Traffic backed up on Hwy. 401 in Dutton following a multi-vehicle crash, August 29, 2017. (Photo courtesy of the OPP)

Keeping The Pressure On For A Concrete Barrier

The push to build a concrete barrier along the Hwy. 401 across Chatham-Kent will continue to heat up as the weather cools down.

The local group that’s making the push attended a meeting Thursday night hosted by MPP Rick Nicholls to further the discussion and to recruit more support. More than 100 people showed up from across southwestern Ontario to hear from officials with the Ministry of Transportation and other experts.

Build the Barrier founder Alysson Storey says they’re just getting started.

“It can’t just be my voice,” says Storey. “It was nice to see about 120 voices last night — it’s going to take a real group effort from across the province to get this done, but after seeing the response last night, I’m confident we can do that.”

At Thursday’s meeting, MTO officials confirmed again that all options, including a concrete barrier, are still on the table and that a final decision has not been made yet.

On October 5, the province announced a high tension cable barrier will be installed through Chatham-Kent next year, but just over a week later, Transportation Minister Steven Del Duca’s press secretary told Blackburn News that announcement was pre-mature.

Storey says now that the group has confirmation that a decision hasn’t been made yet, they’re strengthening their resolve.

“When the spring season hits and construction starts back up, we definitely want to see the concrete median barrier as part of that plan,” says Storey. “We’re going to be keeping the heat on and we’re not going to let this go over the winter.”