Proponents of the new crossing say the existing Ambassador Bridge will not be able to handle increased cross-border trade.
An agreement has finally been reached on a $4 billion project to build a second bridge linking Windsor, Ontario and Detroit, Mich. to take pressure off the crowded Ambassador Bridge border crossing, the busiest trade crossing on the U.S.-Canada border.
The announcement of the New International Trade Crossing was made Friday by Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder.
A new direct connection between I-75 in Michigan and Highway 401 in Canada will ease traffic congestion at the border and allow trucks to bypass residential communities. The existing bridge at the Detroit-Windsor crossing is the No. 1 traffic bottleneck in the entire Pan-American Freeway system.
According to the Public Border Operators Association, the current 83-year-old Ambassador Bridge saw 2.6 million truck crossings last year. About 25% of the goods (valued at about $1.5 billion per day) traded between Canada and the U.S. crosses over the Windsor-Detroit border. Truck traffic is projected to increase 128% over the next 30 years, surpassing current capacity by 2033.
Snyder said on Friday that 8,000 trucks cross the current bridge each day, and traffic jams created by the trucks and passenger cars impede expansion of trade and economic opportunities for Ontario and Michigan.
Gov. Snyder has been stymied in obtaining approval for the project in the Michigan legislature thanks to intense lobbying from the owners of the Ambassador Bridge, which currently enjoys a monopoly. So the governor decided to use his executive authority to reach an accord with Canada, under which Canada will pay Michigan’s $550-million share of the bridge.
The political agreement to build the bridge and the connecting highways between the federal government, the Government of Ontario (which has responsibility for constructing the highway linkages that are already under way) and the City of Windsor was attained some time ago. Up until Friday, the green light from Michigan remained the missing piece of the puzzle.
The agreement allows for the creation of an International Authority to oversee the letting of bids to privately design, develop, finance, construct and operate the NITC. The Authority will be comprised of three members appointed by Canada and three members appointed by Michigan.
No tolls will be charged in Michigan for use of the bridge. Canada will charge tolls, which will be used to reimburse the Canadian government for the funds it advances related to the NITC and for its annual availability payments to the concessionaire.
Opponents who have been battling bridge planners on both sides of the border, such as the owners of the private Ambassador Bridge, are unlikely to give up their fight and could challenge the accord. Manuel “Matty” Moroun, the billionaire owner of the Ambassador Bridge and long-time opponent to a second span, vowed to continue to fight the new bridge.
Opponents say traffic on the Ambassador Bridge is down 40% since 1999 and that the governor has not made a solid case for the need for a second crossing. Canadian officials say there’s a need to look beyond short-term statistics and prepare long-term solutions for increased trade over the Detroit River.
It’s still unknown exactly when shovels will be ready to hit the ground, but environmental approval to build the bridge across the Detroit River in the Brighton Beach-Delray industrial corridor has already been granted under the lengthy bi-national study process.
Several Canadian officials said construction of the new bridge will take four to five years, and one Canadian official said planning plus construction of the bridge will take six to seven years, according to Reuters.
Canadian Truckers Pleased
The Canadian Trucking Alliance is giving a thumbs-up to the announcement.
“It’s been a long road to get to this day, with even more stops and starts than on Huron Church Rd.,” says CTA president David Bradley, referring to the years of political wrangling that has delayed progress and the fact that trucks have to negotiate 16 stop lights on the Windsor road leading to the current bridge crossing. “So we are thrilled the new crossing will become a reality.”
When constructed, says Bradley, the bridge “will provide freeway-to-freeway access to the border on both sides, provide redundancy in the event of an emergency shutdown at any of the Windsor-Detroit crossings, and enhance the efficiency and predictability of the North American supply chain which in turn will attract future direct investment and stimulate economic growth in the region.”
More info: www.buildthisbridge.com
Highways: Related News
6/18/2012 – Bridge Deal Reached for New Windsor-Detroit Border Crossing
An agreement has finally been reached on a $4 billion project to build a second bridge linking Windsor, Ontario and Detroit, Mich. to take pressure off the crowded Ambassador Bridge border crossing, the busiest trade crossing on the U.S.-Canada border….
