Ambassador Bridge to Get $36 Million in Improvements
February 24, 2001
The inspection facilities at the Ambassador Bridge between Detroit and Canada are scheduled to get a $36 million expansion.
The plan, which is expected to go a long way toward reducing backups at the busiest border crossing in North America, has been in the works for 2 ½ years. According to The Detroit News,
it calls for expanding the number of truck inspection booths from seven to 10 and adding 22,000 square feet of office space. It will also more than double the amount of truck parking from the current 80 spots.
Congress still needs to appropriate much of the money for the expansion project, but officials hope construction could begin as early as late this summer. It is a top priority for the U.S. Customs Service.
In addition, the company that owns the 71-year-old bridge is working on its own multi-million dollar project. By the end of April, the paper reports, the Detroit International Bridge Co. will reverse toll payments so those traveling from Canada to the United States will pay on the American side of the bridge, rather than the Canadian side. That will allow trucks to build up more speed when the cross the bridge's steep incline.
The Michigan Department of Transportation's plan to connect the bridge directly to the Interstate highway system is behind schedule. Construction to directly connect I-75 and I-96 to the bridge was scheduled to begin in 2002 and be finished in 2005, but the state has not finalized the division of the costs with the privately owned Bridge Company.