Premier Ford: Widening of Highway 3 Remains Top Priority


Despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, Premier Doug Ford says the widening of Highway 3 from Essex to Leamington remains a top priority.

Ford spoke with AM800's Patty Handysides during Tuesday's edition of the Afternoon News.

He says plenty of behind the scenes work is taking place.

"I know they're doing the EAs and they have to purchase some property off some farmers. I want to get the shovels in the ground. I remember during the election I said I'll hop on that bulldozer myself. A lot of people talked about it in the past, but we'll get it done."

Ford says the pandemic has taught us red tape can be cut quickly.

"Throughout this pandemic we have proven when something had to get done everyone pitches in and everyone is heading in the same direction it can get done. So we're going to prove that when you get cooperation from municipalities, you get cooperation from the labour side, it's going to be exciting."


Ontario MPP for Renfrew — Nipissing — Pembroke John Yakabuski, Premier Doug Ford, Simcoe- Grey MPP Jim Wilson and MPP for Sarnia—Lambton Bob Bailey at Port Edward's Blue Water Bridge on Friday Nov. 2, 2018. (Photo courtesy of @fordnation via Twitter)

He says the environmental assessments needed for the project are taking far too long.

"In some cases it takes four to six years to do an EA. That's just unacceptable. We lost a company that wanted to invest $500-million. We lost them to Ohio and the reason they told us was, "I can't wait four to six years as we're investing hundreds of millions of dollars."

Last summer, the provincial government committed to widening the stretch of highway from two to four lanes with construction beginning in 2021 — the total cost the project is not yet known.

There have been several fatal crashes on the highway which, according to provincial numbers, sees as many as 17,300 vehicles each day.

— with files from AM800's Patty Handysides