Second Bridge Planned for Detroit-Canada Link
June 12, 2012
It's looking like officials are closer to building a second bridge to link Detroit to Windsor, Ontario, lightening traffic at one of the most congested U.S.-Canadian border crossings. The new span would be downriver from the 83-year-old Ambassador Bridge.
The owner of the Ambassador Bridge has spent a lot of money fighting the second bridge.
The Toronto Star reports
that the official announcement for the new bridge will take place Friday on the Windsor waterfront. Crain's Detroit Business is also reporting
that Mich. Governor Rick Snyder will announce a deal to build the $2.1 billion bridge Friday, though it hasn't been officially confirmed by the governor's office.
Snyder has been hard at work to make a deal with Canadian officials after the Michigan Senate shot down bills
last year that would pave the way for the New International Trade Crossing bridge.
The new bridge will likely face obstacles, a big one being opposition from the Moroun family, who own the Ambassador Bridge, currently the only border crossing in that area. The family, through its company Detroit International Bridge Co., has been campaigning against the plan, saying it's a waste of taxpayers' dollars.
The cost of the project is estimated at more than $5.5 billion. It will likely create 10,000 construction jobs during five years and would be jointly operated by Canada and Michigan.
The Canadian government has been pushing for the new bridge. In 2010 it even offered to boost its financial stake by up to $550 million to kick-start construction.
Business leaders are pleased with the news of the bridge.
"It's great there's going to be another announcement that something is going to be done but we really need to see some progress," Mathew Wilson, vice-president of policy for the Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters, told the Star.
"We need to see a new bridge being built. Time is money on this."