Essex County advocating for funding for grade-separated crossings/interchanges

The County of Essex recently appeared as a delegate before the Ministry of Transportation during the Ontario Good Roads conference.

During the June 12 meeting, Allan Botham, Director of Infrastructure and Planning, provided County Council with an overview of staff efforts to advocate for the County.He said the County’s Solicitor and a Program Manager attended the conference, where they presented the need for funding in support of two grade-separated crossings of the Canadian Pacific Railway, along County Road 19 and County Road 43.

They also advocated for new grade-separated interchanges along County Road 22 at Lesperance Road and County Road 19.

“In these instances, we try to remind Ministers of our own prudent planning and financial management, and that is evident by ongoing expansion projects,” Botham said, adding the intersections noted are “failing and the costs are beyond our reach at $75M to $100M apiece.

”The County is here to support the success of new development in the County region and industry, Botham added, “but we need help.”He relayed that the Minister seemed to recognize the importance and did arrange for a subsequent meeting with MTO Southwest Region office, so County staff can provide additional details and supporting data.

After the MTO staff has had a chance to review that data, County staff will arrange for another meeting later this summer.

“These expensive interchanges are critical to our network. They are very expensive, and we should be bringing the need to upper-levels of government and we should be doing that often.”

Joe Bachetti, Deputy Warden of Essex County and Deputy Mayor of Tecumseh, thanked staff for the delegation. He spoke of the increased traffic in these areas.

Sylene Argent, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Essex Free Press