Highway 3 (Ontario)

Highway 3 (Ontario)

Infobox road

length_ref=Ministry of Transportation of Ontario, [http://www.raqsa.mto.gov.on.ca/techpubs/TrafficVolumes.nsf/tvweb 2004 Annual Average Daily Traffic] ]
terminus_a=jct|state=MI|I|75|I|96 in Detroit, MI
junction=jct|state=ON|Hwy|401 in Windsor
jct|state=ON|Hwy|77 near Leamington----jct|state=ON|Hwy|4 near St. Thomas
jct|state=ON|Hwy|19 near Tillsonburg
jct|state=ON|Hwy|24 in Norfolk
terminus_b=Rosehill Rd. in Fort Erie
cities=Windsor, Leamington, St. Thomas, Tillsonburg, Delhi, Simcoe, Jarvis, Cayuga, Dunnville, Pt. Colborne, Ft. Erie

Highway 3 is a provincially maintained highway in southwestern Ontario, Canada.

It has three segments, and it currently runs from the Ambassador Bridge in Windsor to Highway 77 in Leamington, from Talbotville Royal (near St. Thomas) to the western city limits of Port Colborne and from Highway 140 in Port Colborne to Edgewood Park (west of Fort Erie).

The total length of Highway 3 is 261 km; 50.8 km from Windsor to Leamington, 168.1 km from Talbotville Royal to Port Colborne and 42.1 km from Port Colborne to Edgewood Park.

Highway 3 is part of the Talbot Trail. Highway 3 is a two-lane freeway from Wellington Road to Centennial Road in St. Thomas.

Highway 3 carries a large amount of truck traffic, as it is the only direct link between Highway 401 and the Ambassador Bridge. In Windsor, it is known as Talbot Road and Huron Church Road.

For a while after the portion between Leamington and St. Thomas was downloaded, the Ministry of Transportation had considered renaming the Windsor-Leamington segment of Highway 3 as Highway 103 (a previous designation to an old routing of Highway 69 in Muskoka in the 1970s before Highway 400 was extended through the area). This seems to have been cancelled, however, due to the long-standing designation of Highway 3 in Essex County.

Communities and counties

Highway 3 travels through Windsor, Oliver, Oldcastle, Maidstone, Essex, and Leamington (Windsor-Leamington segment); Talbotville Royal,Blenheim, Morpeth, St. Thomas, Yarmouth Centre, New Sarum, Orwell, Aylmer, Summers Corners, Seville, Springer's Hill, North Hall, Tillsonburg, Courtland, Delhi, Gilbertville, Atherton, Simcoe, Renton, Jarvis, Erie, Balmoral, Nelles Corners, Decewsville, Cayuga, Canfield, Canborough, Dunnville, Mount Carmel, Forks Road, Winger, Chambers Corners, Wainfleet, Ostryhon Corners, and Port Colborne (Talbotville Royal-Port Colborne Section); Port Colborne, Gasline, Sherkston, and Edgewood Park (Port Colborne-Edgewood Park section).

Highway 3 travels through the following municipalities: Windsor, Tecumseh, Lakeshore, Essex, Kingsville, and Leamington (Windsor-Leamington); Chatham-Kent, Southwold Township, St. Thomas, Central Elgin, Aylmer, Bayham, Tillsonburg, Norfolk County, Haldimand, and Wainfleet (Talbotville Royal-Port Colborne); Port Colborne, and Fort Erie (Port Colborne-Edgewood Park). Highway 3 travels through the following counties: Essex (Windsor-Leamington); Kent (Chatham-Kent); Elgin, Oxford, Norfolk, Haldimand, and Niagara RM (Talbotville Royal-Port Colborne); Niagara RM (Port Colborne-Edgewood Park).

Connections with the United States

When the Michigan Department of Transportation discontinued US 25 in 1973, much of US 25 was redesignated as M-3, whose southern terminus came at Clark Street in Detroit, at the junction of I-75 by the Ambassador Bridge. This provided a connection between Michigan's M-3 and Ontario's Highway 3 until 2001, when jurisdictional changes within downtown Detroit created a discontinuous segment of M-3, and this international Route 3 connection was lost when the portion of M-3 along Fort Street was redesignated M-85.

