WASHINGTON, DC- The much discussed and long awaited Detroit River International Crossing (DRIC) bridge is one step closer to reality. The U.S. Coast Guard has granted a permit to build the planned Detroit River bridge, which will eventually link Detroit, MI and Windsor, ON.
The Coast Guard issued the permit after a U.S. federal judge rejected an attempt by the competing Ambassador Bridge to block the approval.
The owners of the Ambassador Bridge, located just a few miles upstream from the planned site of the DRIC bridge, wanted an injunction to prevent the agency from issuing the permit, but the bid was denied.
U.S. District Judge Rosemary Collyer said the Ambassador Bridge’s lawyers failed to show how the DRIC bridge would do irreparable harm to their bridge.
“We now have the presidential permit, signed off on by nine (federal) agencies in the U.S. We have the Coast Guard approval and the court case dismissed,” said Gary Doer, Canada’s ambassador to the U.S.
The DRIC bridge has almost all the permits its owners need to begin construction, including a U.S. presidential permit from the Obama administration a year ago. The DRIC still needs to get some state permits in Michigan, which assess water impact issues.
The Canadian federal government and its private sector partners have agreed to pay about $3.4 billion for feeder roads, plazas, the bridge crossing and other costs.
The $250-million U.S. Customs plaza on the U.S. side of the bridge remains the only significant expense sill not covered. It has yet to be budgeted by Washington and could delay the project further.
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