Border Project Would Expand Manning Rd. And County Rd. 42
Friday, November 3, 2017
Blackburn News/Adelle Loiselle
The Windsor-Essex Economic Development Corporation wants Essex County Council’s support as it asks Ottawa for money to fund new border project.
The federal government is making $2-billion available over 11 years through its National Trade Corridors Fund. The corporation, along with the City of Windsor, St. Clair College, the University of Windsor, and other collaborators in the U.S., wants some of that money to prepare the border for autonomous vehicles, create an information sharing system at crossings, and expand Manning Rd. and County Rd. 42.
CEO, Stephen MacKenzie and County Engineer Tom Bateman outlined the project for county councillors Wednesday night.
The project would look at expanding Manning Rd. to four-lanes between County Rd. 22 and Hwy. 3, and County Rd. 42 from Windsor city limits to County Rd. 25.
“With 25% of our bilateral trade crossing at our borders, you need it to be strong, you need the redundancy built in,” says MacKenzie. “It’s an emergency detour route. That makes it even more important.”
The most prominent part of the project would focus on ways to ensure the passage of autonomous vehicles through the border between Windsor and Detroit is smooth and efficient.
“We have to anticipate the disruption,” MacKenzie says. “We want to be ready. We want to do the research, and we want to share the information. We want to make sure that when these vehicles are coming more on stream that it doesn’t create a thickening of the border because we’re not set up. We’re not ready to go.”
The fourth part of the submission to the Ministry of Transport is a Smart Border Information System which would help exchange information at the border to improve speed and efficiency, especially when border traffic is heavy.
The total cost for the study project is estimated at $10-million.