Michigan, Canada Officials Announce New Detroit-Windsor Bridge

By Veronica Grecu, Associate Editor On June 15 Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced plans for a new bridge linking Detroit and Windsor, Ontario. First proposed nearly ten years ago, work on the new six-lane bridge could start in 2013 or 2014 and it would take at least four years [...]

On June 15 Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced plans for a new bridge linking Detroit and Windsor, Ontario. First proposed nearly ten years ago, work on the new six-lane bridge could start in 2013 or 2014 and it would take at least four years to complete.

The New International Trade Crossing (NITC) will relieve the traffic congestion on the privately owned Ambassador Bridge that has been serving as the main commercial connection between Detroit and Canada for over 80 years. It is estimated that the bridge is crossed daily by 8,000 to 10,000 trucks carrying almost $500 million in trade.

As reported by Reuters, the project’s total price tag—including construction, customs inspection plazas, interstate interchanges and other related work—is expected to be $3.92 billion. Canada will pay $2.1 billion covering all costs of land acquisition in Michigan and Canada and construction itself, and another $550 million for an interchange that would link the bridge to I-75 in Detroit.

One interesting fact about this venture is that all toll booths will be placed on the Canadian side of the bridge, which means that Michigan tax payers will not have to carry the financial burden for the structure for about four or five decades following the completion date, when the Canadian government will be fully reimbursed the funds invested in the building process.

Half of the NITC will be owned by Canada, and half by Michigan, according to Crain’s Detroit Business. Under the deal, a private Canadian entity called the Crossing Authority will oversee the design, construction, finance, operation and maintenance of the NITC.

The project will have a tremendous economic impact on the region. 10,000 to 15,000 jobs are expected to be created in Michigan and Ontario, along with new investment opportunities that could help Michigan establish as a global transportation hub. New global markets for farmers, entrepreneurs and manufacturers will be opened across the state, minimizing the likelihood of an economic disaster.

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Rendering courtesy of the Michigan Department of Transportation