Future Highway 79 construction welcomed by residents - WGEM.com: Quincy News, Weather, Sports, and Radio

Future Highway 79 construction welcomed by residents

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HANNIBAL, Mo. (WGEM) -

 

If you're looking to get into Hannibal you may have to change your route in the next couple weeks. MoDOT officials held an open meeting Tuesday to let drivers know what type of construction will be done on Highway 79 just South of America's Hometown. 

MoDOT will start work on the almost eight mile project July 8th.  It will be the first time the highway has been repaved since the late 1960s, and residents who travel on this road everyday said it needs to be revived. 

 

Driving down Highway 79 isn't the smoothest because of the potholes and cracks along the road.  Ron Ingram travels the highway everyday to get to Hannibal.  He likes what MoDOT has planned for 79.  
"And the road's coming apart pretty good in a lot of places plus it's going to put bike lanes on there and that's really needed," Ingram said.   
Tina McSparren agrees.  She runs along highway 79 everyday. She says paving the shoulder is a huge benefit for anyone who runs or bikes along the highway.   
"That's very exciting, it would help me out a lot and help out a lot of people a lot. The shoulders are uneven and there's a bunch of potholes, so I run out on the road so I don't sprain an ankle," McSparren said. 
District Engineer Paula Gough says the $4.4 million project will be split into two phases with work beginning south of Continental Cement.  Gough said MoDOT did it that way to help out Hannibal as much as possible. 
"We have a lot of tourism and in the North section in the second phase of the project are Sawyer's Creek and Mark Twain Cave and some other local destinations," Gough said.   

Once the first phase of construction begins, drivers will only be able to travel Northbound on 79 towards Hannibal.  To head South, you'll have to take Route T then cross over on Route N before you can get back on 79.  In addition to the roadwork, crews will also work on railroad crossing improvements and installing new guard rails.  The entire project is projected to be completed in Mid to late September.  

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