E.C. Row Expressway to undergo $10-million facelift

EC Row Exwy. W. sign in Windsor. (photo by Mike Vlasveld)

At $10-million, it is the largest investment Windsor City Council has ever made toward reconstructing the E.C. Row Expressway since 1997, and it could mean more traffic headaches for commuters.

With 75,000 vehicles travelling through the stretch at peak commuting times, the expressway is the Windsor’s busiest road.

The first stage of the project is already underway. Last month, work to reconstruct the westbound lanes between Dougall Avenue and Dominion Boulevard started. Site preparation to reinforce the road’s shoulders and build a crossover so westbound traffic can move to the eastbound lanes finished August 28.

Now that traffic is diverted, four layers of the original road will be removed, and new asphalt will be added this fall.

Right now, both the east and westbound lanes are down to one lane between Conservation Drive and Huron Church Road. While the Howard Avenue and Dougall Avenue off-ramps are open, the Dougall on-ramp and the on and off-ramps at Dominion Boulevard are closed. This has created delays for drivers.

However, Mayor Drew Dilkens said it would be worth it when he announced the project on Friday.

“Fixing Windsor’s roads continues to be a top priority. Strong infrastructure helps create the conditions for economic success in the long-term while creating construction jobs in the short-term,” said Dilkens.

Phase two begins next summer when the same work will take place in the eastbound lanes.

The freeway is named after Edward Charles Row, the president of Chrysler Canada, between 1951 and 1956.

The Ontario Ministry of Transportation undertook construction in 1971, and the 15.4-kilometre expressway opened 12 years later.

The province downloaded responsibility for its maintenance to the city in 1997.