Site preparation and design work to begin within weeks   

WINDSOR - A major milestone has been achieved ahead of schedule for The Windsor-Essex Parkway. Infrastructure Ontario and the Ontario Ministry of Transportation (MTO) announced that the Windsor Essex Mobility Group (WEMG) has reached financial close and signed a fixed-price contract with the Province. This means that all contractual steps have been completed with WEMG and it plans to start full construction of the Parkway in summer 2011.  

Design and construction of the Parkway will provide a sizeable boost to regional and Ontario economies by directly and indirectly supporting and creating 12,000 project-related jobs, with the majority in the Windsor-Essex region. At the peak of construction activity, WEMG estimates that between 1,200 and 1,300 workers are expected on the construction site daily.  

Upon completion, the 11 kilometre Parkway will ease the movement of goods and people to and from the Windsor-Detroit border, separate local and international traffic, and eliminate stop-and-go traffic in residential areas. With more than 300 acres of green space, 20 kilometres of recreational trails and new community connections, residents in Windsor-Essex will enjoy an improved quality of life. 

The Parkway will be delivered using the province's alternative financing and procurement (AFP) delivery model. The AFP model transfers most risks associated with designing, constructing and maintaining the Parkway to WEMG.  

The value of the contract to WEMG is approximately $1.4 billion in today's dollars. Over the 30-year life of the contract, the total future payments will add up to approximately $2.2 billion (nominal).

Annual payments to WEMG cover construction, highway maintenance, lifecycle repair and renewal and project financing. Lifecycle repair and renewal will ensure the Parkway and surrounding 300-acre green space and recreational trails are kept in excellent condition over the 30-year period. 

Construction of the Parkway is scheduled to begin in summer 2011 and the Parkway will be open to traffic in fall 2014.  Beginning in January 2011, WEMG will start design work on the Parkway, engineering survey work and soil investigations. As well, it will continue reaching out to local contractors, businesses, unions and educational institutions about opportunities and training and begin to obtain all necessary municipal permits.

The Parkway underwent an open, fair and competitive procurement process and WEMG submitted the proposal that delivered the best value for Ontario taxpayers, including the shortest construction timeline and lowest cost. 

The Parkway is a significant economic opportunity for local workers, suppliers, and contractors. Since being named the preferred proponent, WEMG has been meeting with local companies, educational institutions and unions to discuss opportunities for partnerships. WEMG has a labour agreement in place with the Labourer's Union Local 625 and is committed to continuing its efforts to reach agreements with local unions and to use local labour. As well, WEMG and the University of Windsor have signed a Memorandum of Understanding.

WEMG key partners include ACS Infrastructure Canada Inc., Acciona Concessions Canada, and Fluor Canada Limited. WEMG has agreements in place with local companies, including Hatch Mott MacDonald, Amico Infrastructure Inc., Dillon Consulting Ltd., LEA Consulting Ltd, Black & McDonald and AMEC.  

Financing for the Parkway was arranged by RBC Financing. ACS Infrastructure Canada Inc., Acciona Concessions Canada, and Fluor Canada Limited are equal equity partners in the Parkway. 

Infrastructure Ontario will post copies of the project agreement and the value for money (VFM) report online at in the coming months. 

The Windsor-Essex Parkway will remain publicly owned and publicly controlled and will not be a toll road. 

Infrastructure Ontario is a Crown corporation dedicated to managing some of the province's larger and more complex infrastructure renewal projects - ensuring they are built on time and on budget; as well, it is dedicated to providing the public sector and not-for-profit organizations with long-term financing to renew their infrastructure.

MTO's goal is to be a world leader in moving people and goods safely, efficiently and sustainably, to support a globally competitive economy, a high quality of life and being responsible for all provincial highways.


Bob Chiarelli, Minister of Infrastructure 
"The Windsor-Essex Parkway is the most significant, single highway investment in Ontario's history. The Parkway will be designed with green features that reflect respect for its surrounding environment and community.”

Kathleen Wynne, Minister of Transportation 
“Once the Parkway opens, it will improve the movement of goods and people in our premier trade corridor. While we are very excited about easing the flow of traffic, the fact that the project will be a major catalyst for the Windsor-Essex economy and local job creation is truly appreciated during these difficult economic times.”

Dwight Duncan, Member of Provincial Parliament, Windsor-Tecumseh
“The Parkway is an essential part of our government's commitment to renew aging infrastructure across the province. The design and construction of this project will make a difference in the lives of many people in our community by providing well needed jobs and training.”  

Sandra Pupatello, Member of Provincial Parliament, Windsor West
“Today is a great day for the people of Windsor-Essex. We are getting a state-of-the-art freeway that will create thousands of jobs and improve the quality of life for thousands of people across the region for many years to come.”

Bruce Crozier, Member of Provincial Parliament, Essex 
“We're following through on our commitment to Windsor-Essex residents by building a solution now that combines community benefits with transportation benefits in a truly unprecedented and innovative design.”

Juan Santamaria, Windsor Essex Mobility Group, Chief Operating Officer 
“Our team is thrilled to have reached this very important milestone and look forward to working with our partners and businesses in the community over the next 34 years to design, build and maintain a state-of-the art freeway that will be built not only for today, but for generations to come.”

Jim Lyons, Windsor Construction Association, Executive Director
“Many members of the Windsor Construction Association will play an active role on the Parkway during its design and construction. Already several of our members have partnered with the winning team as contractors and suppliers.”


Paulette den Elzen
Infrastructure Ontario

Heather Grondin
Windsor Border Initiatives
Implementation Group
Ministry of Transportation

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