Highway 3 doesn't make list of Ont. highway projects, despite Ford's campaign promise
Published Thursday, March 28, 2019 4:41PM EDT
Last Updated Friday, March 29, 2019 12:27AM EDT
The province is spending big money on dozens of highway projects in western Ontario but many local politicians believe there is one glaring omission: Highway 3.
The widening of Highway 3 from two lanes to four was a promise made by Doug Ford while campaigning to be the premier.
"I'm here to today to commit that we make sure that we twin that road that we make sure there's never an accident ever again,” premier Doug Ford said on May 23, 2018, while on a campaign stop in Kingsville. “Not a year down the road, but immediately."
But of 123 highways across the province that will benefit from $1.3 billion of funding, Highway 3 didn't make the list.
Kingsville mayor Nelson Santos admits he was disappointed when he heard the news.
"We all took those words to heart when it was announced during that last provincial election," said Santos.
The mayor added getting the job done is about improving commerce to and from the county, but also about safety.
"We were certainly disappointed to hear again that one of the busiest highways we have connecting to the border is being neglected and left off the books for another construction season," said Santos.
New Essex County Warden Gary McNamara says getting this project finished is a top priority.
"We’re halfway there. We need to finish it, this is one of our top priorities in the region that we want to see come to fruition," he said.
McNamara said he understands the government is facing pressures to bring down the $14-billion deficit, and says patience may be required. "He still has three more opportunities to come true with it," McNamara added.
CTV News reached out to the transportation minister for comment, and his staff responded with a statement. "The government is continuing its review of expansion projects as part of its line-by-line review. More information on the government's highway capital plan will be released in the coming months."
“Our plan for the people includes widening highway 3 to improve the safety of residents travelling this important highway corridor through Essex. The ministry is taking the necessary steps to expedite engineering and acquire the necessary property to ensure the project is shovel-ready," the statement read.
Local New Democrat MPP's have argued the highway 3 expansion is shovel-ready.
Three rehab projects on Highway 401 between Windsor and Chatham did make the list, including Hwy 401 rehab work from Essex Road 17 Ely to Maidstone Road, rehab work on westbound lanes from Essex Rd. 42 to Merlin Road and a project in Rodney on the 401 from Furnival Road to Currie Road.