(KPAX) Missoula County commissioners are hiring a consultant to work on what's being called the "Mullan Project," those plans to expand streets and infrastructure in the rapidly growing area on Missoula's west side.

The area north of Mullan Road, west of Flynn and south of West Broadway is due for major upgrades thanks to the federal BUILD grant the county and city were awarded last year.

"The money we're getting from the U.S. Department of Transportation is primarily focused on the infrastructure and transportation grid," said Missoula County Commissioner Dave Strohmaier.

"The planning that we're engaged in right now is really setting the stage for how that transportation network will interface with all the other developments that we see happening in this part of town," he added.

Commissioners hired Dover, Kohl and Partners on Tuesday to draft the Land Use Master Plan for the rapidly growing area west of Reserve, where hundreds of homes and businesses are expected to locate.

Strohmaier said the firm will give people a chance to comment before any construction begins.

"There will be a robust public involvement process as part of this master planning. So if you participated in the downtown master planning process, very similarly we'll be doing the same sort of outreach related to master planning in the Mullan area," he said.

Strohmaier says the consultants plan to hold a series of workshops in late March.