Improvements to Highway 401 Between Highway 77 and Essex Road 27 now complete



    WINDSOR, ON, Dec. 3 /CNW Telbec/ - Phase three of the five-phase project
to widen 46 kilometres of Highway 401 from Windsor to Tilbury, in Essex
County, has been completed, the Honourable Lawrence Cannon, Minister of
Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, along with Jim Bradley, Ontario
Minister of Transportation, announced today.
    "Completion of the third phase of the project to widen Highway 401 from
Windsor to Tilbury will help improve safety and keep goods and people flowing
through this important trade corridor," said Minister Cannon. "The completion
of this phase reflects this government's commitment to improving
transportation infrastructure across the country."
    "The McGuinty government is committed to reducing congestion, enhancing
road safety and strengthening our business through strategic investments in
Ontario's highway and transit infrastructure," added Minister Bradley.
    Both governments are investing more than $330 million to improve
46 kilometres of Highway 401 between Windsor and Tilbury. The first three
phases of this five-phase project are now complete.
    "This project is helping improve the safety, efficiency and capacity of
this important highway that leads to the busiest commercial land border
crossing in North America," said Jeff Watson, MP (Essex).
    "Every day, thousands of vehicles travel this section of Highway 401,
which leads to Ontario's busiest border crossing in Windsor," said Bruce
Crozier, MPP (Essex). "The people and businesses of Essex County will greatly
benefit from the improved safety and traffic flow on this important stretch of
highway."
    Phase one was completed in December 2005, and involved widening and
improving Highway 401 between Essex Road 42 and Highway 77. The second phase
included improvements to Highway 401 from Puce Road to Manning Road and was
completed in November 2006. Drivers have already benefited from improved
safety and traffic flow on these important stretches of highway with the
additional lanes, a concrete median barrier and improved signage.

    
    The third phase was completed on November 30, 2007. It included:
    - the widening of Highway 401 between Highway 77 and Essex Road 27 from
      four to six lanes and the installation of a concrete median barrier;
    - the replacement of the St. Joachim Road (French Line Road) bridge;
    - the rehabilitation and widening of the Ruscom River bridge;
    - the rehabilitation of the Rochester Townline Road and 3rd Concession
      Road underpass structures;
    - upgrades to highway signs; and
    - upgrading of the Windsor South Truck Inspection Station to a commercial
      vehicle inspection facility.


    The Government of Canada and the Province of Ontario funded the first
three phases of this project under the Strategic Highway Infrastructure
Program. Under the program, both governments are investing more than
$490 million in highway improvement projects across the province.
    Through the Border Infrastructure Fund, the federal and provincial
governments are undertaking the fourth phase of Highway 401 from Highway 3 to
Manning Road as part of the Let's Get Windsor-Essex Moving strategy.
Construction of this fourth phase is underway and is expected to be completed
in 2010.
    Design work for the fifth phase is currently underway.



                                 Backgrounder
                                 ------------
                                 ------------

                   CANADA AND ONTARIO MAKING IMPROVEMENTS
                       TO HIGHWAY 401 IN ESSEX COUNTY
                       ------------------------------

    Highway 401 Widening from Windsor to Tilbury
    --------------------------------------------
    The Government of Canada and the Province of Ontario are investing more
than $330 million to widen Highway 401. The work involves five phases:

    Phase One - Essex Road 42 to Highway 77
    With an investment of $61 million, construction of this section of Highway
401 has been completed and improvements include:
    - widening Highway 401 from four to six lanes to reduce congestion;
    - installing a concrete median barrier to enhance safety; and
    - improving the Essex Road 42 and Highway 77 interchanges, including
      commuter parking lots, new lighting and turning lanes on both
      Highway 77 and Essex Road 42.

    Phase Two - Manning Road to Puce Road
    With an investment of $52 million for improvements to this section of the
highway, construction has been completed. Improvements include:
    - widening Highway 401 from four to six lanes to reduce congestion;
    - installing a concrete median barrier to enhance safety;
    - improving the Manning Road and Puce Road interchanges to increase
      safety and traffic flow;
    - adding a new service road and commuter parking lot at the Manning Road
      interchange; and
    - six structure rehabilitations, two structure replacements and one
      interchange improvement.

