Detroit, MI – A new US-Canadian authority will oversee the construction, operation and maintenance of a proposed six-lane bridge between Detroit and Windsor, Ontario.
The Windsor Detroit Bridge Authority is a non-profit “Crown Corporation” that will report to Ottawa as it manages the project for the New International Trade Crossing.
The authority “will be in charge of preparing the sites and managing the procurement process to select a private-sector partner that will carry out the work, according to Canadian Transport Minister Lisa Raitt.
The agency will also be responsible for setting and collecting tolls, she said.
“The new bridge is needed for growing trade and for growing traffic at Canada’s busiest US commercial border crossing,” said Raitt, adding the project is expected to create thousands of jobs in the coming years.
The next step, she said, involves securing funding for a US Customs facility, along with acquiring land on the US side.
“The project will provide an essential new alternative crossing for Canada’s Continental Gateway and trade corridor,” according to a Canadian government website.
The project, it said, includes a new six-lane bridge across the Detroit River between Windsor, Ontario and Detroit, Michigan, associated border inspection plazas, and connections to the freeway systems in Ontario and Michigan.”
The bridge is scheduled to open in 2020 and is reportedly being funded by the Canadian government, which has earmarked $2 billion to the project.
According to observers, the total cost of the project could reach as much as $4 billion that would include work on freeway interchanges, Canadian and US Customs plazas, and additional infrastructure work.
The final permit for the project was issued last month after a US court rejected a request for an injunction filed by the private company that owns the existing Ambassador Bridge that links Detroit with Windsor.
Another panel, the Canada-Michigan International Authority, is also being formed to approve key steps in the public-private partnership and the purchase of the required land in Michigan, Riatt said.