Gov’t making strides on 401 expansion near Windsor

WINDSOR, Ont. — Ottawa and the province of Ontario have announced joint funding for the final phase of the project to widen Highway 401 approaching the Windsor-Detroit border gateway.

This phase of construction — the last of five — will include the widening of Highway 401 from four to six lanes between east of Puce Road (Essex Road 25) to east of Belle River Road (Essex Road 27); rehabilitation of the Maidstone Township Road 3 and the Rochester Township Road 2 underpasses; the widening and rehabilitation of the Belle River Bridge and Duck Creek Bridge; the replacement of the Belle River Road overpass; repairs to the Big Creek Bridge; construction of a commuter parking lot at the Belle River Road interchange; reconstruction of ramps; and installation of new lighting.

The feds and the Province of Ontario are jointly funding improvements to this 7.1-kilometre section of Highway 401 between Windsor and Tilbury, with the federal government committing up to $29.95 million. The last phase of construction is set to begin this spring and will be completed by late fall 2009.

“This project is critical to the flow of international goods and investments in Essex-Windsor, especially to our auto supply chain,” said Jeff Watson, MP for Essex, Ont.

Phase one of the project was completed in December 2005, and involved widening and improving Highway 401 between Essex Road 42 and Highway 77.

The second phase included improvements to Highway 401 from Puce Road to Manning Road and was completed in November 2006. Construction of the third phase between Highway 77 to Essex Road 27 began in spring 2006, and was completed in the fall of 2007. Work on phase four between Highway 3 and Manning Road began this past fall and is expected to be completed in 2010.

Through the Border Infrastructure Fund, the federal and provincial governments are undertaking the construction of the fourth and fifth phases of the Highway 401 construction project.

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