There was a story in the Windsor Star recently about delays to the new bridge project between Detroit and Windsor. Anne Jarvis from the Windsor Star joined Stateside after reporting the Windsor-Detroit Bridge Authority has more-or-less gone from building the Gordie Howe International Bridge to explaining why it isn’t being built yet.
On the Michigan side, Andy Doctoroff is the special project adviser to Governor Rick Snyder and he’s the point person on the Gordie Howe International Bridge. He joined Stateside to give the Michigan side of the story.
The big question on everyone's mind on both sides of the border is when will this bridge be completed?
"There was a date of 2020 that people had bandied about and that had been stated by certain officials," said Doctoroff. "The fact of the matter is that 2020 date is probably, at this point, unrealistic."
With the massive complications that are involved with this project, Doctoroff refused to call it a delay. He said there continues to be progress that makes the team proud. There has never been a stoppage when it comes to the planning of a massive "multifaceted" project, he said.
There are a number of properties that they still have to secure in and around the bridge site, however Doctoroff said there is a misconception that they have to acquire all of the properties before they can move forward.
About a dozen of those properties that need to be acquired are owned by Ambassador Bridge owner Matty Moroun. The Moroun family has worked hard to fight against the construction of the new bridge and continue to do so. According to reports, in addition to owning key pieces of land on the U.S. side, they are pushing to expand the Ambassador Bridge and have hired lobbyists in the Canadian government to push that agenda.
When they are able to begin construction on the Gordie Howe bridge, it will take approximately four years, which could see the bridge completed by early 2022. However, Doctoroff was quick to point out that "nothing is etched in stone."
Listen to the full interview above to hear how complicated it is to build a massive span between two countries, his thoughts on the Moroun family's (owners of the Ambassador Bridge) efforts to fight the new bridge and if there's been any difference in support on the Canadian side with Justin Trudeau as the Prime Minister.