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Second Detroit-Area Bridge Gets White House Nod

Monday, April 15, 2013
By Shawn McCausland
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

The Obama administration issued April 12 a presidential permit for the construction, connection, operation and maintenance of a second bridge between the U.S. and Canada in the Detroit area. The State Department said this permit “contributes to ensuring that our border infrastructure supports increased competitiveness, job creation and broad-based prosperity” and that the planned bridge “will help to meet future capacity requirements in a critical travel corridor” and “promote cross-border trade and commerce.”

The so-called New International Trade Crossing is expected to be built about two miles south of the 84-year-old Ambassador Bridge, which is the busiest border crossing in North America and carries about 25% of all goods shipped between the U.S. and Canada each year. Businesses have complained for years of congestion and backups at this bridge that result in delayed deliveries and production slowdowns. They worry that the problem will continue to worsen, with the 2.7 million trucks currently crossing the bridge each year likely to double by 2035. A second bridge, with updated customs facilities and improved connections to highways, is expected to make transportation easier and thus aid automakers and other industries with production facilities on both sides of the border.

Press sources report that construction of the bridge is not likely to begin until 2015 and could be completed by 2020 unless delayed by legal disputes already filed by the owner of the Ambassador Bridge.

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