HANNIBAL | Four months after the Hannibal Board of Public Works approved a contract for the temporary repair of the North Street storm sewer, work has begun.
Mathew Munzlinger of the HBPW said that the contractor, Heartland Restoration of Elsberry, was on site Monday to begin the process of repairing approximately 250 feet of the stone archway that was damaged during a torrential rain event in May 2019.
No one is to blame for the project's delay.
“Due to river levels we have been unable to get the contractor in there to do that (repair),” Munzlinger said during the July meeting of the HBPW Board.
Munzlinger added last week that with the Mississippi River “dropping off pretty quickly” that it was anticipated the river level would soon be approaching 12 feet, which is low enough to safely get workers into the storm sewer.
According to the National Weather Service's Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service the Mississippi River level in Hannibal Tuesday morning stood at 12.5 feet. The river is forecast to remain at approximately that level or fall lower through at least the next week. The storm sewer repair is expected to be completed by the end of this week, Munzlinger said.
Munzlinger has stressed often that the project is “extremely weather dependent.” As of Tuesday morning the National Weather Service's forecast for Hannibal called for a 50% chance of thunderstorms Wednesday afternoon and Wednesday night, and a 70% chance of storms on Thursday.
Munzlinger will be relieved once the temporary repairs are completed.
“The way I see it, it is a good insurance policy. If the river comes back up we could be in flooding season again next spring,” he said.
Heartland Restoration's bid of $51,655 was the lower of two bids that was received earlier this year for the repair project. The estimated cost of the temporary repair was $60,000. The HBPW Board accepted the bid at its March meeting.
The temporary repair will be the first of three storm sewer-related projects that will be taking place along North Street in the months ahead. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has advised the HBPW that it intends to repair a section of the storm sewer 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.
Finally, a permanent repair will be made to the storm sewer. It will entail replacing the storm sewer's existing stone archway with a box culvert from where the Army Corps of Engineers' repair ends near the flood levee all the way to Mark Twain Avenue.
“There is going to be quite a bit of activity (along North Street) over the next 12 to 24 months,” said HBPW General Manager Ken Reasoner during the July meeting of the HBPW Board.
“The temporary repair is going to take a week and then be done,” Munzlinger said. “The one (project) with the Corps is going to be a small inconvenience.
“When we talk about replacing the remaining portion (of storm sewer), that is going to be a big inconvenience because it is going to require North Street to be closed down. It is going to take planning.”