.

According to Munzlinger, once the repair work begins it should only take “a couple of weeks from start to finish.”

The HBPW will not be alone when it comes to funding storm sewer repairs on North Street. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will also apparently be involved in the repair project “There is a portion of the repair that they are going to do,” Munzlinger said. “It's looking like they are going to repair the section (of storm sewer) basically from the toe of the levee to the east side of the alley way.”

A levee toe is the edge of the levee where the base meets natural ground.

In addition to the Corps of Engineers, the HBPW is still hopeful of receiving assistance from another federal source.

“We're also working with FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) to determine how much (of the damaged storm sewer) they will repair or replace,” Munzlinger said last month. “Ultimately that (FEMA assistance) will go against the total project cost of roughly $5.5 million that we anticipate the whole project costing.”

The $5.5 million is the least expensive of the permanent repairs for the North Street storm sewer that was proposed last year to the HBPW. That repair option, which was chosen by the HBPW Board in October 2019, entails replacing the storm sewer's existing stone archway with a box culvert from the flood levee to Mark Twain Avenue.

The HBPW's storm water utility currently lacks the funds necessary to undertake a permanent repair on North Street.

During the June HBPW Board meeting, General Manager Ken Reasoner said a list of storm water projects was being created. In addition, some funding has been set aside for the work.

“During the budgeting process we set aside $1.5 million to start funding some of these repairs,” he said. “If you look (at repair costs) at Union Street and North Street alone, if we are able to secure grant funding we are still goingtohaveabouta20% match, which would be about $1.4 million that would have to be provided by local sources and the HBPW.”




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