Work Underway in Essex to Prepare for Hwy. 3 Expansion

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Preparations have begun to expand Hwy. 3 in the Town of Essex.

Ward 3 Councillor Chris Vander Doelen says it's the first step towards widening the highway from Essex to Leamington. The Hwy. 3 work in Essex will stretch from a kilometer west of Ellis Side Road to 2 km east of Essex County Road 23.

Vander Doelen was excited to see crews preparing to move utilities to make room for the multi-million dollar project Tuesday.

"There's Hydro One, Enbridge, Cogeco and E.L.K, Energy were all moving their stuff," he says. "Council just approved a $1-million drain projects that will go underneath the new Hwy. 3"

He says the town's director of infrastructure spoke to officials with the Ministry of Transportation (MTO) Tuesday.

"The MTO will begin in March to start rebuilding some of the intersections through Essex so they can build the detours for the overpass construction," he added.

Vander Doelen says work is also underway for detours into the town.

"They're adding a second left turn lane on Hwy. 3 into the Town of Essex, because all of Hwy. 3 is going to be detoured through Essex for two-years," he says.

Along with widening the highway to four lanes, the Town of Essex's leg of the project includes construction of two new overpasses, municipal road realignments, and improvements to drainage and intersections.

According to the MTO's website, a multi-use trail is also included north of Hwy. 3 to accompany sidewalk improvements along municipal roads.

— with files from AM800's Rob Hindi.