The Government of Canada and the Province of Ontario Complete Safety and Traffic Flow Improvements to Highway 401 in London



    LONDON, ON, Sept. 4 /CNW Telbec/ - Improvements to Highway 401 from
Highway 402 east to Wellington Road, to help improve safety and traffic flow,
are complete.
    The work undertaken along this important stretch of highway, which leads
to Canada's two busiest commercial international border crossings at Windsor
and Sarnia, also included the replacement of the Wellington Road Bridge.
Installation of an overhead changeable message sign and three closed-circuit
cameras were also included to better manage traffic flow to the Windsor
border.
    "These improvements will help increase safety and reduce congestion on
this critical part of the Highway 401/402 corridor," said the Honourable
Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities. "Our
investment in this highway and border improvement project reflects our
government's commitment to improving transportation infrastructure across the
country."
    "These improvements to Highway 401 will keep border traffic moving and
fuel our economy," said the Honourable Jim Bradley, Ontario Minister of
Transportation. "The McGuinty government is committed to reducing congestion,
enhancing road safety and strengthening our economy through strategic
investments in Ontario's highway and transit infrastructure."
    Work began on this project in June 2006 and was completed in August 2008.
    The total cost for this highway and border infrastructure investment is
$41 million, which is being cost-shared by the federal, provincial and
municipal governments. Ontario contributed $30.5 million to the total cost of
the project and the City of London contributed $600,000. The federal
contribution of $10.5 million comes from the $600-million Border
Infrastructure Fund (BIF). The fund provides financial assistance for
infrastructure projects that reduce border congestion, improve the flow of
goods and services, and expand existing infrastructure.
    Under the BIF, the federal government is also contributing $45 million to
the following projects that lead to the Sarnia border crossing:

    
    - reconstruction of a 20-km stretch of Highway 402 between Lambton
      Road 26 and Highway 21;
    - widening and operational improvements to Highway 402 leading to the
      Blue Water Bridge; and
    - intelligent transportation systems, including the installation of
      variable message signs on Highway 402.
    

    The federal and provincial governments have pledged $300 million in joint
funding under the Let's Get Windsor-Essex Moving Strategy. Projects identified
under this strategy will help to relieve traffic congestion and improve
traffic flows to existing Windsor border crossings until a new river crossing
is in place.
    The Government of Canada, through Budget 2007, also committed to covering
50 per cent of the eligible capital cost of the new access road from the end
of Highway 401 to the new crossing. An initial $400 million has been set aside
to help the Province of Ontario with the financing and construction of this
new access road. The total amount of the federal contribution will be
finalized once the Province provides a final cost estimate for the highway.
    Since 2003, the Ontario government has committed $9.3 billion to
highways, roads and bridges. This investment is strengthening Ontario's
economic advantage and creating opportunities for the province's residents and
businesses.




For further information:

For further information: Catherine Loubier, Director of Communications,
Office of the Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, Ottawa,
(613) 991-0700; Media Relations, Transport Canada, Ottawa, (613) 993-0055;
Nicole Lippa-Gasparro, Office of the Ontario Minister of Transportation,
Toronto, (416) 327-1815; Bob Nichols, Communications Branch, Ontario Ministry
of Transportation, Toronto, (416) 327-1158


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