Border Improvements Moving Forward At Windsor Gateway
The McGuinty government is committed to improving traffic flow at the border to keep people and goods moving and help build prosperity for Ontarians. Appointing a Special Advisor on Border Issues and creating the Windsor Border Initiatives Implementation Group (Windsor BIIG) will help speed up progress on key initiatives.
Special Advisor to the Premier
Michael Kergin has been appointed the Premier's Special Advisor on Border Issues to contribute knowledge and expertise on Canadian-American relations and border security issues. Most recently, Mr. Kergin served as Canada's Ambassador to the United States (2000-2005).
Mr. Kergin has accepted a two-year position as advisor to the Premier and the Minister of Transportation on border issues. He has been asked to create an advisory group on border strategies and will act as chair for the group. In addition, he will consult and communicate with stakeholders and governments on both sides of the border focusing on the Ontario government's needs and objectives for border improvements and taking action to implement solutions.
Windsor Border Initiatives Implementation Group (Windsor BIIG)
Raymond Mantha has been appointed Executive Director of Windsor BIIG to lead a dedicated provincial group to implement all transportation initiatives at the Windsor Gateway. Mr. Mantha has a 27-year career with the Ontario Ministry of Transportation, most recently as Chief Engineer.
The provincial and federal governments will dedicate staff resources to specific activities, all reporting to the Executive Directors. Federal Executive Director Sean O'Dell will co-lead joint Windsor initiatives with Mr. Mantha.
Windsor BIIG will also have communications staff to make it easy for local residents to get information about the Let's Get Windsor-Essex Moving projects and the Bi-National environmental assessment process.
Let's Get Windsor-Essex Moving Strategy
On March 11, 2004, the governments of Ontario and Canada and the City of Windsor signed a Memorandum of Understanding for the Let's Get Windsor-Essex Moving Strategy, 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 to address congestion and security issues. Six projects originally estimated at $82.25 million, announced as Phase One of the strategy, are underway.
On April 21, 2005, Canada and Ontario announced $129 million in new initiatives under Phase Two of the strategy including:
- Environmental assessment and design for improvements to Highway 3/Talbot Road, Lauzon Parkway and Manning Road
- Commitment to proceed with the design/construction of the widening of Highway 401 from Highway 3 to Manning Road
- Detailed design and construction of the Howard Avenue road-rail grade separation
- Construction of intersection improvements on Highway 3 at Outer Drive and Walker Road.
In addition, on April 20, the Ontario government announced funding for the environmental assessment and design of the Huron Church Truck bypass and committed $150 million towards the construction of the truck bypass, pending receipt of environmental assessment and other required approvals.
Since these announcements, progress has been made on Let's Get Windsor Essex Moving Phase One projects:
- Construction is on track for a fall completion on the Pedestrian Overpass on Huron Church Road at Girardot Street.
- Two ITS projects are now complete. New cameras were installed on Highway 3 at Highway 401, Talbot Road, Huron Church Road and EC Row Expressway to improve safety and facilitate incident management for drivers en route to the Ambassador Bridge.
- A Value Engineering evaluation was completed in May for the proposed Master Plan for Improvements to the Windsor-Detroit Tunnel Plaza, Walker Road/CP Rail Grade Separation and Environmental Assessment of a CP Rail/Howard Avenue Grade Separation, to facilitate projects moving forward into the design process.
- An Environmental Assessment is now starting for a CP Rail/ Howard Avenue Grade Separation with the first Public Information Centre anticipated in late 2005/early 2006 to allow Windsor residents to review the proposed project and provide valued input.
- Detailed design is nearly complete at the Walker Road/CP Rail Grade Separation with utility relocation work anticipated to start later this year.
- Work is starting on the Master Plan for improvements to the Windsor-Detroit Tunnel Plaza with the first Public Information Centre proposed for late 2005/early 2006 to allow Windsor residents to review the proposed project and provide input.
- The design and tender for the intersection improvements on Huron Church Road at Industrial Road to facilitate access to a pre-processing facility is being reviewed.
- First steps are underway for Highway 3/Talbot Road design with the release of an Expression of Interest, with a Request For Proposals to be issued shortly.