VIDEO: Warden Pushing to Meet New Transport Minister on Highway 3
The Warden of Essex County is trying to arrange a meeting with Ontario's new transportation minister to discuss the widening of Highway 3.
Caroline Mulroney took over the portfolio on June 20 as part of a cabinet shuffle by Premier Doug Ford, making her the third person to hold the job since the Progressive Conservative government took power in June of 2018.
Gary McNamara is working to arrange a meeting with Mulroney during the Association of Municipalities of Ontario's annual conference which takes place August 18 to the 21 in Ottawa.
He says he'll also push to meet with Premier Ford.
"We need a conversation as well with the premier to try to get this thing resolved. Highway 3 needs to be in future budgets to be completed. Another five car pile-up near Division Rd. again. It seems to be a weekly occurrence and most of the accidents that occur on that stretch, they're catastrophic," says McNamara.
Highway 3 has four-lanes between Windsor and Essex but narrows to two lanes between Essex and Leamington, where the majority of accidents take place.
Ontario PC Leader Doug Ford visits a farm in Woodslee. May 2018 (Photo by AM800's Teresinha Medeiros)
During at stop in Kingsville during his 2018 election campaign, Ford promised to twin the highway immediately, if elected.
In March of this year, the province announced $1.3-billion for 123 highway projects — missing from that list was Highway 3 and McNamara says that needs to change.
He wants the premier to stick to his promise, saying safety has been put on the back burner.
"If there's any area within the province, per capita, in cars travelled and accidents like we've been experiencing in the last couple of years, I don't think there's another area in the province that's having these types of issues," says McNamara.
Officials across Essex County have been pushing for the highway to be widened dating back to the Kathleen Wynne Liberal government.
McNamara says he's ready to go to bat for Windsor-Essex residents.
"It's our job to reinforce our frustration here and our ask that it's something that needs to be done," he says. "We've got to remind the government that there was a promise made and we're going to continue to bring that point forward."