Can-Am officials start ruling out Detroit bridge site ideas

DETROIT — A bilateral group of Michigan and Ontario transportation officials have begun eliminating sites from contention for a new U.S.-Canada river crossing, including the proposed locations of Downriver and Belle Isle.

According to the Detroit News, the process of elimination leaves the most likely location for a new bridge or tunnel in southwest Detroit or River Rouge.

Local residents in the Downriver and Belle Isle communities were breathing easier after the announcement. Many were opposed to the two towns acting as border crossings because of the increase in noise pollution and truck traffic, the newspaper reports.

Windsor wants new bridge just west of Ambassador

Residents claim that it was unrealistic even to explore these possibilities as trade gateways. However, federal environmental rules require that every possible site be studied before it could be eliminated.

The Border Transportation Partnership, consisting of the Federal Highway Administration, Transport Canada, the Ontario Ministry of Transportation and the Michigan Department of Transportation, will now embark on a $25 million study of potential sites downriver. In November, the group will eliminate more sites from consideration, according to the Detroit News.

A bridge landing in River Rouge would be nearly in line with a site floated by NY transportation expert Sam Schwartz in a report for the City of Windsor earlier this year.

That plan — endorsed by the entire Windsor City Council — would see US-bound trucks come off Hwy. 401 to Talbot Rd, and then bypass Huron Church via a “horseshoe” route to the west through mostly vacant woodland. Ojibway Parkway would then carry the traffic north, through an industrial area, past EC Row and onto a new “central” crossing, which would be about 3 km southwest of the current Ambassador Bridge. The bridge, according to this plan, would land in southwest Detroit, just east of River Rouge, and carry traffic to Hwy. 75.

Other bridge plans still vying for contention are: Mich-Can International Bridge Co., which, in a proposal similar to Schwartz’s, wants to build a bridge near on the border of Detroit’s Delray neighborhood and River Rouge.

The Detroit International Bridge Company, parent company of the Ambassador Bridge, wants to build a twin, four-lane span next to or connected to the current crossing. And the Jobs Tunnel plan, proposed by The Detroit River Tunnel Partnership, would convert a train tunnel to handle trucks.

— with files from the Detroit News

Have your say

This is a moderated forum. Comments will no longer be published unless they are accompanied by a first and last name and a verifiable email address. (Today's Trucking will not publish or share the email address.) Profane language and content deemed to be libelous, racist, or threatening in nature will not be published under any circumstances.