WINDSOR, ONT. -- It’s going to take two years, but construction has now started on widening Highway 3 through Essex County.

Two kilometres, from Ellis Sideroad to the Arner Townline will be widened from two lanes to four, to match the western portion of the highway into Windsor.

The Warden for the County of Essex is thrilled the work has finally started, after years of lobbying.

“There was a pause of 10 or 15 years between expansion you know and people are anxious,” says McNamara.

The first section from Outer Drive to County Road 8 was finished “years ago” and McNamara says it seemed like the project was at a standstill.

Doug Ford promised local voters it was a top priority during the 2018 election campaign.

Then as premier, Ford made the same assurances in person, during a visit to Windsor-Essex in July 2020.

In September 2020, the Ministry of Transportation announced the project would move forward and in March 2021 construction officially began.

Ministry officials say this expansion has been broken down into three separate projects, all of which should be completed by 2023.

The two-kilometre stretch of widening between Ellis and Arner is a $49.9-million project.

Here is a link to the project website, which includes maps and construction updates including traffic implications.