The township has received backing from legislators, the Montgomery County Planning Commission and is considered a "high priority" for the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission's funding of a corridor study to address everything from transportation–biking, walking, driving–to land use and aesthetics on the state-owned roadway, according to Horsham Township Manager Bill Walker.
The Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission is expected to make its decision within the next six to eight weeks, he said. If Horsham is approved, Walker said the DVRPC-funded corridor study would begin in July 2014 and continue through July 2015.
Redevelopment of Willow Grove air base would be central to the study, as would the multi-million dollar Pennsylvania Turnpike improvement project which is taking shape through a joint study funded by Horsham, Upper Moreland and Upper Dublin aimed at redesigning existing turnpike interchanges and adding others.
While the project and any subsequent improvements would impact Horsham as well as neighboring municipalities, Walker said the scope of the study area has not yet been determined. Horsham officials hope to at least have Route 611 from Blair Mill to County Line roads studied.
Walker said he'd also like to see the Willow Grove turnpike interchange included. Conducting a corridor study without it would be an obvious "missing link," he said.
In the event that DVRPC does not select Horsham for the corridor study, Walker said he's looking into grant opportunities "for us to move forward ourselves."
It's too soon to know the final price tag for any type of revitalization, mostly because, according to Walker, "I don't know if we know what we want it to look like."
Projected costs would be part of the corridor study, he said.
"It would be upon us and the state and hopefully the county too to fund and implement the projects," Walker said, adding that the township would "definitely apply for transportation funding."
Typically PennDOT requires that municipalities cover costs associated with design, engineering and right-of-way acquisition for state-owned projects like Route 611, according to Walker.