Minister Reiterates Commitment to Expand Highway 3

AM800-NEWS-CAROLINE-MULRONEY-NOVEMBER-2019

No progress to report in two major road infrastructure projects in Windsor-Essex and Chatham-Kent.

Ontario's Minister of Transportation Caroline Mulroney was the guest speaker at a luncheon hosted Thursday by the Windsor-Essex Economic Development Corporation.

Back in August, Mulroney announced plans to widen Highway 3 from two to four lanes from the town of Essex to County Rd. 34 in Leamington.

But some raised concerns that a six-kilometres stretch from County Rd. 34 to Highway 77 will only be repaved.

Mulroney says the environmental assessment is still underway with plans to begin work to expand the highway to four lanes, in 2021.

"I don't have a more specific update but obviously it is a priority of our government since it was the first thing that I did in my official capacity as minister of transportation," she said. "We are always listening to members of the community, we take road safety — it is very important to us, we take it very seriously. The important thing is that we get started on this important project."

As for the 401 in Chatham-Kent and expanding it to six lanes with concrete barriers, Mulroney says that cable barriers are still on the province's radar.

"It was something that I have heard about even before I was in this role as minister of transportation so we are moving with the cable barriers and we will be looking for more concrete durable barriers in the long-term," she added.

Chatham-Kent-Leamington PC MPP Rick Nicholls has been advocating for the 401 from Tilbury to London to be six-lanes with a concrete median barrier.

Mulroney touted the province's fall economic statement released on Wednesday which showed the province is ahead of its deficit reduction plan. It now sits at $9-billion for this fiscal year, down from the $10.3-billion projection in the budget.