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City pursues grant projects

Pleasant Street overhaul estimated at $480K included

The city of Morgantown received the green light to pursue grant funding for three pedestrian projects, including a Pleasant Street overhaul estimated at $480,000.

Should the city’s grant submissions find favor with the state’s Transportation Alternative Program, the funds would likely be made available in 2021 and would require a 20% match from the city.

Of the three, the Pleasant Street streetscape is the only construction grant request.

Those funds would be used  to highlight and improve sidewalks, upgrade lighting, install and improve curb cuts and incorporate colored bricks, pedestrian features and improved green space in the sidewalks and along the street.

It would also enhance crosswalks.

“This is huge,” Councilor Jenny Selin said. “We should move full-speed ahead, particularly with the pedestrian crossing there between the parking garage and the surface lot across from the garage to try to get people across the street to businesses on the other side and into the downtown. It’s just really important to move this forward. I’m very excited about that.”

Interim City Manager Emily Muzzarelli said the city has the matching funds available for the project in its capital escrow account if the grant is awarded.

The city also intends to apply for two TAP grants to fund design work.

 The first would design an ADA-compliant sidewalk from the Mileground to the Morgantown Municipal Airport terminal building at an estimated cost of $100,000.

The sidewalk would run along the wood line next to  Hart Field Road.

 The design would also include a new sidewalk connecting the airport’s terminal and administration buildings as well as ADA-compliant access ramps for the terminal building. 

Should the grant be awarded, Muzzarelli said the airport has the matching funds on hand for the design project.

The third grant request would be for the design of a connector between the White Park trail system, across Don Knotts Boulevard to the  trail.

The design work has an estimated cost of $75,000.

Part of that design would include determining whether a bridge or surface connection would be the optimal choice for crossing Don Knotts Boulevard.

“The rail-trail has been trying to connect White Park to the rail-trail for years,” Councilor Dave Harshbarger said. “It would be great to see this move forward.”

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