Parkway is road to the future: MPP

By Dave Battagello, The Windsor Star

WINDSOR, Ont. – A few shovels of dirt were moved, but symbolized a giant step forward for Windsor and the nation’s economic trade.

Dignitaries take part in a groundbreaking for the Windsor-Essex Parkway on Howard Avenue in Windsor on Thursday, August 18, 2011. Photograph by: TYLER BROWNBRIDGE, The Windsor Star

That was the theme of an hour-long groundbreaking ceremony Thursday for the long-awaited $1.4-billion Windsor-Essex Parkway.

After a half dozen years of debate and over 300 community meetings, construction for the 11-kilometre border feeder highway goes into full swing starting this weekend. The one-of-a kind highway will feature 11 overpass tunnels that will cover 1.8 kilometres of the below-grade road, includes 300 acres of green space and creation of over 1,000 direct jobs at its peak.

Some have chided the project as the “road to nowhere” since there remains no final approval of the government-backed Detroit International Crossing bridge which is supposed to link at the end of the route.

“It is not the ‘road to nowhere,'” said Ontario’s finance minister and local MPP Dwight Duncan. “It is the road to the future for our city and no one is going to stop this.