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Downtown Enhancement Project To Start This Spring

Downtown Enhancement
Project To Start This Spring

By Mike Scott

Broken sidewalks, dangerous ramps and unsafe step-curbs
should soon be things of the past in downtown Kahoka, as a project first
approved in 2008 should break ground within the next few weeks.

The Kahoka Board of Aldermen awarded the downtown
improvement project bid to JD Bishop Construction of Chula, Missouri. The total bid price was $175,340.50.

The final project will replace the sidewalks and curbs on
the east and west sides of Kahoka’s square, extending around the corners at
each end.

Ramps will be added in the middle of the block on each side of the square, and the
curbs will be rebuilt to have one step between the road surface and the
sidewalk, much like the north and south sides of the square currently
have. The sidewalk itself will have a
slight grade away from the buildings to allow for water drainage.

The construction contract specifies completion within 120
construction days.

Of total dollar figure, $127,269 is federal highway
money. The balance will be cash and
in-kind contribution by the city. As
part of its in-kind responsibility, the city will remove the lights and handle
the disposal of the sidewalk demolition remains.

The enhancement project began in 2008, when Kahoka applied
for a grant through MoDOT for federal
funds designated for projects like this.

At that time, the council selected MECO Engineering of
Hannibal to manage the project. The
City of Kahoka received the Letter of Award in the summer of 2008, and
then-Mayor Herb Butler signed the agreement.

Since then, a combination of delays, including staff changes
at MECO and rules changes in the grant process have delayed the project. The project was further delayed when the
first bids received by the city were much higher than expected, forcing the
city to re-bid the project.

The project was eventually awarded to Bishop Construction,
with a start date of March 1, weather permitting.

Earlier this month, MECO Engineer John Hummel reported that
the contractor had requested permission to start earlier if the weather allowed,
and the Board of Aldermen agreed.

The next step is for a preconstruction meeting to be held
between the City of Kahoka, MoDOT, Bishop and MECO.

“At that meeting, we will review the project parameters, and
make sure everyone has a full understanding of the scope of the work,” said
Kahoka City Assistant Jim Sherwood.

“I’m going to emphasize that the project be the hinderance
to business as possible. We don’t want
to interfere with or local businesses any more than we have to,” said Sherwood.