WINDSOR, ONT. -- Provincial officials say they are taking the next step in improving Highway 401 between Tilbury and London.

Ontario is proceeding with an expression of interest to get a contractor to widen and install concrete median barriers.

It will cover the first 11 kilometres of the project between Tilbury and Merlin Road in Chatham-Kent.

The plan includes widening the stretch of 401 from four to six lanes, a new storm sewer system, safety improvements, and the construction of the concrete median barrier.

Minister of Transportation Caroline Mulroney said it is part of the government's plan to build safer and better highways.

"We are committed to making sure that our transportation system works for all Ontarians," said Mulroney in a news release on Wednesday. "Ontario's roads are among the safest in North America - and our government intends to keep it that way."

Building a concrete median barrier is expected to help improve safety and reduce the likelihood of cross median collisions.

The stretch of highway has long been known as “Carnage Alley” due the number of serious and fatal crashes over the last 20 years.

Alysson Storey, founder of the advocacy group Build the Barrier, tells CTV News it is welcoming news.

The project was included in the Ontario budget, delivered last April.