MTO needs to relocate drain along Highway #3, purchasing property for expansion

by Sylene Argent

At last Tuesday’s Essex Council meeting, which was hosted online, Essex Council dealt with two files pertaining to Highway # 3.

  During the meeting, Council adopted Bylaw 1913, to adopt Section 77(3) Engineer’s Letter of Opinion to relocate the Essex Outlet Drain within the Ministry of Transportation (MTO) corridor.

  In the Report to Council, it notes the MTO has 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 Essex Outlet Drain, the Report to Council notes, currently crosses under Highway #3 in a concrete box culvert and outlets into the open drain on the west side of Highway #3 in front of the Pollution Control Plant on North Malden Road. The Ministry is proposing to route the drain around the new overpass structure and tie the storm water system back into the Essex Outlet Drain on the east side of Highway #3, in front of Pollution Control Plant.

  It also noted the authority and the capacity of the drain will remain unchanged, the MTO will bear the costs to relocate the drain.

  Anthony Saraceni, project engineer for the MTO, appeared as a delegate during the meeting. He said the MTO is retaining design and build consultant for the project. The MTO is currently going though the procurement process, which should be completed in early October. Construction start is scheduled for 2021, but the MTO is looking for ways to expedite the process, if possible.

  There will be temporary closures of Highway # 3 for the removal of existing infrastructure in its current place and potentially for some municipal works in the area to replace the existing outlet at the Essex Outlet Drain, he said.    

  He said the MTO is unsure the time this will take at this point.

  Essex Council also approve Bylaw 1915, to release the subdivision agreement registered on May 5, 2004 against the lands described as Parts 1 and 2 on 12R-27717.

  In this Report to Council, it notes Council’s approval of the Bylaw was required to remove the registered subdivision agreement between the Corporation of the Town of Essex and Essex 143 Joint Venture LTD, over these lands to facilitate the sale to the MTO.

  The properties in question are vacant lands located at the northeast corner of South Talbot Road. The Report notes the lands are being conveyed to the MTO in order to facilitate the reconfiguration of South Talbot Road.

  The Report adds the solicitor of the land owner wrote the Town to note the land owner has entered into an agreement to convey a portion of their lands to the MTO.

“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.

Council also directed the Clerk to execute all documents necessary to give effect to the actions taken by this Council as described in Bylaw 1915.

  Other recent news regarding Highway # 3 included at the May 4 regular meeting, 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.

   Kevin Girard, Director of Infrastructure, said then that the MTO needed a commitment from Essex that it will close the roads when they need to be as part of the expansion project.

  In addition to the two intersections mentioned in the correspondence, Girard said Pinkerton Sideroad will be realigned at County Road 8. It will be extended to the south to do so.    

© 2020 The Essex Free Press ltd.

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