NORRISTOWN, PA – The Montgomery County Commissioners
today announced that 23 projects
in the county will receive Montco 2040 Implementation Grants
in the 2021 cycle of the program. The new grants continue an exciting program aimed at implementing the county comprehensive plan, Montco 2040: A Shared Vision
. The program’s intent is to assist municipalities in making targeted physical improvements that achieve real progress toward the goals of the plan and the plan’s themes of Connected Communities, Sustainable Places, and Vibrant Economy.
Today’s grant awards account for more than $2,500,000 across these 23 municipalities. The county received a total of 31 applications from municipalities, totaling just over $4 million in requests. Projects were evaluated in terms of impact, county and local planning consistency, project readiness, and funding attributes by a committee consisting of Montgomery County Planning Commission Board members and interdepartmental county staff.
Projects were also given heightened consideration when addressing one of three focus categories for 2021: Walk/Bike Montco – Trails, Paths, Sidewalk Connections and Bike Facilities; Downtown and Community Destination Support; and Adaptation and Resiliency. For the first time, municipalities were asked about how their projects addressed local equity concerns, whether it was the project being proposed or the process the municipality intends to take (or has already taken) when planning for or implementing the project.
“When we started the Montco 2040 Implementation Grant Program, I was excited to see what kind of projects would come out of the program and how municipalities would take up the county’s offer to help implement the comprehensive plan at the local level. Now at year six, we have seen a number of fantastic projects funded through this initiative. These projects range from improvements in walkability with sidewalk installation projects in Lower Frederick and Lower Moreland, a major bike infrastructure project in Pottstown, to open space preservation in Upper Salford,” said Dr. Valerie A. Arkoosh, Chair of the Montgomery County Board of Commissioners.
Since the initiation of the Montco 2040 Implementation Grant Program in 2016, 95 grants totaling over $10.2 million have been awarded to benefit 46 municipalities in the county. The 23 projects that received grants in 2021 are highlighted below in alphabetical order:
Ambler – Knight Park Community Garden
Grant Award: $43,000
Ambler is in the beginning stages of starting a community garden at Knights Park. While funds would be used for gardening supplies, they will be used primarily for a fence and gate around the garden. The area to be used for the community garden is a sunny corner of the park and seeks to provide a space for the community to learn more about growing their own food.
East Greenville – Bieler Park Upgrade
Grant Award: $102,991
East Greenville is reconstructing Bieler Park, an existing borough-owned park that gets a lot of use from the young families who live in this densely populated neighborhood. Approved DCNR grant funds will cover the cost of new playground equipment, alongside county funding for a new pavilion, new walking path, additional trees, and stormwater management facilities.
East Norriton – Stanbridge Park Facility Improvements
Grant Award: $200,000
East Norriton's Stanbridge Park is undergoing a major transformation and has requested funds for Phase 2 of this project. Improvements include retrofitting an existing gazebo, adding landscaping, expanding the trails within the park, and installing a small solar carport in an adjacent parking lot. The township anticipates these improvements, overall, will attract new users to the park, which is adjacent to the Norristown Farm Park.
Green Lane – Route 29 Pedestrian Improvements
Grant Award: $199,375
Green Lane will install new pedestrian improvements along Gravel Pike to provide better access to the downtown area and the nearby Perkiomen Trail. Improvements include curb and sidewalk, ADA ramps, a crosswalk at Walnut Street, minor drainage improvements, and a retaining wall. This area receives a lot of fast-moving vehicle traffic, and this project dovetails nicely with the borough’s recent planning efforts.
Hatboro – Hatboro Station Trail Lighting
Grant Award: $125,300
Hatboro will install solar-powered, pedestrian-scaled streetlights along the walking trail adjacent to the SEPTA Regional Rail Line, running from the train station to the new Station Park housing development. This path is a critical connection for the surrounding area, and the solar lights will allow riders and residents to safely use this walkway during off hours.
Lansdale – Whites Road Park Facilities Improvements
Grant Award: $90,080
Lansdale is in the process of remediation and development of Whites Road Park. The park is a significant borough amenity that also serves other surrounding municipalities. The park has already undergone extensive improvements over the last few years in the form of streambank restoration. This particular phase of the ongoing project includes construction of a new pavilion, ADA-accessible pathways, and the construction of a new "waterless" restroom.
Limerick – PECO Trail
Grant Award: $60,000
Limerick will extend an existing trail along a PECO right-of-way that extends from Limerick Center Road to the existing trailhead near Reed Road. This will be a multiuse hard surface trail designed to be ADA compliant and will complete a new pedestrian and bicycle connection for the township—bringing this trail out to a logical end point.
Lower Gwynedd – Dager Road/Penllyn Pike Trail Crossing
Grant Award: $61,400
Lower Gwynedd will realign an existing, skewed trail crossing of the Penllyn Pike Trail as it crosses Dager Road. Additionally, it will pave the trail approaches to Dager Road and install updated trail crossing signage and pavement markings. The updated trail crossing will meet current ADA, PennDOT, and other applicable design standards and make the crossing safer for all users.
Lower Moreland – Lower Welsh Road Sidewalk Connection
Grant Award: $48,099
This project in Lower Moreland will install approximately 175 feet of sidewalk along Lower Welsh Road to fix a missing connection from nearby residential neighborhoods to the Bethayres Regional Rail Station as well as the Village of Bethayres.