6/18/2012 – Some Rural Arkansas Highways Getting Higher Speed Limits
The Arkansas Highway Commission authorized the state Highway and Transportation Department to raise speed limits on certain rural highways. A recent analysis of rural four- and five-lane highways recommended that speed limits on a number of highways be raised from 55 mph to 60 mph….
6/15/2012 – Part of Kentucky’s I-24 Restricted to One Lane
Traffic will be restricted to one lane on Kentucky’s Interstate 24 westbound at the I-69/Western Kentucky Parkway Interchange in Lyon County. This work zone is expected to be in place for about two months….
6/13/2012 – Second Bridge Planned for Detroit-Canada Link
It’s looking like officials are closer to building a second bridge to link Detroit to Windsor, Ontario, lightening traffic at one of the most congested U.S.-Canadian border crossings. The new span would be downriver from the 83-year-old Ambassador Bridge….
6/12/2012 – Colorado Initiative Will Put Real-Time Highway Video in Truckstops
Many truckstops in Colorado will soon be equipped with a tool offering real-time information relating to roadway, weather and traffic conditions on key highways in the state. The program is a cooperative effort involving Walmart, local truckstops, the Colorado Motor Carriers Association and the Colorado Department of Transportation….
6/12/2012 – 85-mph Speed Limits Possibility in Texas
Texas could be the first U.S. road to post an 85-mph speed limit,…
6/11/2012 – Part of Missouri’s U.S. 54 to Close for Eight Weeks
U.S. Highway 54 between Louisiana, Mo., and Bowling Green, Mo., will close on June 18 for a two-month project as two bridges on the route are replaced. …
6/7/2012 – Maryland I-895 Summer Bridge Work to Cause Major Delays
The Maryland Transportation authority is warning drivers that a repair project on the I-895 “K-truss” bridge over CSX Transportation, between Exit 8 and Exit 7, south of the Baltimore Harbor Tunnel toll plaza, will cause major delays this summer….
6/5/2012 – MD 295 Construction Will Cause Nighttime Closures
The nighttime resurfacing of MD 295 (Baltimore-Washington Parkway) north of I-695 and the Baltimore City line will continue through mid-June, causing some delays and lane closures, according to the Maryland State Highway Administration. MSHA says drivers should consider using I-95 US 1 or MD 2…
6/5/2012 – Potomac River’s Woodrow Wilson Bridge Maintenance to Cause Lane Closures
As part of the regularly scheduled review and maintenance cycle, crews will inspect the I-95/I-495 Woodrow Wilson Bridge over the Potomac River beginning this week and continuing through fall. Crews will periodically close one traffic lane during off-peak hours Mondays through Thursdays, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. …
6/1/2012 – NY Thruway Association Proposes 45% Toll Hike for Trucks
The New York State Thruway Authority is eyeing toll increases of 45% for commercial vehicles with more than three axles, and the hike could be implemented as soon as September 30, reports the Associated Press. NYSTA is currently seeking public input on the increase….
5/31/2012 – Connecting Vehicles to Cut Congestion, Improve Safety
Congress is not going to vote for reinvestment in highway infrastructure any time soon, so the next best thing is to get more out of what already is there, says Xerox chairman and CEO Ursula Burns….
5/29/2012 – California I-5 Projects to Cause Northbound Freeway Closure Tonight
Improvements to California’s I-5 corridor will cause closures, including the full closure of northbound I-5 between Valley View Avenue and Carmenita Road tonight beginning at 11:59 p.m. and continuing until 5 a.m. tomorrow, says the California Department of Transportation….
5/24/2012 – I-70 Bridge to Detour Drivers During Summer and Next Year
For 12 months starting in November and for several weekends this summer, construction on Interstate 70’s Blanchette Bridge over the Missouri River, between St. Louis and St. Charles, Mo., at mile marker 230, will detour westbound I-70 traffic. …
5/23/2012 – Inrix: Traffic Congestion Drops 30%
The U.S. experienced a 30% drop in traffic congestion in 2011, according to Inrix’s annual Traffic Scorecard. Seventy of America’s top 100 most populated cities showed decreases in traffic last year as well….
