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'Slow roll' protest being planned for Highway 3
You might want to avoid Highway 3 the first Saturday in September.
A protest is being organized for Sept. 7 to slow down traffic in an effort to get the attention of Premier Doug Ford so he can expand the highway.
Friends Ray Sterling and Ray Perrault are organizing the protest. Sterling tells CTV News residents need to do something before another live is lost.
Sterling’s friend, 50-year-old Tyler Knight of Kingsville, was killed on June 7 when the motorcycle he was operating was involved in a head-on collision with a truck. A 38-year-old man from St. Catharines is charged with careless driving causing death.
Sterling wants the Premier to keep his word and finish the expansion of Highway 3 immediately.
“I want him here, to explain to everybody why we're not twinning this when he said we were,” says Sterling, referring to the campaign promise made by Doug Ford when on May 23, 2018.
"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,” stated Ford on that day while on a campaign stop in Kingsville. “Not a year down the road, but immediately."
The subject has been a contentious issue since the Liberal government completed phase one of the project, but the stretch of Highway 3 from Essex to Leamington remains one lane in each direction.
“I got a diesel truck and I got a camper I'm going to pull that camper right up to number 3 highway and 77 and I'm going to stop it right there,” says Sterling. “We're going to have cars and bikes organized at the other end and we're just going to go back and forth.”
Sterling was injured in a crash on Highway 3 in 2015. His physical injuries are healed but mentally, Sterling says Knight’s death has sparked a need for action in him.
“How many people got to die, you know? How many people got to get maimed on this highway before they're going to open it up? How many governments have we gone through that said that they're going to open this up>” asks Sterling.
Chatham-Kent-Leamington Conservative MPP Rick Nicholls hopes the protest will not go ahead.
“I have advised, personally, the individual responsible for that particular rally and advised him not to do it,” says Nicholls.
The local MPP vows the expansion project is moving forward.
“It takes time to build or to twin, there's a lot of paperwork and a lot of regulations that have to be followed first of all and that takes time,” states Nicholls.
Staff at the Ministry of Transportation tells CTV New the environmental assessment for the widening in the Town of Essex was completed in 2017. They add the assessment for Essex to Leamington is still underway and they have plans to announce their highway expansion priorities in the coming months.