WINDSOR, Ont. – Work has kicked-off on the construction of a pedestrian overpass in Windsor.
Chatham-Kent-Essex MP Jerry Pickard, on behalf of Federal Transport Minister Jean-C. Lapierre, and Windsor West MPP Sandra Pupatello, on behalf of Ontario Transportation Minister Harinder Takhar, were joined by Windsor Mayor Eddie Francis in May to toast the beginnings of a new overpass across the busy, six-lane Huron Church Road that leads to the Windsor-Detroit border.
The current construction costs for this project are estimated to be approximately $4.3 million, shared by the governments of Canada and Ontario. Completion is expected early in the new school year.
“The safety of Assumption College School students – and the entire community – will be greatly improved as a result of the new pedestrian overpass on Huron Church Road,” said Pickard. “The governments of Canada and Ontario continue to work together with the community to maintain a safe environment and high quality of life for residents of this important border city.”
“Ontario is committed to improving the Windsor Gateway and making our roads safer for the people who live in the area,” said Pupatello. “We want to make it safer and easier for residents and students who have to cross a busy road to get to school. I’m glad to hear the overpass will be complete early in the school year.”
“This is great news for the community around Assumption College School,” said Francis. “We’ve committed to completing the overpass early in the school year so that students can feel safe crossing Huron Church Road.”
This project is part of Phase 1 of the Let’s Get Windsor-Essex Moving Strategy. Funding comes from the Canada-Ontario Border Infrastructure Fund, a joint commitment by the federal and provincial governments to invest $300 million for the implementation of short- and medium-term projects to improve traffic flows to existing crossings and address congestion and security issues at the Windsor-Detroit Gateway.
On March 11, 2004, the governments of Canada and Ontario and the City of Windsor signed a Memorandum of Understanding for the Let’s Get Windsor-Essex Moving Strategy, which is a commitment by the federal and provincial governments to jointly invest $300 million for the implementation of short- and medium-term projects to improve traffic flows to existing crossings and address congestion and security issues at the Windsor-Detroit Gateway. Six projects, announced as Phase One of the strategy and totaling $82.25 million, are underway including:
* Master Plan development and implementation of improvements to the Windsor-Detroit Tunnel Plaza
* Construction of a pedestrian overpass on Huron Church Road
* Design and construction of a road-rail grade separation at Walker Road
* Environmental assessment of a road-rail grade separation at Howard Avenue
* Intersection improvements on Huron Church Road to facilitate access to a pre-processing facility on Industrial Drive, and
* Implementation of five Intelligent Transportation Systems projects to improve traffic management, video monitoring, and driver information.
On April 21, 2005, using the Schwartz Report as a foundation, the governments of Canada and Ontario announced $129 million in new initiatives under Phase Two of the strategy including the environmental assessment and preliminary design for improvements to Highway 3, Lauzon Parkway and Manning Road as well as the commitment to proceed with the design/construction of the widening of Highway 401 from Highway 3 to Manning Road, construction of the Howard Avenue road-rail grade separation, and intersection improvements at Outer Drive and Walker Road.
In addition, on April 20, the Ontario government announced funding for the environmental assessment and detailed design of the Huron Church Truck bypass and $150 million towards the construction of the truck bypass, pending approval of Windsor’s Municipal Class Environmental Assessment.
The governments of Canada, the United States, Ontario and Michigan say they are also moving forward with their Bi-National Partnership to implement a 30-year transportation strategy addressing the various challenges at the Windsor-Detroit Gateway, including free and secure trade, security, environmental concerns and community impacts.
The Bi-National Partnership is currently undertaking the next phase in the process, which is the coordinated bi-national environmental assessment. This assessment will allow the governments to decide on the location of a new or expanded international crossing, taking into account the impact on the environment and local communities.
The environmental assessment work will be completed by the end of 2007, at which time the Bi-National Partnership will have developed, consulted on and carried out a preliminary design of the recommended plan for additional border capacity.
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