Manuel Moroun, owner of the Ambassador Bridge, is one step closer to building a second span of the international crossing between Michigan and Windsor, Ontario. Moroun received the OK from the Canada Border Services Agency to build a new customs plaza in Windsor
The current Ambassador Bridge, which is 80 years old, is the busiest border crossing in North America, handling 1.6 million truck crossings each year.
The current Ambassador Bridge, which is 80 years old, is the busiest border crossing in North America, handling 1.6 million truck crossings each year.
, according to reports by The Globe and Mail.

The next step to building the private bridge is to submit an environmental impact statement to Transport Canada for review. While the statement was prepared in December 2007, the Canadian government wanted approval from the Canada Border Services Agency before reviewing the report.

In an interview with The Globe and Mail, Matthew Moroun, Moroun's son, said they hope to have the environmental impact report reviewed this year, but he expects there to be bureaucratic obstacles.

"I'm sure Transport Canada is trying to figure out what banana peel to throw into the mix," Moroun told the publication. "I'm not a babe in the woods, and I know Transport Canada is going to tap dance and do whatever they can to delay our environmental case until next year, but the ball is squarely in their court."

But James Kusie, spokesman for Transport Minister John Baird, told the publication that Transport Canada is waiting to receive additional information from the Ambassador Bridge Co. before the proposal is reviewed. "Despite several requests, the Ambassador Bridge Co. has not yet submitted the necessary information to Transport Canada so that the department can undertake the review of its environmental assessment submission," he said.

Kusie also said the Canadian government prefers the Detroit River International Crossing project, another bridge span that would be publicly-owned. "We believe it is in the public interest to construct a new Detroit River crossing that is subject to appropriate public oversight," he told the Wall Street Journal.

However, the DRIC project is wrapped in politics of its own. Lately, proponents of the project are trying to get public-private partnership legislation that would permit the Michigan Department of Transportation to enter into a relationship with Canada and a private sector transportation project developer/financier.


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