Plans to beautify Hannibal’s riverfront are moving forward with new funding.
The riverfront project will still have a marina but it will be moved down south while the current marina will be filled in and turned into a green space.
Wednesday may be the last time Thomas Hodson takes his boat out on the river this season. Next year, he will have to find a new spot for his boat while construction takes place on the Hannibal riverfront, something he isn’t looking forward to.
“You have to gear up the boat, you have to take it down, you have to launch it, you have your day, you come back you have to put it on a trailer, take it home so it’s really nice to just come park your boat and walk away,” said Hodson.
The parks department said that’s exactly what they want, for more people to use the riverfront.
Tuesday, the city approved a $6.6 million dollar contract with Bleigh Construction to renovate Hannibal’s riverfront.
The parks department said work will begin as soon as next week.
“What a lot of people like to do is walk along the riverfront. A lot of people use Nipper Park for exercise so there will be a big open space for people to walk and see the river,” said Mary Lynne Richards with the Hannibal Parks & Recreation Department. “This is an iconic riverfront and you will be able to get down here and use it more.”
The parks department said while there’s only so much they can do to prevent flooding, they say with the new riverfront, cleaning up the mess it leaves behind will be a lot easier.
“This rip-wrap and concrete sidewalk that we’re going to have and just the grass open fields, it will be so much easier to clean up after a flood,” said Richards.
Richards said they hope the project wraps up by next September. Meanwhile, Hodson said he hopes the money for the project is being put in the right place.
“That’s a lot of money that could be spent on other things, infrastructure, roads. But i really think if the city holds true to what they want to do it will be a place where people want to come,” he said.
City council approved an ordinance that allows the sale of $6.6 million in bonds to help finance the project. Part of that money will help finance the new convention and visitor’s bureau as well.