Get ready Michigan – Canada is taking serious steps toward building a new bridge over the Detroit River, according to Dave Battagello from The Windsor Star:
The Canadian government has dedicated $25 million in its recent budget to start buying property in Delray for the new Detroit River bridge, while U.S. federal administrators debate the size and scope of the customs plaza, Canada’s Consul General Roy Norton said Wednesday.
If you aren’t familiar with the bridge project (known as the Detroit River International Crossing or the New International Trade Crossing) you certainly saw the commercials for Proposal 6 last November.
Proposal 6 was an attempt by Ambassador Bridge owner, Matty Moroun, to require voter approval for any bridge or tunnel between Michigan and Canada.
Proposal 6 did not pass and the new bridge is moving closer to reality.
Six weeks ago the project gained presidential approval. This allowed Canada to start taking steps forward, according to Battagello’s report:
Canada says it will pay Michigan’s share of the project cost, up to $550 million to buy land and build a feeder road linking the bridge plaza in Detroit to the I-75 freeway.
“We should be able to start acquiring land in the U.S. late this year or early next year,” [Canada’s Consul General Roy Norton] said. “Once that happens we will issue a request for qualifications from consortiums to bid on the project.”
Battagello reports that utility relocation will start in Detroit this year.
Construction of the bridge is expected to be in full swing by 2015, and it's expected to be completed by 2019 or 2020.
Currently, the Ambassador Bridge and the Detroit-Windsor Tunnel are the two modes of connection between the busy trade ports of Detroit and Windsor.
Canada Consul General Norton expects Matty Moroun to continue to fight the project. Moroun spent more than $33 million on the Proposal 6 campaign.
- Julia Field, Michigan Radio Newsroom