Lower Salford – Alderfer Road and Park Avenue Basins Project
Grant Award: $112,918
Lower Salford will retrofit two stormwater facilities to provide water quality benefits by reducing sediment and nutrient loads to the adjacent stream. The area will be planted with native meadow grasses, flowers, and plants to create a natural landscape and provide for evapotranspiration and infiltration. Educational signage that details the improvement's positive affect on the local ecosystem also will be included.
Marlborough – Marlborough Access Area on the Perkiomen Creek Water Trail
Grant Award: $60,000
Marlborough has partnered with the Perkiomen Watershed Conservancy to construct an access area and boat ramp on the Perkiomen Creek. The project will include a parking area, turnaround, boat launch, and a stormwater basin planted with native species. This project will provide access to the Perkiomen Creek Water Trail and tie it to the land-based Perkiomen Trail.
Norristown – Arch Street Greenway Corridor Improvements Project – Phase 1
Grant Award: $32,000
Norristown submitted an expanded scope of a previously submitted (and approved) project to provide a promenade along the Saw Mill River Run culvert. These additional funds will pay for a crosswalk and decorative fence along the canal to better tie into the Schuylkill River Trail.
Pottstown – Memorial Park Bridge & Streambank Restoration
Grant Award: $200,000
Pottstown will restore a critical pedestrian connection within Memorial Park, which was damaged during a storm in June 2019. The Memorial Park Bridge will be replaced and enhanced with the incorporation of best practices for reducing debris buildup. The enhancements will better protect it from similar storm-related damages in the future.
Royersford – 2nd and Arch Pedestrian Crossing
Grant Award: $54,280
Royersford will install a flashing beacon and audible alerts on both sides of 2nd Avenue, as well as update the current crosswalks to improve pedestrian visibility and safety. This intersection is busy and connects users of the nearby Schuylkill River Trail to Victory Park.
Skippack – Stepping Stone Project at Lenape Park
Grant Award: $64,000
The Stepping Stone Project at Lenape Park utilizes poured-in-place concrete "stones" to create a footpath across the East Branch of the Perkiomen Creek. This crossing creates a vital link between the 170 acres of the county-owned Pennypacker Mills and the 34 acres of Skippack's newly acquired Lenape Park. Further, it provides a trail connection linking hundreds of residents to the Montgomery County trail system.
Springfield – Walnut Ave. Walkway/Pedestrian Trail
Grant Award: $200,000
Springfield aims to enhance pedestrian safety along Walnut Avenue, increase walking trail access and opportunities, and provide a viable connection between Sandy Run Park and the planned recreational/open space at township-owned property located at 1725 Walnut Avenue. The improvements will include a new pedestrian trail and two street crossings.
Upper Dublin – Twining Valley Park (Phase 2) - Graduated Bike Park
Grant Award: $200,000
Upper Dublin will proceed with the second phase of renovations to its new township-owned site. This phase involves construction of a bike playground and pumptrack at Twining Valley Park, a former golf course that is being transformed into a dynamic township amenity.
Upper Gwynedd – Illuminated Traffic & Pedestrian Signage
Grant Award: $98,704
This project includes the installation of new illuminated pedestrian signage at a series of intersections throughout the township to address traffic calming and pedestrian safety. This includes 6 flashing stop signs and 10 flashing crosswalk sign assemblies with push button activation. The project also proposes to construct 8 ADA curb ramps and add crosswalk line striping at the various proposed crosswalk sites. These improvements will enhance pedestrian safety and accessibility throughout the township.
Upper Moreland – Farmstead Park Historical Structures Renovation
Grant Award: $100,000
Upper Moreland will renovate and help preserve three historical buildings in Farmstead Park to create a safe and structurally sound community destination. This funding will specifically restore four chimney stacks on the park's Farmhouse, Carriage House, and Spring House.
Upper Providence – Perkiomen Trail Crossing Improvements - Arcola and Cider Mill
Grant Award: $29,290
This project will improve safety for the Perkiomen Trail crossings of Arcola Road and Cider Mill Road by clearing vegetation, installing new trail signage, and placing pavement markings on the roadway approaches to the trail crossings.
Upper Salford – Park to Perkiomen Trail Connector (Phase 2)
Grant Award: $150,000
The "Upper Salford Park to Perkiomen Trail Connector" is a new 1.1-mile trail connection that will link the flagship park with Spring Mountain Adventures recreation area and the Perkiomen Trail. Work funded by this grant will include ADA-compatible trail construction, a PennDOT road crossing, trail signage, and stormwater management features. This is a significant connection and will link many local and county assets.
Whitpain – PECO Trail Extension
Grant Award: $196,300
Whitpain will construct a .75-mile section of its proposed PECO Trail. The improvements will consist of an 8-foot-wide asphalt trail in addition to a stepping stone creek crossing. When completed, the PECO trail will provide a trail connection to adjoining townships, neighborhoods, office complexes, local parks, and two regional trails.
Worcester – Mount Kirk Park Improvement Project
Grant Award: $150,000
Worcester will add to and improve the existing park amenities at Mount Kirk Park. Improvements include benches, landscaping, a new pavilion, and other infrastructure. This park is located between two large multifamily communities, one with direct access by a connected walking trail, and is a significant recreational amenity for both as well as other surrounding neighborhoods.