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Canada And Ontario Improving The Windsor Gateway

Archived Backgrounder

Canada And Ontario Improving The Windsor Gateway

Border Implementation Group

Office of the Premier

On April 19th, 2005, in a speech in Washington D.C., Premier Dalton McGuinty announced his intention to create a new Border Implementation Group to oversee the important upcoming phase of border improvements. The chair of this blue ribbon task force will be appointed shortly and will report directly to the Premier.


Today's announcement provides $129 million to improve the Windsor-Detroit Gateway. This funding will launch several new initiatives recommended in the Schwartz Report.

What's new in this announcement for $21 million?

A commitment of up to $21 million in funding for the following new initiatives:

  • Environmental assessment and detailed design work can begin this year for:

    • improvements to Highway 3/Talbot Road from Highway 401 to Todd Lane;
      • additional through lanes and/or auxiliary lanes and intersection improvements to increase traffic flow
      • improve primary access to the Ambassador Bridge border crossing and overall performance for international and local traffic
    • upgrade and extension of Lauzon Parkway, from Highway 401 to E.C. Row;
      • proposed new freeway or arterial road (4-6 lanes) with construction of new interchanges at Highway 401, E.C. Row and construction of new interchange or intersection at Division Road
      • improve access to existing and future border-related industrial areas.
      • could provide direct access to Highway 401 as well as an efficient alternative route for international truck traffic to access E.C. Row and the border crossing during future construction
    • upgrade Manning Road from Highway 401 to County Road 22, including the interchange at Highway 401, in the County of Essex;
      • turn two lanes into four and upgrade intersections
      • ease traffic congestion for international traffic and for local commuters
      • better access improves potential for more border-related industry and jobs
  • Needs and feasibility study can be prepared for additional truck ferry services by;

    • Working with the ferry operator to identify potential market increase, barriers to realizing such market increases, and actions by governments and private sector that could be undertaken to eliminate those barriers. Additional infrastructure to attract and meet the needs related to increased traffic:
      • Ferry Access road and intersection improvements from the ferry terminal to Ojibway Parkway
      • Improved signage from Highway 401 to the terminal
  • Expression of interest followed by a request for proposals can begin for a truck marshalling facility on Highway 401 in the Windsor-Essex Region;

    • Will identify need and potential uses for a marshalling yard; legislative changes to be considered to support its operation and potential site locations
    • Stakeholder consultations will include truckers and private sector proponents of similar facilities in Windsor area
  • Windsor Community Rail Study:

    • In partnership with the City of Windsor, railway companies and other stakeholders, will identify opportunities and feasibility for rail rationalization within and approaching Windsor, including the development of an intermodal facility in the vicinity of Windsor Airport and the redevelopment of rail corridors and yards

What will Windsor and Essex see as a result of the new commitment of $108 million?

Projects for which environmental assessments have been completed now have up to $108 million in funding to proceed with the following:

  • Design and construction for widening of Highway 401 from Highway 3 to Manning Road;

    • Will mean fewer collisions, increase through-put capacity, increase storage capacity for border crossing incidents, fewer delays and better access to surrounding area
    • Detail design will be initiated, and construction is planned for 2008, with completion in 2010
  • Construction of Highway 3 intersection improvements at Outer Drive and Walker Road

    • New traffic signals, new turning lanes, longer turning lanes
    • The Outer Drive intersection has a collision rate twice the provincial average
    • Improvements will reduce delays for vehicles heading into the industrial area north of Highway 3
    • Will be completed this year
  • Design and construction for Howard Avenue rail/road grade separation

    • Environmental assessment work will be complete this year
  • Pending the results of the environmental assessment, the funds are now in place for improvements that will mean fewer traffic jams and faster railway times. Detailed design could start in 2006 and be completed late 2007. Construction of the grade separation could start in late 2007 and be completed in late 2009.

Phase 1 of the Let's Get Windsor-Essex Moving Strategy -- a progress report

Six projects were identified under Phase 1 of the Let's Get Windsor-Essex Moving Strategy to reduce traffic congestion and improve safety for residents of Windsor. Of these six, 4 are underway in the design or construction phase.

  • A pedestrian bridge on Huron Church Road at Girardot Street near Assumption High School will be ready for use by this September for the coming school year -- to increase safety for students and area residents.

  • Intersection improvements at Huron Church Road and Industrial Drive will be completed this summer. These improvements will triple the number of trucks that can safely access the pre-processing facility on Industrial Drive. The left turning lane on Huron Church Road will be lengthened to reduce traffic jams at secondary inspection stations, speeding up entrance to the pre-processing facility.

  • An environmental study for improvements to Windsor-Detroit Tunnel Canadian Plaza and preparation of a long-term Master Plan to address existing traffic problems and the future needs of traffic crossing the border. The master plan will be ready this year. Environmental assessment work will begin this spring with anticipated completion of construction in 2007-08.

  • Construction of the Grand Marais detour will be completed this spring. To reduce disruption to the community when Walker Road-CP Rail Grade Separation construction begins. Every day, 26 long trains cross Walker Road and cause serious traffic jams. When the rail overpass is completed in 2007, vehicles on Walker Road will travel beneath the tracks, and no longer have to stop every time a train passes.

  • Environmental assessment work for the Howard Avenue-CP Rail Grade Separation has begun and is expected to be completed by the end of this year.

  • Intelligent Transportation System projects on transportation corridors, on the approaches to the border crossings and at the border

    • The Action Plan for Intelligent Border Crossings will be completed later this year and will provide the basis for moving forward on a number of ITS projects.
    • The Action Plan has already identified projects to move forward now to give a clear picture of traffic flow and ease congestion, including:
      • more closed-circuit television cameras on more roads leading to the border:
        • Hwy 3 / Hwy 401 junction
        • 4 locations on Highway 3/Talbot Road and 3 locations at EC Row Expressway -
        • Windsor-Detroit tunnel approaches easterly on Hwy 401
      • Permanent changeable message sign on Hwy 401 westbound approaching the Hwy 402 Interchange



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