Yurek Helps Win Victory For ‘Farmer’s Freeway’

It looks like the rallying of London-area farmers has paid off now that the Ministry of Transportation announced it has new plans for a Hwy. 401 overpass.

According to a news release, the Ministry of Transportation (MTO) unveiled updated designs for the Colonel Talbot Rd. interchange on Hwy. 4 at Hwy. 401 on Thursday.

The MTO had originally planned to remove the Glanworth Bridge. The overpass, which is commonly known as the “farmer’s freeway,”serves as a roadway for oversized farm vehicles that want to stay off busy highways.

Elgin-Middlesex-London MPP Jeff Yurek, joined by farmers, the agricultural industry, and local community members, called on the government to review their decision based on the fact the MTO failed to consult with area residents.

“I am thankful our community rallied together to pressure the Government to retain the Glanworth Bridge. I believe the new design ensures the safe movement of our agricultural produce,” says Yurek. “Large farm equipment will stay off our busy highways and keep our motorists and those operating farm equipment safe.”

Yurek says he hopes the government has learned their lesson.

“It is disappointing the Liberal government originally went ahead with the original designs without consulting with area residents and those who use Glanworth Drive. Money and time would have been saved if they had properly consulted from the beginning,” he says.

It is reported that ministry officials are considering building a new Glanworth Drive overpass just east of where the bridge is now.

The ministry is planning on gathering public input until February 15. A third public information session was held Thursday evening.

After public review of the new designs, the Ministry of Transportation will finalize the redesign plans for the interchange. It is said the preliminary new design and environmental study on the project may be completed as soon as spring.