Obama administration grants permit for second US-Canada bridge in Detroit
Michigan governor says crossing will create jobs, get state-made products to market more quickly
Michigan has won approval from the Obama administration to build a second bridge between Detroit and Windsor, Ontario.
A presidential permit awarded Friday by the U.S. Department of State allows Michigan and Canada to move forward with their span over the Detroit River: the New International Trade Crossing. Construction could be finished in seven years, though lawsuits challenging the project have been filed by owners of the current border bridge.
The key permit comes 10 months after Gov. Rick Snyder and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper struck a deal by which Canada will pay for the bridge and five months after Michigan voters rejected an attempt by Ambassador Bridge owners to slow down or halt construction.
The State Department says granting the permit will "serve the national interest."
Snyder says the project is expected to create thousands of jobs.
“This is all about jobs for today and tomorrow,” he said. “This is a major construction project that is expected to create 12,000 direct jobs and as many as 31,000 indirect jobs. Getting Michigan-made products to more markets faster will enhance our economic competitiveness in the future and help our state create more jobs."
The NITC will be a public bridge operated by a private concessionaire.
Construction cost of the bridge itself -- not including other project components such as land acquisition and the I-75 interchange construction, which Canada will pay for directly -- is estimated at $950 million. The cost will be paid by a private concessionaire and will be repaid by Canada through tolls.
Snyder lauds Detroit bridge approval, job creation
Snyder is lauding the U.S. government's approval of a new bridge from Detroit to Canada.
He said in a Friday statement that the crossing will create jobs and get Michigan-made products to market more quickly. He plans to discuss the infrastructure project at a Detroit business in the afternoon.
Watch: Uncut: Snyder's bridge announcement news conference
The Republican governor is a key backer of the bridge and last year struck his own deal with Canada after running into opposition in the GOP-led Legislature. Canada will pay Michigan's costs for the bridge, including for an interchange linking the span to Interstate 75 on the American side. Construction of the bridge itself will be repaid by Canada through tolls.
A lawsuit challenging the project has been filed by owners of the current Ambassador Bridge.