Prime Minister Stephen Harper today announced the conclusion of an agreement between Canada and the State of Michigan toward building a new publicly owned bridge crossing between Windsor, Ontario, and Detroit, Michigan. The agreement establishes the framework for each party’s roles and responsibilities for the construction, financing, operation and maintenance of the new international crossing.
“Our Government is taking the measures necessary to facilitate trade and investment between Canada and the United States in order to generate jobs, economic growth and long term prosperity,” said the Prime Minister. “This new bridge will reduce congestion at this critical Canada-U.S. border crossing, support the creation of new export related jobs and investment opportunities along the Quebec City–Windsor Corridor, increase the competitiveness of the North American manufacturing sector, and provide thousands of construction jobs in Ontario and Michigan.”
The new Detroit River International Crossing will facilitate the movement of people and goods between Canada and the U.S. by ensuring that there is sufficient border crossing capacity to handle projected growth in cross border trade and traffic in the Windsor-Detroit trade corridor. It will also provide a much-needed crossing alternative at the busiest Canada-U.S. commercial border crossing and create thousands of jobs and opportunities on both sides of the border.
The project includes the bridge, Canadian and U.S. inspection plazas, and an interchange with Interstate-75 with construction expected to take four to five years. The project will be funded by the Government of Canada, with the U.S. plaza being the responsibility of the U.S. government. The private sector is also expected to contribute to the project through a public-private partnership. Ontario and Canada are jointly funding the Windsor Essex Parkway, which will connect Highway 401 to the new bridge.
With the signing of the agreement, Canada and Michigan can now proceed with the next steps of the project, which include further design work and property acquisition on the U.S. side before construction can begin. Under the agreement, Canada will be responsible for constructing, financing and operating the new crossing with likely private sector involvement.
Today’s announcement demonstrates that the Government of Canada is working to advance the goals of the Action Plan on Perimeter Security and Economic Competiveness announced by Prime Minister Harper and President Obama in December 2011.
The new crossing is also a key component of the Continental Gateway and trade corridor.