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Rt. Hon. Herb Gray Parkway

The Windsor-Essex Parkway is an innovative 6-lane, 11 km freeway and a 4-lane, 7 km highway that provides transportation benefits, green space, recreational trails and community connections. It included 186 km of freeway, largely below grade with wide cut-and-cover tunnels, construction of surrounding local service roads, interchanges, parkland areas, recreational hiking/bike trail, and 35 structures including 12 tunnels and 14 bridges.

The Windsor-Essex Parkway is publicly owned and controlled.  It is not a tolled road.

The stretch of the highway included three lanes in each direction and tunnels (at least 1.1 km) which made it possible to eliminate road junctions and attenuate the intense traffic that built up at the border, separating national and international traffic flows. The existing highway had a considerable volume of traffic owing to the movement of trucks crossing the border with the USA. During the construction phase, the consortium was responsible for traffic management.

The Project construction was divided into three phases, completed in 2014, when the road came into service, and it is followed by a thirty year operational phase. During the period of construction the payments were set at the time of the termination of each phase, and by availability during the operation. The construction sequence was as follows:

  • Stage 1 – Construct Drainage Ponds, temporary work to relocate Highway 3, other construction that does not impact existing traffic including bridges, tunnels and earthwork
  •  Stage 2- Finish new Highway 3 and move traffic to new road, start remaining bridges, tunnels, and earthwork on Highway 401
  •  Stage 3 – Finish earthwork, structures, drainage and pave Highway 401

Why this project is important

The Windsor-Essex Parkway is the most significant single highway investment the province has made in Ontario’s history and it provides a major boost to the local and regional economies. 12,000 project-related jobs have been created, with the majority in the Windsor-Essex area.

Each year more than 12 million cars, trucks and buses, and nearly $120 billion worth of goods, flow between Canada and the U.S. through the Windsor-Detroit corridor alone, making this location the most economically significant border crossing in North America.

How the project is sustainable

Being one of the premier organizations to focus our corporate social responsibility strategies at the core of our business, ACCIONA stands out among our peers as a firm with superior operational efficiency, climate change strategy, standards of control applied to suppliers, workplace health and safety policies, in addition to our management code of conduct and ethical practices.

ACCIONA achieved the Greenroads Gold certification for the Windsor-Essex Parkway, which means it was designed and constructed using the most sustainable practices. The new 11 km freeway separates local and international traffic and eliminates stop-and-go traffic in residential areas.

The Windsor-Essex Parkway is unprecedented in its community enhancement features for any highway, anywhere in Ontario with:  more than 300 acres of green space; 20 km of recreational trails and new community connections; extensive landscaping throughout the corridor; the use of proven techniques to reduce noise levels and special measures to protect wildlife.

What people are saying

“The Windsor-Essex Parkway is one of the largest highway investments in our province’s history and it will play a vital role in economic growth and the creation of strong communities across Ontario”
- Bob Chiarelli, Minister of Infrastructure

“Our government is committed to delivering the Windsor-Essex Parkway and improving the movement of traffic and goods through this key gateway. For the past 12 months staff has worked diligently to prepare for the start of full construction on the Parkway and today’s news means we’re one step closer.”
- Kathleen Wynne, Minister of Transportation

“We’re taking the next step to improve what is already one of the busiest border crossings in North America. The Windsor-Essex Parkway will help ease traffic flow to the border, get trucks off local streets, and boost our local economy by generating an estimated 12,000 skilled trade jobs over the lifespan of the project.”
- Dwight Duncan, MPP, Windsor-Tecumseh

“We’re one step closer to seeing full construction begin on The Windsor-Essex Parkway and seeing our vision become reality. The Parkway will be built using best practices for design and construction; and it will be constructed in a manner that is economically sound and respectful of the surrounding environment. ”
- Sandra Pupatello, MPP, Windsor West

“This project reaffirms the government’s commitment to creating employment opportunities in the region while updating and renewing vital infrastructure. The Parkway will improve the quality of life of residents living, working and playing in Windsor-Essex.”
- Bruce Crozier, MPP, Essex

“This project will provide retraining to put people back to work, as well, it will create employment opportunities for skilled trades people in our community.”
- Sol Furer, President of the Essex and Kent Counties Building and Construction Trades

“We’re excited by the province’s ongoing progress on the Parkway and look forward to partnering with these world-class companies to build this once in a life-time project.”
- Jim Lyons, Executive Director, Windsor Construction Association

General information

Windsor, Ontario, Canada
Infrastructure Canada
Our role
Concessionaire, Design & Construct Contractor, Operations & Maintenance
11-kilometre, 6-lane freeway; 7-kilometre, 4-lane highway
Estimated completion date

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