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County Council approves 2021 Road Rehabilitation projects


by Adam Gault

Essex County Council has approved the 2021 Rehabilitation Program and early release projects to tackle a number of major infrastructure projects across the county including in the Town of Essex.

  These projects will focus on several areas of infrastructure that fall under the County of Essex’s area of responsibility, including around 1500 kilometres of road, bridges, railway crossings, drainage, and the County Wide Active Transportation System (CWATS).

  As part of these early release projects, 13.8 kilometres of paved shoulders will be added to the CWATS county road network next year, including an around three kilometre stretch of County Road 18 in Essex, from McCormick east to the Arner Townline.

  This project, including two additional paved shoulders in Kingsville and Amherstburg, are part of the first full update of the CWATS Master Plan since the project’s inception in 2012. The CWATS plan was designed to connect all seven county municipalities with more than 800 kilometres of connected bicycle lanes, multi-use pathways, paved shoulders, and shared roadways in an effort to promote healthy and active living in the region, in addition to supporting local tourism efforts.

  “As a Town, we are thrilled to see continued investment in active transportation infrastructure in our community and region. As identified in our 2019-2022 Strategic Plan, expanding local multi-use trails and paved shoulders plays an important role in providing safe and inclusive recreation opportunities for residents of all ages and abilities,” Essex CAO, Chris Nepszy, said. “Since CWATS’s inception, we have supported and partnered with them to invest significant resources into projects like this, and we look forward to their continued efforts to connect our community and region.”

  In updating the CWATS Master Plan, county officials looked at the recommendations of the original study in considering changes to the active transportation environment over the course of the last decade, in addition to any legislative changes that have been made in that time that would impact the CWATS 20-year implementation plan.

  Funding to support the CWATS paved shoulder program is provided from the County of Essex’s Infrastructure Expansion Reserve, at a cost of $2,800,000 for scheduled improvements in 2021.

© 2020 The Essex Free Press ltd.

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