'I'm very open to that conversation': Del Duca to consider uploading E.C. Row Expressway if elected

AM800-News-EC Row Expressway-Dominion Boulevard-Windsor

One of Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens' prayers could be answered if the Liberals form the next provincial government.

Liberal Leader Stephen Del Duca tells AM800 Mayor Dilkens' calls on the Ontario government to take responsibility for the E.C. Row Expressway could be on the table if his party wins the election. Back in 1997, the provincial government downloaded responsibility for the expressway to Windsor. That leaves the city with the responsibility of repairing and maintaining the road.

Dilkens claims the expressway is vital for many communities outside of Windsor like Tecumseh and LaSalle, and it's unfair for the burden to be solely on Windsor taxpayers.

Del Duca said he would be more than willing to talk about it if elected.

"I did commit that an Ontario Libertal government would have an urgent conversation with municipalities like the City of Windsor and others across the province to determine whether or not certain road infrastructure should be uploaded. So I'm very open to that conversation," he said

Del Duca, who has floated the idea of uploading the road to provincial jurisdiction for future upgrades in the past, said he would be more than willing to talk about it if elected.

"I don't want to be a Premier who is going to say it's one size fits all and tate from on high," he began. "I believe in partnership, I believe in collaboration. That's why I want the Mayors and Councils around the table with us to determine what shoudl be uploaded, how should we do it, what would the impacts be?"

The four-lane E. C. Row Expressway spans 15.4 kilometres from Ojibway Parkway in the west to Banwell Road in the east. It was built between 1971 and 1983, and costs the City of Windsor millions of dollars to maintain. 

Mayor Dilkens made the appeal as the city is set to begin Phase 2 of a $10-million project to reconstruct the eastbound lanes of the expressway from Dominion Boulevard to Dougall Avenue.