Public resistance prompts redesign of Hwy 401 interchange

 

After successfully arguing that Ontario’s Ministry of Transportation failed to properly consult the community, the Glanworth Drive Bridge between London and St. Thomas appears to have been saved.

The ministry released updated designs Thursday night for the interchange on Highway 4, or Colonel Talbot Road, at Highway 401.

“The community is feeling invigorated that they’ve been listened to,” Elgin-Middlesex-London MPP Jeff Yurek told 980 CFPL.

“I hope the biggest takeaway is government ministries, no matter who’s in power, always have the opportunity to listen and be flexible to the needs of area residents when doing large infrastructure projects.”

The bridge is often used by over-sized farm vehicles as an alternative to major highways and when initial designs were released showing the removal of the bridge, public reaction was swift.

“The government originally came out with a design that was basically a cookie cutter shape that they had used throughout the province, without meeting and discussing the issue with area residents and those that use the bridge,” Yurek explained.

“We had residents in the Lambeth area, businesses, we had farmers and suppliers of agricultural equipment come together, and together we proceeded to compel a case why the government and the MTO needs to maintain the Glanworth bridge.”

The new designs still have to go through public review before they can be finalized.

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