Hwy. 401 In Chatham-Kent To Be Closed This Weekend

A heads-up for drivers planning to use Hwy. 401 through Chatham-Kent this weekend.

The highway will be completely closed — for roughly 14 hours — near the Hwy. 40 overpass — so the bridge can be demolished.

The shutdown starts tomorrow (Saturday) at 8pm and lasts until Sunday at 10am.

Ministry of Transportation spokesperson Brian Kope says a bed of sand will be laid on the highway to protect the pavement before the demolition begins.

"Hydraulic rams and shears, kind of like big scissors, are going to break apart the concrete and reinforcing steel, and that debris will fall onto the sand pad," says Kope.  "Then all of the debris will be removed from the highway and piled off to the side."

Detours to head off and back onto the highway will be posted. 

The project involves the full reconstruction of the Hwy. 401 and Hwy. 40 interchange with three new structures being built.

Kope says as work continues this year he expects several shorter highway closures as girders are installed.

"That's going to just be short duration closures that happen overnight," says Kope. "Typically we'll do that as a 15-minute closure of the 401 with the OPP stopping traffic and people will have to wait while the girder is installed because obviously we don't want to be lifting anything with traffic underneath."

He says the new interchange should open in late November with additional roadwork continuing into 2018.