The Franklin County Commission Tuesday awarded a contract for construction engineering services on the Labadie Front Street Great Streets project to BFA Inc., Washington.

The $64,936 contract is likely one of the final steps before construction can begin, said Eva Gadcke, county highway administrator.

The federally funded project is one of four demonstration projects of the East-West Gateway Council of Government’s Great Streets Initiative.

Gadcke said 10 engineering firms responded to the county’s request for qualifications, and the top three were interviewed.

The contract will have to be approved by MoDOT.

Gadcke said the final plans for the project, which will add green space and on-street parking along the main street in Labadie, have already been submitted to the state.

“This is the final piece,” she said. “After this, we should be ready to go out to bid (for construction).”

Gadcke said a construction contract should be awarded sometime in late July or August.

The project also will improve stormwater drainage and lighting in the downtown Labadie area, with an estimated cost of around $1 million.

The county will pay 20 percent of that cost, or $200,000.

County officials previously expressed some frustration with the project, as federal requirements have changed as the county moved through the design process.

Some of the money used for design came from the federal stimulus act passed in 2009.