MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Two major Morgantown Utility Board projects are being delayed, and another long-awaited important demolition project is expected this year.

Clearing for the Popenoe Run area drainage improvement project was to start this spring; however, bids for that portion of work are overestimated. Now, clearing and drainage work will be combined into one project to go out for bid later this year, according to MUB General Manager Mike McNulty.

“The low bid came at $545,000,” McNulty said. “This amount is just cost prohibitive for the project, so we’re planning to wait and bid the project in August and begin construction in November.”

Work is continuing to acquire rights-of-way from about 60 different property owners. The process has been complicated by property owners who can’t be reached and the total number of inquiries needed. The delay will also accommodate construction restrictions to protect bat populations.

“We still have easements that are outstanding and that should all be cleared up by the time we start construction in November, and it won’t interfere with the Bat habitat,” McNulty said.

Water service to residents in the Morgans Run area off Rugh Lane, Lubbuck Lane, and Longhorn Lane will be delayed until the utility learns the fate of Senate Bill 176.

MUB currently has an application with the Infrastructure and Jobs Development Council for $2 million for the project, which is expected to cost about $3.7 million. McNulty said the utility and Morgans Run residents would be able to update the application amount to $3 million if Senate Bill 176 passes.

“So, we have decided to pause filing an application with the Infrastructure and Jobs Development Council until we know the outcome of this bill,” McNulty said.

The Monongalia County Commission has approved $56,000 to pay for the cost of getting about 30 Morgans Run residents to hook up and become MUB customers.

The demolition of the former site of Dinsmore Tire is expected to be completed this year. Some revisions required by the Environmental Protection Agency to project documents are being made, and the work is expected to go out for bid this year. The final use of the site has been determined, but a portion could be the future high-service pump location for the facility.

“We hope to keep a component for recreation, but it’s still up in the air,” McNulty said. “Nothing is finalized.”

Work on the water and sewer extension to the Chaplin Hill area includes approximately $7.22 million for water infrastructure and $6.83 million for sewer upgrades. The extension is required to continue development and maintain the expansion of existing facilities west of I-79 and is jointly funded by the Monongalia County Commission, MUB, and WestRidge with support from the West Virginia Water Development Authority.

“Our design is at the 90-percent completion stage, and we are still working on easements and permits,” McNulty said. “We have some U.S. Army Corps of Engineers permits, and that’s a process.”