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Canada signs arrangement with US on new Windsor-Detroit bridge

OTTAWA, Ont.–Canada has signed an arrangement to ensure that the new publicly-owned bridge between Windsor, Ontario and Detroit, Michigan can proceed without further delay, the Honourable Lisa Raitt, Minister of Transport, announced earlier this week.

In a statement, Minister Raitt said:

“I am pleased to confirm that following significant discussions with the United States and Michigan, Canada has now signed an Arrangement to ensure that the new publicly-owned bridge between Windsor, Ontario and Detroit, Michigan can proceed without further delay.

“Under the terms of the Arrangement, the U.S. inspection plaza will be procured as part of the public-private partnership (P3) which will design, finance, construct, operate and maintain the Detroit River International Crossing (DRIC) / New International Trade Crossing (NITC) project. The cost of the U.S. Port of Entry will be repaid from future toll revenues and not by Canadian taxpayers. This Arrangement is good for Canada and for Canadians. It ensures that all the elements of the project will ultimately be delivered through a public-private partnership. It also allows Canada and Michigan to move the project forward immediately to its next steps which include further design work and property acquisition on the U.S. side of the border,” the Minister said.

She indicated the new DRIC / NITC bridge is of vital importance to the economic prosperity of communities and businesses on both sides of the border.

“It will facilitate the movement of people, goods and services by ensuring that there is sufficient border crossing capacity to handle projected growth in cross border trade and traffic in the Windsor-Detroit trade corridor. As well, it will provide a much-needed crossing alternative at one of the busiest commercial border crossings in North America and support national security and public safety priorities in Canada and the U.S. It will also bring new jobs, opportunities and continued prosperity to communities in both countries. A new Windsor-Detroit crossing remains one of Canada’s top infrastructure priorities for Canada. The Government of Canada is committed to completing the new crossing and will continue to work very closely with the State of Michigan and the Government of the United States to build this new bridge as soon as possible. This is in line with the goals of the Canada-US Beyond the Border Action Plan, signed by President Obama and Prime Minister Harper on December 7, 2011,” said Minister Raitt.

In addition, the Associated Equipment Distributors (AED) president and CEO Brian McGuire released a statement on the agreement. AED is the association representing U.S. and Canadian construction equipment distributors.

“The announcement that construction of the new Detroit-Windsor bridge can finally get underway is welcome news,” he said. “AED estimates the $2 billion project will create more than $100 million in equipment market activity on both sides of the border and directly support more than 150 equipment distribution sector jobs.  The bridge also has important implications for the U.S.-Canada trade relationship and for the distribution and manufacturing sectors on both sides of the border.  We hope President Obama and Prime Minister Harper will build on the momentum and look for other opportunities to improve cross-border infrastructure and enhance the efficiency of the North American economy.”

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