    Phase Three - Highway 77 to Essex Road 27
    With an investment of more than $61 million, work has been completed.
Improvements include:
    - widening Highway 401 from four to six lanes to reduce congestion;
    - installing a concrete median barrier to enhance safety;
    - replacing the St. Joachim Road (French Line Road) bridge, rebuilding
      the ramps and adding lighting at the interchange;
    - rehabilitating and widening the Ruscom River bridge;
    - rehabilitating two underpass structures; and
    - upgrading the Windsor South truck inspection station to a commercial
      vehicle inspection facility.

    Phase Four - Highway 3 to Manning Road
    With an investment of more than $100 million, work is underway and is
expected to be completed in 2010. Improvements include:
    - widening Highway 401 from four to six lanes to reduce congestion;
    - installing a concrete median barrier to enhance safety;
    - replacing the Dougall Parkway, Walker Road, Provincial Road and railway
      bridges;
    - rehabilitating five underpass structures; and
    - upgrading high mast lighting.

    Phase Five - Puce Road to Essex Road 27
    Detailed design is underway to allow for work to be tendered in spring
2008. Improvements will include:
    - widening Highway 401 from four to six lanes to reduce congestion;
    - installing a concrete median barrier to enhance safety;
    - improving and widening the Belle River Road interchange bridge;
    - rebuilding the ramps and adding lighting at the Belle River Road
      interchange; and
    - building a new commuter parking lot at the Belle River Road
      interchange.

    Phases one to three were funded through the Canada-Ontario Strategic
Highway Infrastructure Program, a federal-provincial funding program for
transportation infrastructure improvements in Ontario.
    Through the Border Infrastructure Fund, the Government of Canada and the
Province of Ontario are undertaking the detailed design and construction of
phase four from Highway 3 to Manning Road as part of the Let's Get
Windsor-Essex Moving strategy.

    Let's Get Windsor-Essex Moving strategy
    ---------------------------------------
    The Let's Get Windsor-Essex Moving strategy is a $300-million shared
investment by the Government of Canada and the Province of Ontario to improve
traffic flow to existing crossings, and address congestion and security issues
at the Windsor-Detroit Gateway.

    Completed projects announced as part of the strategy include:
    - a pedestrian overpass on Huron Church Road at Assumption High School;
    - implementation of intelligent transportation systems, such as cameras
      and changeable message signs, to improve traffic management, video
      monitoring and driver information;
    - advance utility relocations and detour improvements to facilitate the
      current Walker Road rail grade separation construction;
    - intersection improvements on Huron Church Road at Industrial Drive to
      facilitate access to the United States Customs truck pre-processing
      facility; and
    - advance construction on Manning Road from County Road 22 north to the
      VIA tracks.

    The environmental assessment and detailed design stages of several
additional projects are underway, namely:
    - improvements to Manning Road from Highway 401 to County Road 22;
    - improvements to the Canadian plaza of the Windsor-Detroit Tunnel; and
    - a road-rail grade separation on Howard Avenue south of Memorial Drive.

    For more information on the status of the Let's Get Windsor-Essex Moving
strategy, please visit www.mto.gov.on.ca.

    Border Transportation Partnership
    ---------------------------------
    The governments of Canada and the United States, along with the Province
of Ontario and the State of Michigan are continuing to work together on the
planning for a new border transportation system in the Windsor-Detroit area.
    The Ontario Ministry of Transportation, in partnership with Transport
Canada, is leading the Canadian portion of the Detroit River International
Crossing study, which is seeking a long-term solution to border transportation
issues. This thorough and systematic study is being coordinated with a similar
study in the United States. Together, these studies will identify the location
for a new international crossing, plazas and access roads, as well as provide
the necessary documentation required for approvals under environmental
legislation in both countries.
    For more information on the status of the Detroit River International
Crossing study, please visit www.partnershipborderstudy.com.

                                                              December 2007
    




For further information:

For further information: Karine White, Press Secretary, Office of the
Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, Ottawa, (613) 991-0700;
David Oved, Office of the Ontario Minister of Transportation, Toronto, (416)
327-9134; Mark Butler, Communications, Transport Canada, Windsor, (519)
967-4280; Bob Nichols, Communications Branch, Ontario Ministry of
Transportation, Toronto, (416) 327-1158; Transport Canada is online at
www.tc.gc.ca. Subscribe to news releases and speeches at
www.tc.gc.ca/listserv/and keep up to date on the latest from Transport Canada;
This news release may be made available in alternative formats for persons
with visual disabilities.


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