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Fatal Highway 401 crash won't lead to concrete median

Ontario's Ministry of Transportation tells CBC News is has no immediate plans to put up install a concrete barrier between the eastbound and westbound lances of Highway 401 in Chatham-Kent.

Ontario's Ministry of Transportation says plans to expand 401 to six lanes, add concrete median approved

Eventually, Highway 401 will look like this between Tilbury and the Chatham-Kent/Elgin County boundary. (File Photo)

Ontario's Ministry of Transportation tells CBC News is has no immediate plans to install a concrete barrier between the eastbound and westbound lanes of Highway 401 in Chatham-Kent.

A 35-year-old Windsor man and his 13-year-old niece were killed Saturday when a transport truck crossed the median and hit their car head-on in that stretch of highway.

In a statement, the MTO tells CBC News the grass median in Chatham-Kent is 15 metres wide, which does meet design standards for a four-lane divided highway.

At some unspecified point in the future, the province plans to widen that stretch of the 401 to six lanes.

"The ministry received environmental clearance in April 2009 for the future six-laning of Highway 401 from Tilbury easterly 66 km to the Chatham-Kent/Elgin County boundary," Liane Fisher, communications coordinator for the MTO west region wrote in an email to CBC Windsor. "As a result, the study recommendations include widening to six lanes with median barrier and improvements at all six of the interchanges located within the project limits."

The project is listed in the 2013-2017 Southern Highways Program under "Planning for the Future," and has not yet been scheduled for construction.

Alyssa Smulders, a Grade 7 student David Sukuki Public School, was killed Saturday.

"Our thoughts are with the family and friends of the victims in this tragedy.  We understand the OPP continue to investigate," Fisher wrote.

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