By Robin MacLennan
Ontario Construction Report staff writer
Infrastructure Ontario (IO) and the Ministry of Transportation (MTO) have selected GIP Paving Inc. as the preferred proponent to design, build and finance the Highway 3 Widening Project – Essex to Leamington.
The project will widen Highway 3 from two to four lanes from the Arner Townline (Essex Road 23) near the Town of Essex to Union Avenue (Essex Road 34) near the Town of Leamington.
“By widening Highway 3, we are delivering on our promise to make travel easier and safer for the thousands of people who depend on this roadway each day,” said Caroline Mulroney, minister of transportation. “Our government has a clear vision to build Ontario. This project will support good jobs during construction, and once complete, ensure that our truck drivers and carriers can get their goods to market more quickly.”
The GIP Paving Inc. team includes:
- Developer: GIP Paving Inc.
- Design Team: Dillon Consulting Ltd. and WSP
- Construction Team: GIP Paving Inc. (formerly Coco Paving Inc.)
- Financial Advisor: National Bank Financial Inc.
IO and MTO expect to reach financial close in Spring 2023.
The project, one of over 40 actions in Connecting the Southwest: A Draft Transportation Plan for Southwestern Ontario, includes widening 15.6 kilometres of the highway to four lanes from two, extending from the Town of Essex to the Town of Leamington.
Drainage improvements will be completed, including the extension of six mainline structural culverts, replacement/extension of existing centerline culverts along with the installation of additional culverts for the modifications to the local road network.
Realignment and intersection removals of several local roads on Hwy. 3 and reconstruction/resurfacing of existing lanes on Highway 3 are also included in the contract.
The project is being delivered using a design-build-finance (DBF) model. Erie Shores Infrastructure Partners and GIP Paving Inc. (formerly Coco Paving Inc.) – submitted proposals.
“Our government is committed to investing in meaningful infrastructure projects that make a real improvement in the safety, efficiency and productivity of Ontarians,” said Kinga Surma, minister of infrastructure. “Projects such as Highway 3 are crucial to ensuring goods and supplies, including vaccines and PPE, can be delivered efficiently and quickly. In every corner of our province, we are getting shovels in the ground faster, building smarter, and expanding and enhancing critical infrastructure that will pave the way for Ontario to bounce back stronger than ever.”
Highway 3 provides regional and international connectivity. Upgrades to Highway 3 in the County of Essex are expected to improve traffic movement, increase highway capacity and enhance highway safety.