Advertisement

City spending $5M for on and off ramps at Banwell Road and E.C. Row Expressway

The intersection at Banwell Road and E.C. Row Expressway. (Dale Molnar/CBC - image credit)
The intersection at Banwell Road and E.C. Row Expressway. (Dale Molnar/CBC - image credit)

With an anticipated increase in traffic when the Nexstar Battery Plan opens next year, the City of Windsor is going ahead with plans to upgrade the intersection at Banwell Road and the E.C. Row Expressway.

An $80 million dollar upgrade is planned for the area which will include a $30 million overpass and work on the road from the interchange to the CP Rail tracks. The city is spending $5 million to build the on and off ramps to the overpass.

Acting City Engineer Mark Winterton said the work is needed because there has already been heavy traffic at the intersection.

He said he has had talks with the province on funding for the project.

"I had a meeting just in early or mid-December with the Minister of Transportation folks and we were talking about major infrastructure in the City of Windsor and they are very much aware of the need for a grade separation at this location," said Winterton.

Winterton said the city planned for expansion in the east end back in 2016 when an environmental assessment was done on the intersection. It called for a new overpass back then, even without the battery plant in the works.

Windsor-Tecumseh PC MPP Andrew Dowie who said he has also been pushing for funding for the interchange and that he has made the case to the previous Minister of Transportation and the current one, Prabmeet Sakaria.

"What I can certainly share is that I've made every possible effort to advocate for some attention at this intersection," said Dowie.

Plans for the interchange at Banwell Road and E.C. Row Expressway as laid out in a 2016 Environmental Assessment.
Plans for the interchange at Banwell Road and E.C. Row Expressway as laid out in a 2016 Environmental Assessment.

Plans for the interchange at Banwell Road and E.C. Row Expressway as laid out in a 2016 Environmental Assessment. (Dale Molnar/CBC)

Mayor Drew Dilkens has also been pushing the province to assume responsibility for the entire expressway. Dowie said he sees the logic in that argument but says there are pros and cons to the having the province take it over.

"We have a corridor here that is vital for the economy of the province," he said, adding that making the change would add a layer of bureaucracy to any development around it.

"When you bring in MTO permits and an MTO jurisdiction, that makes it a lot more difficult to build the surrounding area," he said.

"There's a reason why sometimes the local municipality is the better government for it because once you bring an MTO permits, it slows everything down."

Winterton said the work on the ramps will begin this summer. Dowie couldn't say when the province will make any decisions on funding.