The Canadian government has given final approval for expanding the Ambassador Bridge between Detroit and Windsor, Ontario.
The U.S. approved the permit for a new bridge last year.
Dan Stamper is with the Detroit International Bridge Company, which owns the Ambassador. He says replacing the 87-year-old bridge will be good for both the U.S. and Canada.
“We expect to create thousands of new jobs that are high-paying construction jobs. This is exciting times for this region," Stamper said.
Stamper says the project will cost $1 billion in private money. “Even though it's difficult to invest that kind of money in private infrastructure, I think we've been able to do it,” he said.
The new bridge will have six lanes, and should be finished by the fall of 2020. Canada's permit requires the company to take down the existing span once the new one is built.
Marc Garneau, the Canadian Minister of Transport, released a statement regarding the permit approval today:
“The construction of the replacement Ambassador Bridge together with the Gordie Howe International Bridge project will ensure that Canadians continue to benefit from the efficient movement of people and goods at this crossing while providing infrastructure improvements for the local community."
Gov. Rick Snyder released a statement praising both U.S. and Canadian efforts to approve the bridge:
“Canada’s announcement today also reaffirms the plans for the Gordie Howe International Bridge, which is on schedule to begin significant construction in 2018. I appreciate the continued partnership with Canada in making the Gordie Howe International Bridge a major infrastructure priority."
Bridge officials have so far been unsuccessful in blocking construction of the competing, publicly-funded Gordie Howe International Bridge just a couple miles from the Ambassador.
Construction of the Howe Bridge is expected to begin next year.