Business owners get heated on discussion of Hannibal downtown si - WGEM.com: Quincy News, Weather, Sports, and Radio

Business owners get heated on discussion of Hannibal downtown sidewalk project

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HANNIBAL, Mo. (WGEM) -

Things got heated Monday night at a public meeting in Hannibal.

It all centers on the future of the downtown sidewalk replacement project. And many business owners don't agree with the current plan.

Several business owners voiced concerns with the two-tier design, saying it could pose a tripping hazard, and limit the amount of space customers have.

"It's going to be dangerous I think for me to have a table and chairs right there and then have a big step off," said a business owner.

"I'm here today to find out how much longer I have to keep my business closed because of this," said one concerned business owner.

Those were just a few of the concerns voiced to Hannibal city officials by downtown business owners.

Julie Rolsen owns the Main Street Kitchen Store and says she wants to have a wider sidewalk, something the current plan won't provide.

"At least 10 feet so that they are wide enough when we have our girls weekends or a lot of the festivals people can walk side by side, two or three maybe even four wide walking down the street," said Rolsen.

City Engineer Mark Rees says he sympathizes with downtown business owners, and says there are several options to fix the problem.

"We could possibly move that curb closer to the street curb and have a double curb which is not un common around communities like this or we could talk about some other configurations that might possibly do away with the curb," said Rees.

Those other configurations brought up tonight include raising the street bed itself to be level with the sidewalk but that would cost even more money and a lot more time.

Another option would be to continue with the project as is something neither business owners or city officials are eager to do.

"With that curb in the middle of the sidewalk like that it does present an unexpected obstacle for pedestrians, and in general you just don't want to design too many of those into your project," said Rees.

Construction has been put on hold in the 300 block of Main Street until city officials come to an agreement on what to do.

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