5/22/2012 – I-75 One Lane in Each Direction After Massive Landslide
The Tennessee Department of Transportation has reopened one lane for southbound travel on I-75 in Campbell County. One lane remains open for northbound travelers as work continued to repair a massive landslide continues at Mile Marker 143….
5/22/2012 – Survey: Americans Value Infrastructure in Upcoming Election
Two-thirds of Americans who intend to vote during this year’s presidential election feel that a candidate’s standing on American transportation infrastructure will influence their decision, according to the America Thinks national highway survey from HNTB Corp., an infrastructure firm serving public and private owners and contractors….
5/18/2012 – NATO Event Likely to Cause Traffic Delays in Chicago This Weekend
The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) is hosting its 25th summit in Chicago this weekend, which will mean road closures and parking restrictions downtown as well as traffic delays and temporary road closures on major streets and Interstate highways….
5/15/2012 – Boston Announces Daytime Hazmat Ban
The Massachusetts transportation department announced a ban on trucks carrying hazardous materials through Boston between 6 a.m. and 8 p.m., a move that trucking interests say could worsen safety, not improve it….
5/9/2012 – Three States Get $20 Million in Emergency Transportation Funding
Oregon, Alabama and South Carolina will receive a shared $20 million in federal funds to help cover the costs of repairing roads and bridges damaged by natural disasters or catastrophic events….
5/9/2012 – Platt Bridge Detours in Place in Southwest Philadelphia
Commercial trucks over 14,000 pounds and vehicles with a placarded amount of hazardous materials will be prohibited from traveling on the George C. Platt Memorial Bridge (Route 291) over the Schuylkill River in Southwest Philadelphia for two years as of Monday, May 7 at 9 a.m….
5/4/2012 – New I-85 Yadkin River Bridge to Open Saturday in N.C.
The new I-85 North bridge over the Yadkin River near Salisbury, N.C., will open to traffic for the first time early Saturday morning….
5/3/2012 – Section of I-24 Closed in Nashville This Weekend
Tennessee Department of Transportation contract crews will close a 3-mile section of I-24 near downtown Nashville this weekend and more throughout the summer as the state replaces two aging bridges….
5/2/2012 – Bay Area Multi-Axle Vehicle Tolls to Rise July 1
California’s Bay Area Toll Authority is reminding drivers of big-rig trucks, cars, trucks hauling trailers and any other vehicles or combinations with more than two axles, that the second step in the two-phase toll increase approved in 2010 for multi-axle vehicles on Bay Area toll bridges takes effect July 1….
5/1/2012 – Oklahoma Creates Fund for New Ports of Entry
Last week, by a vote of 65-17, the Oklahoma House passed legislation that will fund nine new Port of Entry weigh and inspection stations in the state, reports The Oklahoman.
The measure creates a fund handled by the Oklahoma Corporation Commission from money redirected from the Higher Education Facilities Fund’s fuel tax revenue. The new fund will receive $500,000 a month until it reaches $51 million, which will take more than eight years, says The Oklahoman….
4/30/2012 – Watch for Highway Restrictions During Chicago NATO Summit
The Illinois DOT says during the NATO Summit in Chicago May 20-21, it’s best to avoid the city, especially downtown and South Loop, during that week. It’s also placing certain restrictions (with no permit loads) on oversize and overweight loads….
4/24/2012 – Missouri’s I-70 Toll Proposal Stalls
The controversial plan to turn part of Missouri’s Interstate 70 into a toll road has stalled for the session in the Missouri Legislature, reports the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
The bill, Senate Bill 752, introduced by State Sen. Mike Kehoe, R-Jefferson City, would implement tolls though a public-private partnership to make badly needed repairs on a 200-mile stretch of I-70 through the middle of Missouri. …
4/23/2012 – Rhode Island DOT Lifts Weight Limit on I-95 in Pawtucket
The Rhode Island Department of Transportation opened the first span of the new Pawtucket River Bridge to traffic on I-95 North. The opening of this structure will allow RIDOT to lift the northbound 18-ton weight limit…
4/16/2012 – Part of California’s Santa Ana Freeway/I-5 to Close on April 17
The northbound and southbound Santa Ana Freeway (Interstate 5) between Valley View Avenue and Carmenita Road will be fully closed the night of April 17 from 11:45 p.m. to 4 a.m. …
4/12/2012 – Missouri DOT Launches Big Trucks Campaign
The Missouri Department of Transportation is asking motorists to drive more safely around trucks — and for truck drivers to slow down and pay attention — with its new Big Trucks Campaign….
