Greenlink Windsor Transportation Land Use Planning Project
Windsor, Ontario Canada
City of Windsor, Ontario
Sam Schwartz Engineering was retained by the City of Windsor, Ontario to develop mitigation for an open-cut, six-lane, depressed extension that runs through Windsor that leads to a new bridge crossing to Detroit. The highway - an extension of the existing Highway 401 - is the preferred option developed by the Detroit River International Crossing (DRIC) team, a Canada-U.S.-Ontario-Michigan border transportation partnership. SSE introduced an urban design solution and a vision for Windsor that would minimize the highway's intrusion into the communities along its path and maximize cohesion and interconnectivity potential of this six-kilometer corridor, while adding hundreds of acres of usable green space and providing an end-to-end pedestrian/bike path that would never cross a car at grade.
Triple Bottom Line
Economic: The project represents one of the most expensive highway initiatives ever taken in Ontario. The highway maintains direct, unfettered access to the US border for trucks and other traffic to support the area's economy and accessibility for business.
Social: By going from a depressed highway with sloped sides to a depressed highway with ninety-degree retaining walls throughout most of the length of the highway, usable green space was moved to the outside of the roadway, instead of between the highway and its access roads. The added green space on the outside of the roadway is now accessible to the public and buffers the nearby community from the highway.
Environmental: Over 25% of the parkway (approximately 1.9 km) was designed to be under tunnels, creating about 240 acres of parkland and walking trails. As a result of improved ventilation systems and service road adjustments, the effect and impact that tunnel portal and traffic emission had on residents were reduced by 83%.
The Greenlink Windsor Transportation Land Use Planning Project received the Diamond Award for Engineering Excellence from the American Council of Engineering Companies. The project was designed with the intention of enhancing local neighborhoods without compromising the capacity of the highway to support the traffic volume across the border.
Norma Coleman, Chief of Staff
City of Windsor, Ontario, Canada