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Contract 2: Highway 3 Widening From Essex to Leamington


We will continue to update this page with Frequently Asked Questions. To submit a question, please contact the project team through the Contact Us page.

What are the proposed improvements of the Highway 3 Widening Project?

Key components of the proposed improvements include:

  • Design and construction of a new 4-lane mainline cross section of approximately 15.6 km of Highway 3 mainline with a 15 m depressed median, with two new lanes being constructed for the eastbound direction and resurfacing and reconstruction of the existing lanes for the westbound direction

  • Reconfiguration of five (5) intersections along Highway 3 including associated illumination and auxiliary lanes

  • Closure and realignment of select side roads

  • Extension, rehabilitation, construction and abandonment of structural culverts

  • All infrastructure including environmental, drainage, traffic signal, illumination, roadside safety, and noise Works.


Who is Our DB Team?

Our DB Team is comprised of GIP Paving Inc., Construction Contractor, Dillon Consulting Limited, Lead Designer, and WSP (Golder Associates Ltd.), Foundations and Pavement Designers. Our DB Team was selected by The Ministry of Transportation Ontario (MTO) and Infrastructure Ontario (IO) to design, build and finance the Highway 3 Widening Project.


What are the benefits of this project?

Benefits of the Highway 3 Widening Project include:

  • Improvements to the Hwy 3 from 1.2km east of Essex Road 23 to 1.1km east of
    Essex Road 34

  • More effective movement of people and goods, both locally and regionally.

Our DB Team also estimates that approximately 60+ workers will be on site during peak construction periods.  With most workers residing in the Greater Essex County Area, local economic benefits and employment opportunities are also anticipated.

When will construction begin?

Construction of the Project will begin in the Spring of 2024. The first activities will be site preparation work and installation of environmental protection measures. 

When will construction be completed?

The project is scheduled to be complete in Winter of 2026.

How will construction impact me? Will my commute be impacted?

Our DB Team will minimize impacts to traffic to the extent possible and maximize safety of the traveling public throughout the construction work zone.  The sections of Highway 3 which are undergoing construction will be temporarily reduced to 60km/hr for the safety of all workers and traveling public.

Advanced notification of all temporary closures and lane reductions will be provided through the Project website and as E-Blasts to everyone on our Contact List.  Click here to sign up to Our Contact List and received advance notification of all closures. Please drive in accordance to the conditions, stay alert and keep a safe distance from the vehicles in front.

How will the public be notified of road closures?


The public will be notified of closures through the following methods:

  1. Signage in advance of and during closures

  2. Postings in the Traffic section on the project website:

  3. Email notices to the study’s Contact List.


Why are lanes closed, but I don’t see people working?

Lanes are closed for a variety of reasons such as when work is taking place, when workers gather materials and are preparing to enter to work zone, or for a safety reason.

What are the impacts to Side Roads?


Once Highway 3 is reconstructed, the following Side Road access to Highway 3 will be permanently closed:

  • Concession Road 9 north and south of Highway 3

  • South Talbot Road (Inman Side Road) south and north of Highway 3

  • Upcott Side Road north and south of Highway 3.


Why is tree clearing occurring?

Clearing is the first stage of any construction project.  This will be one of the first activities to take place, and trees will be cleared in order to widen the highway. Trees will be cleared outside of nesting season to mitigate impacts to migratory birds. Otherwise trees will be reviewed by an Avian Biologist prior to removal to verify the presence of any active nesting.


When will the area be landscaped to replace the removed trees?

Our DB Team will be developing a detailed landscape plan as part of the project’s detail design and completing all required site restoration following construction. 


How will environmental effects be assessed and mitigated?

Appropriate mitigation measures have been recommended/developed based on the potential effects identified during previously completed and ongoing studies. All mitigation measures will be documented in Design and Construction Reports.


What is a Class Environmental Assessment?

A Class Environmental Assessment (EA) is a decision-making framework under the Ontario Environmental Assessment Act that applies to a range of similar, or class of, projects. A Class EA is used when potential environmental impacts and the proposed mitigation techniques are predictable and/or similar to other projects within that same class. MTO’s “Class EA for Provincial Transportation Facilities” document was developed in consultation with the Ministry of the Environment, and it defines and documents the process to be followed when conducting the EA study as well as requirements for public participation.


Was an Environmental Assessment conducted for this Project?

Yes.  In 2006, MTO completed a study that followed the process for a Group ‘B’ project under the Class Environmental Assessment (EA) for Provincial Transportation Facilities (2000) and identified a strategy to accommodate transportation improvements for the Hwy 3 Corridor from from 1.2km east of Essex Road 23 to 1.1km east of Essex Road 34.  The Class EA study was documented in a Transportation Environmental Study Report (TESR 2021).

Additional information on the Environmental Assessment process can be found here.


Does this Project have an Environmental Management System?

An Environmental Management System (EMS) has been developed to establish processes to comply with the environmental requirements of the ISO 14001:2015 Standard. The purpose of the EMS is to provide Our DB Team with a framework and systematic approach to protect the environment, improve environmental performance, and illustrate continuing environmental compliance in balance with the socio-economic needs during the course of the Project.


What is a Design and Construction Report?

A Design and Construction Report (DCR) is the Environmental Assessment (EA) document prepared for a Group ‘B’ project under the MTO Class EA for Provincial Transportation Facilities (2000).

DCRs document the EA process, design and implementation details, environmental impacts and mitigation measures, and a summary of consultation undertaken. Following completion of the DCR, and subject to obtaining required permits, approvals, and authorizations, Environmental Clearance will be issued to allow for construction of the works covered in the DCR.  Everyone on the Project Contact List will be contacted when a DCR is made available for review and comment.  Click here to sign up to Our Contact List and receive notification of all DCRs.


Where will noise walls be installed?

Noise walls will be installed during construction at the SW Quadrant of Division Road and
Highway 3.

© 2022 Dillon Consulting Limited.

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