DRIC announces plans for new Windsor crossing, access route

Truck News

WINDSOR, Ont. — A six-lane access road linking Hwy. 401 to a new bridge in West Windsor has received the nod from the Detroit River International Crossing (DRIC) study team and is being supported by the province and federal governments.

The new link will take trucks off Windsor streets and provide easier access to the US, proponents of the Windsor-Essex Parkway say. With an estimated price tag of $1.6 billion, it will be the most expensive highway ever built in Ontario.

The new below-grade road will reduce truck pollution and noise, DRIC reported, and it will also feature 11 tunnels totalling 1.8 km. The plan also involves 20 km of new recreational trails and will maintain a link between local communities and 240 acres of parkland.

A news release issued by the province says residents will be able to travel from E.C. Row to Howard Ave. and never cross paths with a vehicle once the new route is constructed. The DRIC study team conducted nearly 300 consultations in devising its plan and also held extensive environmental assessments, it says.

Federal Transport Minister Lawrence Cannon welcomed the DRIC’s proposal, which now awaits approval from provincial and federal environmental regulatory agencies.

“Our Government committed $400 million to this project in Budget 2007 to deliver economic benefits, increased employment, and a cleaner environment for the region,” said Minister Cannon. “The Windsor Essex Parkway will enhance the quality of life for the people here and is an important and positive step towards the completion of the Detroit River International Crossing. In the spirit of open federalism, our Government is delivering for a stronger, safer and better Canada – a commitment we made and we are keeping our word.”

The location of the border plaza and new bridge will be announced in the coming months, DRIC officials said.

A Web site outlining the plan is now available at www.weparkway.ca.

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