Longtime civil engineer Morgan has designs on the City of Bangor

Art Morgan was hired as Bangor's Director of Public Services last month. Photographed July 29, 2011.
Art Morgan was hired as Bangor's Director of Public Services last month. Photographed July 29, 2011.
Posted July 30, 2011, at 4:44 p.m.
Last modified July 31, 2011, at 1:45 p.m.
Art Morgan inspects a drain pipe running down an eroded embankment during a site visit to a residence on Allen Court in Bangor July 29, 2011.
Art Morgan inspects a drain pipe running down an eroded embankment during a site visit to a residence on Allen Court in Bangor July 29, 2011.

BANGOR, Maine — It’s almost impossible for Art Morgan to drive around Bangor and not see something he had a hand — actually both hands — in developing, even though some of those things aren’t in plain view.

A civil engineer for Bangor since 1988, Morgan was officially elevated to Bangor city engineer on June 27.

“There are a lot of them,” the soft-spoken Morgan agreed. “One of the biggest rewards of this job is seeing a project completed that you had a hand in.”

Morgan replaces Jim Ring, who retired after 38 years of service as a Bangor civil employee.

“Art’s a great guy, and a great story,” said Bangor City Manager Cathy Conlow. “He was the best candidate to do the best job, and a fairly obvious choice to follow in Jim’s shoes.”

Ring’s shoeprints are expansive and impressive enough, but the 50-year-old Morgan isn’t trying to surpass or mimic Ring, only to carry on his legacy of improving the city’s sewer and water infrastructure, transportation, municipal facilities and waterfront.

“I’ve worked with Jim since he interviewed me in 1988. He was director of operations for Bangor Public Works Department,” said Morgan.

In 1992, Ring became director of public services and city engineer.

The Holden resident and Peoria, Ill., native says civil engineering is a lot like completing puzzles.

“There’s a lot of that. It’s a challenge to put all the pieces together and make it work for an economical price the city can afford,” said Morgan, who earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Wyoming. “And the weather is a huge challenge because of the short construction season and the damage it does to roads and other things.”

After earning his engineering license while working for the city, Morgan took on more responsibilities as project manager for many stormwater, sewer separation and waterfront development projects over the last 15 years.

“The whole waterfront project is a big thing in my career,” Morgan said.

Water remains at the forefront of Morgan’s projects.

“When I came to the city of Bangor, we still had 25 points of sanitation discharge into the Kenduskeag and Penobscot Rivers,” he explained. “Now we have five urban-impaired streams in Bangor.”

Those five include Birch Stream at Bangor international Airport, Arctic Brook near the Broadway Shopping Center and Bangor High School, Shaw Brook across from Route 2 and outer Hammond Street, Capehart Brook, and Sucker Brook near Stillwater Avenue.

“We have to develop a watershed management plan outlining how we’ll improve water quality in these bodies of water,” Morgan explained. “We’ve done $3 million worth of work in five of those watersheds.

Morgan and wife, Heidi, will celebrate their 30th wedding anniversary in December. They have two daughters and two sons.

Bangor Councilor Longo honored

Bangor City Councilor Charlie Longo was recently selected as one of MaineToday Media’s Forty Under 40 for being one of the state’s up-and-coming leaders.

Longo was elected to the Bangor Council last year as one of the youngest, if not the youngest members in the Council’s history. The 23-year-old Springfield native graduated from Lee Academy and is now majoring in marketing at Husson University.

The former custodian and Border’s cashier is now the customer service coordinator at Christmas Tree Shops in Bangor and is engaged to Brittany Connors, who he proposed to in Bangor’s West Market Square last December.

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