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'Spring has been fantastic': Early start to road construction season in Essex County

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County of Essex officials said construction season has arrived and in some cases started early this year thanks to the warm weather this spring.

Crews are preparing to begin phase two of a multi-year five phase corridor reconstruction project of County Road 42 and County Road 43 in Tecumseh. Work is set to begin in the late spring, while preparations such as the removal of trees are underway this week.

“It's a very big project,” said Director of Infrastructure and Planning for the County of Essex Allan Botham. “The biggest single project that the county has this year is the County Road 42/43 intersection realignment and extension of Banwell Road.”

He continued, “There’s a lot of traffic there and we want it to have more than just one east-west route, right, so everyone is familiar with EC Row, County Road 22 as a vital link, so we need to have more links like County Road 42 and then even further south County Road 46.”

The work includes the construction of a roundabout, the realignment of County Road 43 from County Road 42 to the City of Windsor border, work on Tecumseh Concession Road 11, the installation of new storm sewers and water mains, and the addition of new multi-use trails.

“Just building a roundabout in the middle of a busy intersection is going to be a challenge,” Botham said.

He said they’re trying to plan ahead along with the City of Windsor to be prepared for the developments that are coming into the area.

County Road 42 and County Road 43 in Tecumseh, Ont. are seen on April 16, 2024. Chris Campbell/CTV News Windsor)

“And that is a tremendous challenge,” Botham continued. “Thankfully, we have a good relationship with the border communities of LaSalle and Tecumseh and we have a good relationship with the City Windsor and we attend regular coordinating meetings with them. They've been a great participant, great help and we're going to try to coordinate our projects to the best of our ability.”

Botham said all major construction activity is expected to be complete by the end of 2024, noting there is plenty of construction activity elsewhere across Essex County.

“We have a great year planned,” Botham said while indicating there’s $19 million worth of new paving and construction jobs coming soon. “We look like we'll be busy through the entire construction season with some milling, paving projects, some bridge and culvert projects and wrapping up some projects we started last year.”

According to Botham, bridge rehabilitation work at the intersection County Road 9 and County Road 10 in Amherstburg was able to continue through the winter and is still on track to be complete in July.

“Spring has been fantastic,” Botham said. “We're looking forward to more of this through the rest of the year.”

He added, “The contractor has been fantastic. They're working well. They worked right through the winter and they're chugging along and the schedule looks good. We're still thinking about the same July due date. But you know, if the weather stays fantastic like this, who knows what could happen.”

Botham urges motorists to be patient while navigating backups and detours.

“Just word of caution, take your time. Be patient and observe the signs. We want to make sure our motorists get home safe. We want to make sure our contractors and construction workers get home safe and just be patient,” he said.

— With files from AM800 

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