Photo of Sarah and Freya Payne from www.harrisfuneralhome.ca

Concrete Barriers Will Be Installed In ‘Carnage Alley’

Following the pleas of a local advocacy group Build the Barrier, the provincial government says it plans to install a concrete barrier on the stretch of Hwy. 401 between London and Tilbury known as “Carnage Alley.”

Alysson Storey is the founder of Build the Barrier, which is a group advocating for increased safety measures on Hwy. 401. Storey has been pushing for a median barrier ever since her family friends Sarah and Freya Payne were killed in a Hwy. 401 crossover crash on August 29, 2017. She told BlackburnNewsCK.com last month that she was confident that the new minister of transportation, Kathryn McGarry, would be more sympathetic to the cause because the 401 runs through the minister’s Cambridge riding.

In a statement released Monday afternoon, McGarry says the government strives to ensure Ontario’s roads are the safest in North America.

“As the minister of transportation and as the MPP for a community in Southwestern Ontario I took the decision on how best to improve safety on Hwy. 401 between London and Tilbury very seriously,” explains McGarry. “This decision came after additional work and analysis by ministry staff and many important conversations with families and advocates who have personally felt the impact of a fatal collision on this highway.”

McGarry says before the government builds a concrete barrier, the ministry must first do the necessary planning. This work includes an environmental assessment to widen this stretch of Hwy. 401.

However, this assessment will take some time and McGarry says the region needs a solution now. She says that is why in the short term the government will be installing high-tension cable barriers.

The news release states that the Ministry of Transportation has found a way to speed up the installation process of these barriers, so they will be up sooner than originally planned.

“This process is about making the right decisions to improve road safety, and that is why our path forward balances the need for quick action while also planning for the next steps,” says McGarry. “I know that this conversation about road safety will not end today, and I would like to thank the advocates and their families for their work to-date. We can only make our roads safer when we work together.”