4/11/2012 – Expect Delays on I-20/59 near Birmingham, Ala.
Month-long work started Monday on all lanes of I-20/59 North in Bessemer, Ala., diverting nearly 50,000 vehicles that travel those lanes daily, reports The Birmingham News….
4/4/2012 – $62 Million Allocated for Repairs to Damaged U.S. Roads and Bridges
The U.S. Department of Transportation will pay nearly $62 million for seven states to help cover the costs of repairing roads and bridges damaged by natural disasters and catastrophic events….
4/2/2012 – Louisville Construction Projects Causes Truck Detours
A barrier replacement project on I-65 in Louisville, Ky. will close the left lanes of the roadway. Trucks will be required to detour the area to minimize congestion….
4/2/2012 – Connecticut DOT Studies I-95 Tools, Looking at Congestion Pricing
The Connecticut Department of Transportation will look into the possibility of adding a “value priced” toll to I-95 between Greenwich and New Haven in a effort to relieve congestion on the highway….
4/2/2012 – FET Repeal Bill Introduced in U.S. House
Legislation to repeal the 12% federal excise tax on truck and trailer purchases and replace it with an increase in the diesel fuel tax has been introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives….
3/28/2012 – Lane Reduction on I-57 Northbound in Illinois Starts March 29
Interstate 57 northbound from from Mile Marker 93 to Mile Marker 96 in Illinois’ Jefferson County will be reduced to one lane starting Thurs. March 29 through Nov. 1….
3/19/2012 – DOT Says U.S. Needs $101 billion a Year to Maintain Infrastructure
A new report from the Department of Transportation projects that the U.S. needs $101 billion annually plus increases for inflation during the next 20 years from all levels of government to maintain the nation’s highway and transit systems….
3/12/2012 – I-75 South Closed in NE Tennessee for About Two Weeks
The Tennessee Department of Transportation has closed both lanes of Interstate 75 South in Campbell County in northeast Tennessee on the Kentucky border, due the collapse of a section of embankment….
3/9/2012 – Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission Completes All-Electric Toll Study
The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission is considering converting to a cashless, all-electronic toll collection system due to advantages such as enhanced safety, a cleaner environment, reduced travel time and reduced operating costs….
3/7/2012 – Work Starts on I-69 Upgrades to Former Western Kentucky Parkway
A contractor for the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet started installing new Interstate 69 signage along the former Western Kentucky Parkway between Eddyville, Ky., and the Pennyrile Parkway interchange near Madisonville, Ky….
2/23/2012 – Truck Detours Planned in Western North Dakota Oil Cities
North Dakota Gov. Jack Dalrymple announced plans to detour heavy traffic around several cities in the state’s western oil patch. …
2/21/2012 – I-64 Sherman Minton Bridge Reopens to Traffic
The I-64 Sherman Minton Bridge over the Ohio River between Southern Indiana and Louisville has reopened to traffic, says the Indiana Department of Transportation….
2/20/2012 – FHWA Chooses Third State in Interstate Tolling Program
The Federal Highway Administration has chosen North Carolina as the last of three states eligible to place tolls on interstates under a federal pilot program, joining Virginia and Missouri….
2/15/2012 – Kentucky to Adopt PrePass Technology
Kentucky will adopt PrePass truck technology, which allows participating transponder-equipped commercial vehicles to bypass designated weigh stations, port-of-entry facilities and agricultural interdiction facilities….
2/9/2012 – Pilot Flying J Acquires Inver Grove Heights, Minn., Truck Stop
Pilot Flying J acquired the Olsons Truck Stop in Inver Grove Heights, Minn., and will remodel the travel center with full amenities….
2/9/2012 – Seven Feathers Truck Travel Center Opens 87-Space Truck Parking Lot
Seven Feathers Truck Travel Center in southern Oregon opened a new 87-space parking area designed for long-haul commercial carriers on the I-5 corridor….
