TORONTO, Ont. – A tentative deal between Ottawa, Washington, and Michigan has been reached regarding the planning of a new US Customs plaza for the planned binational New International Trade Crossing.
Vehicle tolls will be reportedly used to pay for the $250-million plaza. Details are still being worked out and a formal announcement is expected to be made in March.
“It’s been a long time coming, and we await the finer details, but on the surface this is excellent news,” said Ontario Trucking Association president David Bradley, who commended the efforts of governments, stakeholders and business groups on both sides of the border in getting a deal done. “We are hopeful the political wrangling that has delayed progress on this most important infrastructure investment is finally over and we can soon begin the work of putting shovels in the ground. This is an encouraging development for anyone who is eagerly looking forward to improved trade flows and better efficiency across the single busiest trade gateway for North America.”
Canada has agreed to cough up the $3.4 billion tab to build the bridge on both sides of the border, while Washington was reluctant to pay for its own plaza in Michigan, which forced stakeholders to accept tapping tolls to fund the project.
The bridge is scheduled to be completed by 2020.
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