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Emergency Detour Routes

In response to transportation issues and safety concerns associated with major highway closures, the County of Elgin, in partnership with the Ontario Ministry of Transportation and Ontario Provincial Police have established an Emergency Detour Routing system for Highway #401.

The County of Elgin posted Emergency Detour Route (EDR) signage along pre-determined routes throughout the municipality. These permanent yellow and black signs are clearly visible near the start and along the alternative routes. The detour routes will be used to divert traffic if a major accident, hazardous material spill or related incident occurs on Highway #401 that results in a highway closure.


Frequently Asked Questions:

  1. Why do we need Emergency Detour Routes (EDRs)?

    To provide drivers with a pre-determined route when a provincial highway is closed

  2. When are emergency highway closures necessary?

    These unscheduled closures are required when a highway is physically impassable or when emergency work cannot be performed in traffic.

  3. How long will the Emergency Detour Route (EDR) be activated?

    The duration of a highway closure will vary depending on the extent and nature of the incident.

  4. Who decides when the highway should be closed or opened?

    The police have the authority to close highways.  An officer at the incident will determine when to reopen the highway and deactivate the Emergency Detour Route (EDR).

  5. I have a large truck carrying an oversized or overweight load.  Can I use the Emergency Detour Route (EDR)?

     No.  Oversized or overweight loads travel under permit-defined routes and are not permitted on any other route. The police will direct you to park in a safe location on the highway until it reopens. 

  6. I live in an area that the Emergency Detour Route (EDR) goes through.  How will I be affected?

    While the Emergency Detour Route (EDR) is activated there will be an increase in traffic.  This might also include more trucks.  Local police or municipal staff might be present to direct traffic at key intersections and monitor the use of the Emergency Detour Route (EDR).  

  7. How are the Emergency Detour Routes (EDRs) selected?

    Emergency Detour Routes (EDRs) are developed by the municipality with the Ministry of Transportation of Ontario. They are based on several factors including travel time and a route's ability to efficiently accommodate increased  traffic volumes.   


Road Map

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Reduce Collisions

According to Elgin County OPP estimates, nearly 45% of the almost 500 total accidents on County of Elgin roads in 2006 involved deer. In 2007, approximately 280 road kill deer were reported to Elgin County OPP, with another 124 reported through July 31, 2008.

In an effort to reduce deer-vehicle collisions and mitigate their consequences, the Elgin Deer Collision Committee was established in the Spring of 2008.The committee’s immediate goal is to raise public awareness of the seriousness of this issue and to contribute to an initial 10% reduction in deer-vehicle collisions on County roads.

The Elgin Deer Collision Committee consisting of representatives from:

  • Ministry of Natural Resources
  • Ministry of Transportation
  • County of Elgin
  • Ontario Provincial Police
  • Deer Stakeholder Committee
  • Insurance Industry

Tips to reduce your changes of a collision:

  • A yellow deer crossing sign, indicates a high risk area – SLOW DOWN and DRIVE WITH CAUTION especially during peak seasons.
  • If you see wildlife beside the road, SLOW DOWN, HONK the HORN and PASS CAREFULLY as their movement is unpredictable.
  • USE HIGHBEAMS at night where possible and watch for glowing eyes of animals.
  • NEVER SWERVE SUDDENLY as you could lose control of your vehicle, greatly increasing your chance of getting in an accident.
  • If a wild animal is crossing the road ahead, BREAK FIRMLY if at all possible—never assume the animal will move out of the way.
  • STOP as SAFELY as possible if a wild animal is crossing the road. Often times if one animal crosses the road, OTHERS MAY FOLLOW.
  • If hitting a wild animal cannot be avoided, be sure to STAY IN CONTROL.
  • DRIVE DEFENSIVELY—This is your best tool in avoiding collisions whether it’s with a wild animal or otherwise.


Asset Management Plan

Elgin County Asset Management Plan