2/7/2012 – North Dakota Seasonal Highway Load Restrictions Begin Feb. 8
The North Dakota Department of Transportation will place seasonal load restrictions on highways in southwestern North Dakota beginning Feb. 8. at 7 a.m. CST….
2/1/2012 – Rock Slide Closes Westbound I-40 For Weeks In North Carolina
A rock slide near Exit 451 on I-40 West closed the road near US 276, Exit 20, West of Asheville, N.C., in Haywood County near the Tennessee state line….
1/27/2012 – Portions of Texas Interstate Highways to see Speed Limit Increase
Miles of Texas highway will soon see speed limit increases after the Texas Transportation Commission action approved 75 mph designations for almost 1,500 miles of interstate….
1/25/2012 – NATSO Urges Missouri Lawmakers Not to Toll I-70
After news broke that Missouri might toll I-70, which runs east and west through the middle of the state, to fund repairs, the truckstop association NATSO urged Missouri lawmakers to oppose the proposal….
1/19/2012 – Missouri DOT Pushing I-70 Toll Road Plan
Interstate 70, which runs east and west through the state of Missouri, is in desperate need of improvements. The big question is how the state will afford those improvements. The state Department of Transportation is pushing a plan that would turn I-70 into a toll road….
1/17/2012 – Plans for Southern California Truck-Only Freeway In the Works
A flood of freight predicted to clog freeways in Southern California has spurred regional transportation officials to plan a truck-only east-west freeway between two major interstates, according to the Riverside Press-Enterprise….
1/13/2012 – Proposal Would Raise Ohio Speed Limit
An Ohio lawmaker has introduced a bill that would raise the speed limit for all vehicles on the state’s interstate highways from 65 to 70 mph, following a similar move by the Ohio Turnpike….
1/10/2012 – U.S. Department of Transportation Announces $1.6 billion in Funding for U.S.
Roads and Bridges
Ray Lahood, U.S. Transportation Secretary, announced Monday that almost $1.6 billion in funding will go toward the repair of U.S. roads and bridges that were damaged by natural disasters….
1/9/2012 – Highway Funding Climbing Legislative Ladder, More States Eyeing Tax Hikes
The declining state of roads and bridges, and burgeoning congestion is becoming more difficult to ignore, and several state legislatures are now openly discussing the likelihood of hiking fuel taxes….
1/6/2012 – Pennsylvania Turnpike in Danger of Becoming Insolvent
Pennsylvania Auditor General, Jack Wagner, says the State General Assembly must amend or appeal a rule requiring the Turnpike Commission to provide $450 million a year in infrastructure funding to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation….
12/29/2011 – Maryland Hikes Truck Tolls January 1
Effective 12:01 a.m. on Sunday Jan. 1, 2012, new toll rates and other changes take effect at Maryland’s toll facilities….
12/28/2011 – Frustrated Montreal-area Truckers Apply Congestion Surcharges
Truckers in Montreal, Que. have begun charging customers traffic surcharges to compensate for increased operating costs….
12/27/2011 – Maryland Announces Additional Emergency Truck Parking During Winter Storms
MDOT has released a list of park and ride lots truckers can use during snow storms of six inches or more instead of parking along highway ramps and shoulders….
12/27/2011 – North Carolina DOT Completes I-40 Widening Project
Raleigh area drivers are enjoying a faster commute and smoother drive thanks to the completion of a $49 million highway widening project recently completed by the North Carolina Department of Transportation — on time and on budget….
12/27/2011 – PETA Urging Memorials for Animals Killed in Highway Crashes
The animal rights group, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals wants to erect highway memorials to the victims” of highway crashes involving animals….
12/21/2011 – Poll Finds 77 Percent of Americans Oppose Raising the Gas Tax
A majority of Americans believe new transportation projects should be paid for with user-fees instead of tax increases, according to a new national Reason-Rupe poll of 1,200 adults on cell phones and land lines….
12/21/2011 – Research Could Lead to Fewer Accident-Prone Intersections
The difference between an intersection controlled by flashing lights and one controlled by a stop sign can play a big role in accident prevention, according to a new study by researchers at The University of Texas at Austin….