Quinte West Council got an in-depth update on full closures of the 401 as the Ministry of Transportation continues to look at ways to improve the busy stretch of highway through the region.
Representatives from the MTO presented data on full highway closures, of all lanes in either direction, numbers on traffic volumes and trends and plans for future projects and expansions.
The presentation was also recently shown to the Eastern Ontario Wardens Caucus.
Mayor Jim Harrison tells Quinte News, from what they were shown, the eventual widening of the 401 to six lanes seems like a good idea.
There are only currently two sections of the highway in our area that are six lanes, a recently renovated stretch near Cobourg and another near Kingston, with the process underway to expand part of the highway through Belleville next.
Harrison also took exception to people laying the blame on 401 accidents squarely on truck drivers, noting the importance of trucking to the local community, but did say that some accidents are likely caused by truckers “who aren’t paying attention”.
There were also suggestions made for the MTO to look into legislative moves that could see things like electronic speed signs installed, which could change with weather conditions, or to change the speed limits completely.
The MTO says the next steps in the process include reviewing areas with high instances of closures, to make improvements, reviewing emergency detour routes and speed studies as well.