Project Description

LEA Consulting Ltd. is part of a consortium for the Design-Build-Finance-Maintain of the Herb Gray Parkway (formerly known as the Windsor-Essex Parkway), the largest infrastructure initiative in Ontario’s history.

The Detroit-Windsor border crossing between Canada and the USA is considered to be Canada’s primary business gateway with its American neighbor and largest trading partner to the south. The development of a new, efficient and modern border crossing between Detroit and Windsor would result in economic prosperity for both Canada and USA.

The Government of Canada and Province of Ontario have taken the advanced initiative of developing an extension of provincial Highway 401, known as the Herb Gray Parkway (formerly known as the Windsor-Essex Parkway), to connect this future border crossing with Ontario’s highway network. A design, build, finance and maintain consortium was selected for this project with LEA acting as a member of the design team for all the Intelligent Transportation System (ITS), Roadway and Tunnel Lighting, Traffic Signal and Life Safety System elements for the project.

The Herb Gray Parkway, the largest transportation infrastructure initiative in Ontario’s history, was designed to minimize the impact on the existing City of Windsor area and its residents. As such, a strong emphasis was placed on mitigating environmental and noise factors by building all of the Highway 401 expressway extension below grade. This has resulted in the creation of 300 acres of green space, including an extensive 20 kilometer recreational trail network on top of the expressway. The sense of separation by the highway has been minimized by the installation of 13 tunnels along the corridor, allowing residents to commute through various modes of transportation within this corridor. The roadway operation consists of an 11 kilometer corridor with over 110 kilometers of travelled lanes between below-grade Highway 401 and at grade Highway 3.

The ITS design elements developed by LEA include Advanced Traffic Management System (ATMS), lighting, traffic signals, and life safety. Lighting systems design includes trails, roadways and tunnels, providing illumination for safe travel for pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorists. Tunnel lighting design included a complex design and coordination effort given the number and length of subgrade structures involved, a truly unique and outstanding tunnel lighting design achievement in North America. An interconnected fibre-optic based Traffic Signal System design provides an integrated system for travellers moving in and around the corridor. ATMS includes an automated queue warning system, utilizing variable message signs, magnetic detector-based vehicle detection, and CCTV camera monitoring. Nineteen variable message signs along Highway 401, Highway 3, and arterial roadways provide travelers the latest information on delays, detours and traffic conditions to plan and adjust their trip accordingly. As part of the Life Safety Systems design, fire alarm systems were designed meeting NFPA 502 requirements. In addition, emergency call stations are located throughout the extensive pedestrian trail path network providing an enhanced level of safety.

The Parkway was completed in 2015.