Lack Of Barriers Makes Hwy. 401 The Worst

Collision on Hwy. 401 in Chatham-Kent, involving a tractor trailer. April 24, 2018. (Photo courtesy of Chatham-Kent OPP).

It’s official, the Hwy. 401 in Chatham-Kent is the worst.

That stretch of the highway topped the list for the CAA’s annual Worst Roads Campaign in the Southwest Region.

Spokesperson Raymond Chan says pot-holes and poor road conditions didn’t appear to be the determining factor for voters, though.

“There was a concern amongst local residents about some safety concerns along Hwy. 401 and the need for more barriers to ensure safety of the travelling public,” says Chan, adding the “worst road” doesn’t need to have crumbling pavement. “It can be due to a number of things: Is it inadequate or missing cycling infrastructure? Is it bad signal timing? Is it missing or confusing road signs? We really wanted to get feedback from everybody.”

Chan says it’s quite unusual to see a provincial highway on the list.

“We haven’t seen a provincial highway appear on any of our lists in the past little while,” says Chan. “I know local elected officials were involved in that and they really saw this as an opportunity to see their voices heard.”

Rounding out the Top 5 in the Southwest region for 2018 are:

2. Seminole St. (Windsor)

3. Plank St. (Sarnia)

4. Huron Church Rd. (Windsor)

5. Tecumseh Rd. E. (Windsor)

Chan says he recognized a couple of those roads right away.

“Based off of memory, I know that Seminole St. and Tecumseh Rd. E. were both actually worst roads in the southwest region last year,” says Chan. “They were looking to those roads mostly because of potholes and crumbling pavement.”

Chan says most of the roads that appear on the list shouldn’t be a surprise to municipal and provincial officials, but adds that it validates and hits home the point that something needs to be done about these stretches of road.

He says at this point, CAA officials will be asking their partners at the Ontario Road Builders Association to go out and verify the condition of the roads that made the list. That report will be returned to CAA and later presented to municipal and provincial officials.

On the overall list, Burlington St. E in Hamilton was voted the worst road in Ontario for the second year in a row and has appeared on CAA’s Top 10 list more than any other road in campaign history.