Plans to Add Concrete Barriers to Hwy. 401 in Tilbury, 'Great News'


The Ontario government is investing $67.8 million to widen and install concrete median barriers on Highway 401 between Tilbury and Merlin Road in Chatham-Kent.

MPP for Elgin-Middlesex-London Jeff Yurek made the announcement Monday for the stretch of highway that sees 23,000 vehicles a day and has been the scene of several fatal accidents over the years.

Alysson Storey is part of Build the Barrier, a group of citizens who lost loved ones in those crashes.

"The lives that we lost were totally preventable. We had 20 or 30 years of different governments who chose not to address it," she says. "This is bitter sweet because we can't bring back the people that we lost, but we can prevent other families from going through this type of anguish." 

She tells AM800 News it's a relief to see promises kept.

"We're really encouraged by this news. We're happy to see that Minister Yurek and Minster Mulroney have been working on this and there are specific plans," says Storey. "That was our earlier concern, that we didn't have any specific details like timelines."

Storey says it's a great day for everyone in her organization and Chatham-Kent.

"Some of the families and loved ones who've been active in this, I'm sure they will welcome this news and hope that we see shovels in the ground as soon as possible," she added.

Yurek says the work is part of the province's larger project to widen and install concrete barriers on 125 kilometres of Highway 401 between Tilbury and London.

The project is expected to generate hundreds of jobs with work expected to get underway as early as later this year.