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County Council gets notice of EA for Highway #3

- the EA is for repaving the Ruthven to Leamington section -

by Sylene Argent

At the County Council meeting, which was held virtually last Wednesday evening, the local decision-makers received a Notice of Study Commencement for a Detail Design and Class Environmental Assessment (EA) Study for the Highway # 3 rehabilitation work.

  In the correspondence from Chris Evans, Environmental Planner, it notes the Ontario Ministry of Transportation’s (MTO) Detail Design and Class Environmental Assessment study for the rehabilitation of Highway # 3 is for the portion from Essex Road 34 in Kingsville to Highway 77 in Leamington.

  Through the letter, the MTO was seeking County Council’s input on the existing conditions within the study area. The project, it notes in the letter, is being undertaken primarily to address the existing pavement condition of this 6km stretch of thoroughfare. It may include culvert rehabilitations or replacements, and drainage improvements.

  Comments and information regarding this project are being collected to assist the MTO in meeting the requirements of the Ontario Environmental Assessment Act.

  County Council and residents have until June 19 to respond. Comments and suggestions can be forwarded to Project Manager Clarissa Tiede at (226) 688-4885 or Clarissa.Tiede@ontario.ca. The commencement of the study would have also been sent to indigenous communities, property owners, etc, Evans said.

  In August of 2019, Caroline Mulroney, the MPP of York-Simcoe, who is still serving as the Ontario Minister of Transportation, announced construction to widen Highway # 3 will begin in 2021.

  Evans said the MTO is still looking to shave and repave the section of the highway from Ruthven to Leamington.

  He said the EA is a first step in this rehabilitation project. This portion of the study will have the MTO complete some natural sciences, field investigations, and an impact assessment for terrestrial and aquatic areas to look at how the project could impact the environment.

  Kingsville Mayor Nelson Santos said the MTO is looking to re-surfacing that area for the first-phase. He assumes that section will be widened as well in the future. Right now, he said the MTO is focused on re-widening the Essex to Kingsville portion.

  The incidents where collisions are happening tend to be between Kingsville and Essex on the highway, he said.

  He said everyone is interested in this project coming forward. “It is very important for our region for many reasons.”

  Recently, Essex Council approved the relocate the Essex Outlet Drain within the Ministry of Transportation (MTO) corridor. MTO had identified the need to relocate the Essex Outlet Drain in order to accommodate flows from the Town of Essex and avoid conflict with the proposed overpass structure at the Highway #3 and Victoria intersection. The MTO will bear the costs to relocate the drain.

  Essex Council also approved Bylaw 1915, to remove the registered subdivision agreement between the Corporation of the Town of Essex and Essex 143 Joint Venture LTD, to facilitate the sale of vacant properties at the northeast corner of South Talbot Road to the MTO. The Report notes the lands are being conveyed to the MTO in order to facilitate the reconfiguration of South Talbot Road.

  “This is necessary to accommodate heavier traffic volumes when South Talbot Road and South Talbot Road North are connected to from an arterial road connecting Victoria Avenue to Maidstone Avenue to compensate for the elimination of the intersection at Victoria and Highway 3,” Rita Jabbour, Manager of Planning Services for the Town of Essex, wrote in the Report to Essex Council.

  Other recent news regarding Highway # 3 included at the May 4 regular meeting, Essex Council received correspondence from the Ministry of Transportation, which requested Council pass a bylaw to close South Talbot Road, at County Road 8, and modify access on Victoria Avenue/North Malden Road at Highway 3, to allow for through traffic only via a grade separation.

© 2020 The Essex Free Press ltd.

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