Canada and Ontario begin improvements at Windsor-Detroit tunnel

WINDSOR, ON, Sept. 21, 2012 /CNW/ - The Governments of Canada and Ontario today announced the start of construction for upgrades to the Windsor-Detroit Tunnel Canadian Plaza. This project will create approximately 150 jobs in the region and improve capacity for growth in vehicle traffic and cross-border trade through the Windsor-Detroit corridor.

"These upgrades are part of our strategy to ensure that modern and efficient infrastructure is in place at Windsor-Detroit - Canada's most important trade corridor," said Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development, who made the announcement on behalf of Denis Lebel, Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities. "Tunnel plaza improvements will create jobs and economic growth and complement the construction of a new Windsor-Detroit Bridge, a top infrastructure priority for the Harper government."

"These infrastructure projects are creating jobs now and building our economy for the future," added Dwight Duncan, Ontario Minister of Finance and Member of Provincial Parliament (MPP) for Windsor-Tecumseh. "Ontario's significant investments in our border crossings are allowing people and goods to move between Ontario and Michigan more quickly, saving both time and money and encouraging economic growth."

The project will address traffic congestion and improve operations at the plaza. Upgrades include new vehicle access lanes, new buildings for the Canada Border Services Agency and tunnel maintenance, new integrated primary inspection (IPIL) lanes for trucks, as well as a reconfiguration of the duty-free parking area, municipal parking lots and existing intersections.

"Border infrastructure improvements facilitate trade and the efficient movement of goods and services between Canada and the United States," said Dave Van Kesteren, Member of Parliament for Chatham-Kent—Essex. "Strategic infrastructure investments like this are part of our plan to create jobs, economic growth and long-term prosperity for the people of Windsor and Essex County."

"This project will be constructed by a local company, creating local jobs here in Windsor-Essex," said Teresa Piruzza, MPP for Windsor West. "These improvements will also help our downtown core businesses by reducing congestion on local streets and improving access to their locations."

"I want to thank the Government of Canada and the Province of Ontario for following through on their commitment to improve the infrastructure at the Windsor-Detroit Tunnel," said Eddie Francis, Mayor of Windsor. "These upgrades will serve to alleviate congestion on city streets and improve efficiency at one of Canada's most important economic gateways."

Coco Paving (1990) Inc., the successful bidder on the $16.6-million contract, will begin Stage 1 work with sewer and water main installation, demolition of parking areas, and installation of temporary traffic signals.

Traffic on local streets will be maintained throughout the Stage 1 work with tunnel traffic accessing the plaza as usual. This work is expected to take approximately two construction seasons to complete.

This project is jointly funded by the Governments of Canada and Ontario under the Let's Get Windsor-Essex Moving (LGWEM) strategy, a $300-million commitment for several transportation infrastructure projects to improve efficiency and reduce congestion in Windsor-Essex. Funding for this strategy comes from the Canada-Ontario Border Infrastructure Fund.

LET'S GET WINDSOR-ESSEX MOVING STRATEGY

Upgrades to the Windsor-Detroit Tunnel Canadian Plaza are jointly funded by the Governments of Canada and Ontario under the Let's Get Windsor-Essex Moving (LGWEM) strategy, a $300-million commitment by the two governments to improve efficiency and reduce congestion on the Ontario approaches to the Windsor-Detroit border crossings.  Funding for this strategy comes from the Canada-Ontario Border Infrastructure Fund.

The LGWEM Strategy addresses the short- to medium-term concerns at existing border crossings in Windsor-Essex prior to the construction of a new publicly-owned bridge between Windsor and Detroit. The projects under this strategy are improving efficiency and reducing congestion in the local road network.

Projects under the LGWEM strategy include:

  • A pedestrian overpass over Huron Church Road south of Tecumseh Road (completed 2005)
  • Intersection improvements on Highway 3 at Walker Road and Outer Drive (completed 2005)
  • Intersection improvements to Huron Church Road at Industrial Drive (completed 2006)
  • Improvements to County Road 19 north of County Road 22 to the VIA Rail Line (completed 2007)
  • Intelligent Transportation Systems projects including cameras, changeable message signs, and portable message systems (completed 2008)
  • An Environmental Assessment and Preliminary Design Study to identify improvements to Essex County Road 19 (completed 2008)
  • Road-rail grade separations on Walker Road and Howard Avenue at the CPR tracks (Walker Road completed 2008; Howard Avenue completed 2011)
  • Improvements to the Detroit-Windsor Truck Ferry facilities (completed 2010)
  • Improvements to County Road 22 (completed 2010)
  • Improvements to Highway 401 (completed 2011)
  • Master plan and environmental study of improvements to Lauzon Parkway from Essex County Road 42 to Highway 401 (to be completed in 2013)
  • Detail design and construction of upgrades to Walker Road between Division Road and E.C. Row Expressway. (to be completed in 2013)
  • Improvements to the Canadian plaza of the Windsor-Detroit Tunnel (to be completed 2014)

For more information on the Let's Get Windsor-Essex Moving strategy, please refer to the following websites:
www.tc.gc.ca/eng/programs/surface-highways-projects-ont_windsor-1163.htm
www.mto.gov.on.ca/english/engineering/border/windsor/

SOURCE: GOVERNMENT OF ONTARIO

For further information:

Geneviève Sicard
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Denis Lebel
Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, Ottawa
613-991-0700

Mark Butler
Communications
Transport Canada, Windsor
519- 257-7739

Media Relations
Transport Canada, Ottawa
613-993-0055

David Salter
Minister's Office,
Ontario Ministry of Transportation, Toronto
416-327-1815

Heather Grondin
Windsor Border Initiatives Implementation Group
Ontario Ministry of Transportation
519-973-7359

Transport Canada is online at www.tc.gc.ca. Subscribe to e-news or stay connected through RSSTwitterFacebookYouTube and Flickr to keep up to date on the latest from Transport Canada.

For more information on the Ontario Ministry of Transportation, please visit www.mto.gov.on.ca.

This news release may be made available in alternative formats for persons with visual disabilities.


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