A new bridge spanning from Windsor to Detroit will make Canada-U.S. travel easier and provide construction work for Canadian labour forces.
The $1 billion bridge is to be built a few kilometres south of a busy Ambassador Bridge, spanning the Detroit River. The plan to move forward with construction on what will be known as the New International Trade Crossing (NITC) was formally announced by Prime Minister Stephen Harper on Friday, June 15. Harper joined Michigan Governor Rick Snyder in Detroit to make the announcement.
While Canada will cover the costs of construction on the NITC, Michigan will pitch in its portion of the hefty cost through state tolls.
Truck drivers, auto makers and other industry members have long touted the need for a new bridge in the Windsor-Detroit area, citing gridlock along the Ambassador Bridge and the lack of viable border crossing points in the area should the Ambassador Bridge be shut down.
“Our government is taking the measures necessary to facilitate trade and investment between Canada and the United States,” Harper said.
The agreement to build the NITC was lauded by the Ontario Road Builders’ Association (ORBA), who said it will promote jobs in the short term and improve trade in the long-term.
“This new bridge is a prime example of how transportation infrastructure provides well paying construction jobs to a region; spurs the economy with construction activity; and will also be a driver of economic growth for many years to come,” said ORBA executive director Geoff Wilkinson. “The construction of the bridge, along with the Windsor-Essex Parkway, ensures that Canada and Ontario are building the infrastructure system and lifelines needed to grow the province’s economy and compete in the 21st century.”
The ORBA has been among the leading advocates for a second bridge in the Windsor-Detroit area and has been part of a coalition calling for such an amenity for years. With the announcement, Wilkinson noted the value of work on the bridge and further work created by its construction could reach $4 billion.