Ambassador Bridge project gets green approval from U.S.

WARREN, Mich. — The U.S. Coast Guard recently issued a Draft Finding of no significant impact on the Ambassador Bridge Enhancement Project.

The coast guard, as lead federal agency for the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), determined the enhancement project will not introduce any significant impacts on the natural or man-made environment within the project area.

A number of federal and state agencies coordinated efforts since 2007 and the Detroit International Bridge Company (DIBC), owners of the Ambassador Bridge, have been eagerly awaiting the findings.

"We are ready to complete our investment of approximately $1 billion dollars for the enhancement project and to improve cross border connectivity as soon as we receive final approvals of the Environmental Assessments from the U.S. and Canada," said Dan Stamper, president of the Ambassador Bridge. "No municipal, state, provincial or federal funds will be required, leaving those dollars available to address other community needs."

The U.S. has given environmental approval to twinning
the Ambassador Bridge, but the owners of the private bridge could
still face competition from a planned public bridge up the river.

The Ambassador Bridge project required the Environmental Assessment by the Coast Guard because the Detroit River is a navigable waterway of the U.S.

In addition to the coast guard’s final approval, the bridge owners have applied for Canadian approval as well. The application was submitted in 2006.

"We are frustrated that at a time when large infrastructure projects are desperately needed to stimulate the economy and create immediate jobs, the Canadian government is holding up this project," added Stamper.

The Ambassador Bridge Enhancement Project — financed exclusively by DIBC — proposes building a new cable-stayed six-lane bridge to compliment the current 80-year-old existing bridge. The Ambassador Bridge in southern Ontario is a main link between Canada and the U.S., accounting for about a quarter of land trade between the two countries.

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