Plymouth Township Council voted at its February 11 meeting to fund a $10,000 feasibility study for extending the Cross-County Trail, which currently dead ends in at Chemical Road and Germantown Pikes.
According to Councilman Dean Eiseberger, liaison to the Plymouth Township Environmental Advisory Board, the study will evaluate the roughly 1.5 mile route to connect the Plymouth portion of the trail to Whitemarsh's trail, and most importantly, how to cross Germantown Pike.
“There is a big dead spot in the trail right now, and the main reason is because of the crossing," said Plymouth Council President Sheldon Simpson.
Paying for a feasibility study could increase interest from Montgomery County, the entity responsible for the trail system, according to Simpson.
“If we can get a study done and figure out how to get across Germantown Pike to show the county ‘here is a viable option,’ then the county may look more closely into connecting the trail,” Simpson said.
Eiseberger said that, while there was limited interest in the extension for an extended period of time, it’s no longer the case.
“For years this project sat idle with no interest,” Eiseberger said. “Now we have a lot of people interested in seeing this come to fruition.”
While Whitemarsh Township declined to provide a matching $10,000 contribution for the extension at the end of last year due to budgetary issues, the township is interested in seeing the project progress.
“Whitemarsh Township would like to continue to work with Plymouth Township on the cross-county trail,” said Whitemarsh Township Manager Richard Mellor. “While no money has been allocated at this time we want to keep an open dialogue with Plymouth Township and Montgomery County Planning Commission on the cross-county trail options for connectivity.”
Plymouth hired Campbell, Thomas & Co. of Philadelphia for the study, which previously performed a similar study for the Whitemarsh part of the trail, according to Eiseberger.
For a detailed view of the current cross-county trail, click on the attached photo.