Chatham-Kent-Essex MPP Rick Nicholls at the Ontario Legislature, October 4, 2017. (Photo courtesy of the Ontario Legislature via YouTube)

Concrete Barrier On Hwy. 401 Could Still Happen

A Rondeau woman is still optimistic that someday a concrete median barrier will be built on Hwy. 401 from Tilbury to London.

Alysson Storey and about 20 others went to Queen’s Park on Wednesday to attend question period and meet with Ontario’s minister of transportation, but were told by the premier that a high tension cable barrier is already in the works for that piece of highway.

Storey’s ultimate goal is to get a concrete barrier erected on the stretch of road often called “Carnage Alley” to stop vehicles from crossing the median.

Storey says this is the first meeting in a long process and vows to keep pushing for a cement barrier.

“We didn’t get all the answers we wanted, but we also know that this is a long process and they can’t make commitments right away,” says Storey.

Storey’s friends, Sarah and Freya Payne, were killed on Hwy. 401 near Dutton at the end of August when a pickup truck crossed the median and struck their van head-on.

She collected around 4,000 signatures on a petition over the last two weeks supporting a concrete barrier.

Storey says the province is leaning towards the cable barrier because it costs less, but admits the minister seems to be open to the need for a concrete barrier.

“It’s not out of the woods and we’re not letting it go.  The minister has agreed to meet with us and keep us informed on their progress, but we’re going to keep the pressure on.  We want the concrete median barriers,” Storey says. “We would consider the cable barriers as a short-term measure until the concrete barriers can be built.  We’re not going to be satisfied with the cable barriers as a permanent solution,” says Storey.