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MPO looking to have engineering on call, applying for federal Safe Streets grant

MORGANTOWN — In an effort to be more nimble in its ability to respond to grant opportunities and address emerging issues and projects, the Morgantown Monongalia Metropolitan Planning Organization is looking to establish an on-call relationship with up to three engineering firms.

MPO Executive Director Bill Austin said he studied a similar policy recently established by the Hagerstown/Eastern Panhandle MPO, as well as others. He said the state is also going this route and the city of Morgantown is also working on a similar policy.

Brian Carr is the West Virginia Division of Highways representative on the MPO Policy Board.

“Essentially what happens, if you get a project that needs to bring somebody on board, you don’t have that two-, three-, four-month cumbersome process,” Carr said.

Austin explained the MPO plans to have up to three firms on a one-year contract, with an option to renew for a second year.

In other MPO news, the body is applying for a Safe Streets for All grant, through which the U.S. Department of Transportation will distribute $5 billion over the next five years.

Austin said Star City, Granville, Morgantown and Monongalia County have highlighted projects that were included as part of the application process.

“We are finalizing the list of projects now,” Austin explained.

The draft project list will be available to the public for comment at a Comprehensive Plan Fair to be held Sept. 8 in Mountaineer Station on the WVU campus.

Potential participants include Morgantown, Monongalia County, Star City, Westover and Granville.

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