The Shinn Lane area west of Hannibal will look much different by the end of 2017. Tuesday evening, the Hannibal City Council took the first step toward building a roundabout near the entrance to the medical campus. The contract with Klingner and Associates authorizes up to $65,583 for engineering and design. The contract also authorizes another $41,552 for overseeing and inspecting the construction work. City officials hope to put the shovel to the dirt by late spring.

Officials say the project estimated to cost $1,006,000 is necessary due to growth in the area. Approximately 2,000 employees work along the Shinn Lane corridor.

MoDOT STP funding will contribute $332,000 to the project. The city will directly fund $342,000. The remaining amount will likely come from a $332,000 loan from the Hannibal Board of Public Works. City Manager Jeff LaGarce says council approval will be sought before the loan is inked. Two other options for funding have fallen through: Marion County declined to help fund the project, and a Missouri Moves grant is off the table after being vetoed by Governor Nixon.

Future plans in the area include development of a business park and an 80-bed hotel. A Public Hearing on the hotel project was held in council chambers just prior to Tuesday’s council meeting. No objections were voiced. The hotel developer is Spike Ehrhardt. Ehrhardt is proposing the 3-acre lot located near Abel’s Shell be annexed into the city. The proposal received a First Reading during the regular council meeting.