VIDEO: Transportation Plan Good News for Region, says Windsor Mayor

am800-news-minister-of-transportation-caroline-mulroney-london-announcement-january-17-2020

Minister of Transportation Caroline Mulroney has announced the Ontario PC's transportation plan and Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens says it's good news for Essex County.

Mulroney laid out Connecting Southwestern Ontario, a "living document" designed to be an evolving blueprint for transportation across the region at the bus terminal in London, Ont. Friday.

"Our plan outlines real practical transportation improvements to better connect our cities, towns, villages and hamlets," says the MPP for York-Simcoe.

More than 40 advancements and strategies are a part of the plan, including improvements to existing rail corridors, expanding and improving major roadways are proposed.

The plan also provides $14.8 million in funding to improve public transit in municipalities and expanding bus routes to connect communities in Southwestern Ontario, something Essex County has already tapped into.

Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens made his way up Hwy. 401 for the announcement, and says promises when it comes to major roadways are a win for Essex County.

"Keeping roads like Huron Line in a good state of repair leading up to border crossings is really important; like the Ojibway crossing [at the Gordie Howe International Bridge]," he says. "I think what's really important for our region with this announcement is the commitment to see Hwy. 3 widened. They've got that cemented in the plan."

He tells AM800 News, with more than 40 strategies listed for the region, the path to better transportation is starting to take shape.

"Some of this is money that's already been committed, some is forthcoming, some will still need to be tweaked and some of it was a commitment to increase the funding that's already there," says Dilkens. "When you stitch it all together there's good news for Windsor and Essex County."

Building accountability into the plan is the key to making sure things stay on track, according to Dilkens.

"The provincial creation of a Transportation Task Force, which will involve mayors from all of the Southwestern Ontario communities that are affected to be able to make sure that the provincial government hits the mark on their investments in transportation," he added.

Mulroney told the crowd Connecting the Southwest will evolve through consultations and new technological advances.

The province will be gathering public input through an online survey until March 17.

— with files from AM800's Rob Hindi.