Before being downloaded to municipal and county/regional governments in 1998, this highway proved a quick link from Chicago, Toledo, and Detroit to Buffalo and Upstate New York. Highway 3 was a far shorter, quicker and more direct route than any American route (including Interstate 90), due to Lake Erie dipping south along Ohio, Pennsylvania, and New York.

It was also the only provincial highway to start and end at bridges;(Ambassador leading into Detroit, Michigan and Peace Bridge leading into Buffalo, New York) prior to downloading and was the only provincial highway to have both termini at international crossings.

Essex By-Pass

:See also: Essex County Road 34.The Essex By-Pass (Current Highway 3) was built in stages, from 1971 to 1982. The first stage was to just south of Essex, where it was routed along Malden Road to its former alignment (Now Essex County Road 34). It was extended to Ruthven in 1981, and then routed around Leamington in 1997 as the "Leamington Bypass". Although the Leamington Bypass was constructed by the Ministry of Transportation, the 1.1 km segment east of Highway 77 to County Road 34 was never a part of the provincial network, or a part of Highway 3. It has been signed as County Road 33, as Leamington is planning to link up the two discontinuous segments of CR 33 with an "East Side Arterial Road".


Much like its bigger brother, Highway 401, Highway 3 sees a large amount of traffic (mostly Windsor-Leamington traffic). The road is a super-2 expressway/two-lane freeway (with intersections) from Essex CR 34 (where it is briefly a 4-lane divided highway) to its terminus in Leamington. From 1992 to 2004, the road saw several deadly accidents due to excessive speed and congestion. In May 2006, the Ministry of Transportation stated in the Windsor Star they would be looking into staged upgrades to a dual carriageway, (simply twinning the roadway to alleviate the traffic), after the Town of Essex lobbied the provincial government over where the twinned road would go if it were constructed (because the town was planning to build a Canadian Tire, a Tim Hortons, and a Walmart at the Essex County Road 8/Highway 3 intersection), however, no timetable was set. All but the Walmart have been built and opened so far. In September 2006, the Ministry of Transportation reported a final plan and timetable for construction. The ministry said construction would begin "no later than 2009", and "should hopefully be completed by 2012 or 2015". In mid-January 2007, the Windsor Star had reported that the Ministry of Transportation had begun an Environmental Assessment from CR 34 to CR 8.

The twinning should not be difficult to do, since the road, (Like Former Highway 2/Essex CR 42) was graded to be twinned in the 1930s (from Windsor to Maidstone), and the land remains available for a second carriageway, as the right of way for the road is large enough to support twinning.

Construction begins

On Thursday, March 15, 2007, the Windsor Star reported that the Ministry of Transportation had begun clearing shrubs and brush as part of Phase I of Highway 3's upgrades. Phase I is upgrading from the current divided highway segment in Maidstone at CR 34, to CR 8 in Essex, a distance of 6.9 km. Construction on the second carriageway (twinning) is expected to begin in "late summer of 2007". Phase I is projected to cost between $20 million and $25 million, and be finished by summer of 2008. THe Ministry of Transportation still has to finalize the road design and find a construction contractor for the job, however. Traffic disruptions will be minimal, as the intersection with County Road 8 has already been upgraded and widened as a requirement. The divided road will have a grassed median. The total widening cost (Phases I, II, and III) is projected to cost $80,000,000 to build. Essex MPP Bruce Crozier has been pressuring the Ministry of Transportation to upgrade the bypass since it was first built in 1977. The section between Essex and Kingsville (the largest/longest stretch, Phase II) has not been finalized either, and depends on funding. The Environmental Assessment that was completed in 2006 has improvements in store for the highway, including plating shrubs and trees to replace those cut down.

Lane configuration from west to east

See also

*County Road 34 (Essex County, Ontario)
*Huron Church Road
*List of roads in Essex County, Ontario
*Talbot Trail


External links

* [http://ogov.newswire.ca/ontario/GPOE/2007/08/28/c2719.html?lmatch=&lang=_e.html Canada NewWire Press Release]
* [http://www.thekingshighway.ca/Hwy3.htm History of Highway 3]
* [http://www.onthighways.com/highway_3.htm Highway 3 at OntHighways.com]

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