Right-of-way acquisition delays Popenoe Run drainage work

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Drainage improvements for the Popenoe Run area of Morgantown will get a delayed start due to right-of-way and construction easement issues. Morgantown Utility Board (MUB) Senior Engineer Ken Hacker said the design work is completely done and work on bid documents will begin when all of the areas in question have been legally acquired.

“We have currently about 30 of the 61 required rights-of-way signed and we have seven of the 14 temporary construction easements signed that we need to move forward with the project,” Hacker said.

The right-of-way process has been complicated by the number of agreements required, locating some property owners and the time it takes to process.

The environmental permitting process is nearly complete involving compliance issues with the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Environmental Protection agency.

“We’ve only got one permit left to obtain and we’re good to go there and that’s been promised to us, we’re just waiting on the paperwork,” Hacker said.

The worksite is between Richland Avenue and Randolph Road on the stadium parking lot side of Willowdale Road in the area behind the homes on Amherst Road to Stewart Street close to Shorty Anderson’s Auto Service. The storm water systems on Hoffman Avenue and Bradley Street will also be improved.

“In March the cost estimate was just over $2.6 million, so I don’t know if we’re going to update that or if we’re going to wait and see where the bids fall,” Hacker said.

The project will mostly be paid for by Monongalia County and the City of Morgantown with MUB picking up the balance of the cost.

“The County has committed $1 million of their American Rescue Plan (ARPA) funds for it, the city has committed $1 million on their ARPA fund and MUB will be responsible for any amount over $2 million,” Hacker said.