Essex government officials are pleading with Ontario to make it a priority to complete the last phase of widening Highway 3 between Essex and Leamington.
The expansion of Highway 3 to four lanes would provide much needed relief to the heavily traveled road that has been the site of a number of fatal accidents.
Most recently, on April 27, a resident of Leamington was killed in a multi-vehicle collision that also injured six others. She was in the back seat of a Pontiac that was hit in the rear, triggering a chain reaction of accidents and causing meters of automobile debris.
Mayor Ron McDermott of Essex argued that the accident would never have happened if there were four lanes of highway.
Widening Highway 3
Despite the clear need for an expansion of Highway 3, the third, and most critical, phase of this project is not included in Ontario’s Ministry of Transportation’s short-term plans.
McDermott laments that money is allegedly the reason the road has not been expanded and that this issue is not a new one. The project was first started in 2007 and includes three phases. The first two phases were completed in late 2014, costing $20 million each.
Although the last phase is estimated to cost $40 million, local residents and government officials assert it is imperative to finish the project since Highway 3 remains “dangerous and unable to meet growing traffic volumes.” Traffic along this route has increased and surpassed the two lane road’s capacity, increasing the potential for deadly consequences.
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