According to a release issued by SEPTA, the board of directors approved the selection of a consultant team on Thursday led by AECOM. The team will perform the Alternatives Analysis and Draft Environmental Impact Statement Planning Study for the extension of the Norristown High-Speed Line (NHSL) to King of Prussia.
The study, funded by a federal appropriation to SEPTA and matching funds from PennDOT, Montgomery County and King of Prussia District (KOP-BID), will:
- Analyze different routing options for the rail extension to the King of Prussia Mall and onward to First Avenue in the King of Prussia Business Park;
- Determine station locations; and
- Begin the federal environmental approval process.
The NHSL Extension was identified as the top transportation improvement project for KOP-BID early in the organization's development. The potential for the project to alleviate traffic congestion and address the need for additional transit service in King of Prussia, as well as provide major incentives for economic development in the vicinity of the proposed station stops, has made it a top priority for the King of Prussia business community.
"We would like to thank SEPTA for taking the next steps to advance this regionally significant project," said KOP-BID Executive Director Eric Goldstein. "We look forward to working collaboratively with GVF, SEPTA, Upper Merion Township, Montgomery County and federal and state legislators to bring this essential public transportation project to reality."
SEPTA also awarded a contract to the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission to conduct ridership modeling, using data on population centers and demographics to project ridership, another essential element to determine the project's qualification for federal funding.
Other members of the consultant team include King of Prussia based Bergmann Associates, LTK Engineering, Malick & Shere and Portfolio Associates.
This phase of the project will take approximately 15-18 months to complete.